Download Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide Audiobook

Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide Audiobook, by Michael B. Oren Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Michael B. Oren Narrator: Michael B. Oren Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2015 ISBN: 9781101923290
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Michael B. Oren’s memoir of his time as Israel’s ambassador to the United States—a period of transformative change for America and a time of violent upheaval throughout the Middle East—provides a frank, fascinating look inside the special relationship between America and its closest ally in the region.
Michael Oren served as the Israeli ambassador to the United States from 2009 to 2013. An American by birth and a historian by training, Oren arrived at his diplomatic post just as Benjamin Netanyahu, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton assumed office. During Oren’s tenure in office, Israel and America grappled with the Palestinian peace process, the Arab Spring, and existential threats to Israel posed by international terrorism and the Iranian nuclear program. Forged in the Truman administration, America’s alliance with Israel was subjected to enormous strains, and its future was questioned by commentators in both countries. On more than one occasion, the friendship’s very fabric seemed close to unraveling.
Ally is the story of that enduring alliance—and of its divides—written from the perspective of a man who treasures his American identity while proudly serving the Jewish State he has come to call home. No one could have been better suited to strengthen bridges between the United States and Israel than Michael Oren—a man equally at home jumping out of a plane as an Israeli paratrooper and discussing Middle East history on TV’s Sunday morning political shows. In the pages of this fast-paced book, Oren interweaves the story of his personal journey with behind-the-scenes accounts of fateful meetings between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, high-stakes summits with the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, and diplomatic crises that intensified the controversy surrounding the world’s most contested strip of land.
A quintessentially American story of a young man who refused to relinquish a dream—irrespective of the obstacles—and an inherently Israeli story about assuming onerous responsibilities, Ally is at once a record, a chronicle, and a confession. And it is a story about love—about someone fortunate enough to love two countries and to represent one to the other. But, above all, this memoir is a testament to an alliance that was and will remain vital for Americans, Israelis, and the world.

Praise for Ally
“The smartest and juiciest diplomatic memoir that I’ve read in years, and I’ve read my share. . . . The best contribution yet to a growing literature—from Vali Nasr’s Dispensable Nation to Leon Panetta’s Worthy Fights—describing how foreign policy is made in the Age of Obama.”—Bret Stephens, The Wall Street Journal
“Illuminating . . . [Oren’s] personal odyssey exemplifies the shift from a liberal and secular Zionism to a more belligerent nationalism.”The New York Times

“Provocative . . . Oren’s book offers a view into the deep rifts that have opened not only between Washington and Jerusalem, but also between Israeli and American Jews.”Newsweek
“[Oren is] one of the most uniquely qualified judges of this ever more crucial special relationship.”The Washington Times
“The diplomatic equivalent of a ‘kiss-and-tell’ memoir . . . informative and in parts entertaining.”Financial Times
“The talk of Washington and Jerusalem . . . an ultimate insider’s story.”New York Post

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Quotes & Awards

  • Astonishing . . . imbued with a sense of generosity, a sense that an American with an Israeli passport can genuinely love both countries deeply, even when those countries quarrel . . . The book gives us a blow-by-blow of a turbulent relationship between friends, with Oren at the heart of the drama. A big part of the book’s appeal is in its narrative texture—the late-night phone calls, the emergency meetings, the interrupted family trips, the tense summons at the State Department or White House, the strategy sessions at the embassy, and so on. It is Oren’s sharp storytelling mixed with his candid and insightful commentary that makes the book riveting. Jewish Journal
  • I don’t know that I’ve ever read a book quite as eye-opening as Michael Oren’s Ally, the bestselling historian’s stunning new memoir of his four years as Israel’s ambassador to the United States. For what Oren has written is an account of serving as a diplomat during a Cold War—the Cold War the Obama administration launched against Israel upon coming to office. . . . Ally makes it nerve-jangingly clear just how difficult a job it has been for anyone to serve as a guardian of the special relationship between Israel and the United States. Commentary
  • Oren has written the diplomatic equivalent of a ‘kiss-and-tell’ memoir, chronicling his years as Israel’s ambassador. . . . It is less sensational than the parts cherry-picked before publication. Yet it is informative and in parts entertaining. . . . The book is a useful account, if partial and partisan, of a unique time in US-Israeli relations, in which officials of both are criticizing each other with increasing bluntness. Financial Times
  • The talk of Washington and Jerusalem . . . I’m not sure that in the annals of diplomatic history there’s ever been anything quite like this astonishing account of Oren’s four years as Israel’s ambassador in Washington. It’s an ultimate insider’s story told while all the players save Oren are still in place. New York Post
  • Ally is an important read for those seeking to understand the complexities of the American-Israeli alliance. Unlike his previous two books, which were written from the perspective of an historian and became New York Times bestsellers, former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren’s latest book is based on his own personal experiences, perceptions and interactions with President Obama and the administration. The Huffington Post
  • [Oren’s] new memoir—an unprecedented case of a former public servant so quickly writing up sometimes intimate revelations on acutely sensitive core issues—does not describe an alliance. . . . Oren’s style is not excitable or melodramatic. In fact, he writes in a generally understated tone, with the measured sense of perspective you’d expect from a bestselling historian. So when he notes, as he does near the very end of the book, that last summer’s Israel-Hamas war left ‘aspects of the US-Israeli alliance in tatters,’ you take him seriously, and you worry. The Times of Israel
  • Essential reading for anyone that cares about the Middle East and the special relationship between America and Israel. . . . Oren is a respected scholar. Accuracy is his coin, and he has long been considered a fair and centrist voice in a conversation with few of them. Perhaps that’s why the White House and its supporters are so worried—and why they’ve inadvertently driven the book to the top of the charts. NY1
  • An amazing read. It is well-written—Oren is a historian—yet the book reads akin to a long-form daily newspaper, mixing politics, diplomacy, and current events. There is tremendous insight into the America-Israel relationship, and this is a must-read for anyone concerned about the State of Israel. . . . It’s a scary—yet seemingly realistic—observation from one of Israel’s highest profile representatives of the past few years. The Algemeiner
  • “When a brilliant, lucid historian such as Michael B. Oren [brings] the past back to life…it is a shaft of light in a dark sky.”

    Washington Post Book World, praise for the author

  • Ally effectively assaults the Obama hyperbole that ‘I am the closest thing to a Jew that has ever sat in this office.’ . . . Precisely because the meticulous Oren is fair and understated, his indictment is devastating. That’s why the Obama Administration has reacted defensively and harshly to the book. FrontPage Mag
  • Deft and pointed . . . The author proves a genuine, ardent advocate for the well-being of his beleaguered homeland and its ongoing alliance with the land of his birth. Even before its publication, Oren’s book has been attacked, based on culls of provocative pieces. Readers would do well to attend to the entire text of this fluent, important political memoir. Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
  • Michael Oren, Israel’s former ambassador to the United States, has written the smartest and juiciest diplomatic memoir that I’ve read in years, and I’ve read my share. The book, called Ally, has the added virtues of being politically relevant and historically important. This has the Obama administration—which doesn’t come out looking too good in Mr. Oren’s account—in an epic snit. . . . [Oren’s] memoir is the best contribution yet to a growing literature—from Vali Nasr’s Dispensable Nation to Leon Panetta’s Worthy Fights—describing how foreign policy is made in the Age of Obama: lofty in its pronouncements and rich in its self-regard, but incompetent in its execution and dismal in its results. Good for Mr. Oren for providing such comprehensive evidence of the facts as he lived them. Bret Stephens, The Wall Street Journal
  • Illuminating . . . Oren was by no means Netanyahu’s most truculent adviser, but his personal odyssey exemplifies the shift from a liberal and secular Zionism to a more belligerent nationalism. The New York Times
  • Unlike other diplomatic memoirs, which rarely disclose anything controversial, Oren’s Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide is provocative, as the former ambassador blames President Barack Obama for the sorry state of U.S.-Israel relations and much else that’s wrong in the Middle East today. . . . Oren’s book offers a view into the deep rifts that have opened not only between Washington and Jerusalem, but also between Israeli and American Jews. Newsweek
  • A book full of penetrating insights . . . [Oren’s] beguiling, surprisingly frank memoir not only gives us the reality of what achieving his dream entailed, but tells us what he went through in order to get there. . . . It is the product not only of Mr. Oren’s challenging ambassadorial tenure in Washington but of a life well lived as an Israeli and as an American, a combination which makes him one of the most uniquely qualified judges of this ever more crucial special relationship. The Washington Times
  • An irreplaceable trove of insight into what will one day be seen as a momentous historical turn . . . an insider’s account of the dramatic change of America’s behind-the-scenes policy toward the Iranian regime . . . Without ever slipping into hyperbole, the book’s measured narrative seems to confirm a lot of what the administration’s critics have been accusing it of: enabling the Iranian regime rather than really trying to stop it, while putting a vice grip on the increasingly alarmed Israelis. The Forward
  • [A] revealing new memoir . . . a carefully recalled, detailed and riveting first-hand account of how the Washington-Jerusalem ties have unraveled—undone by mistrust, mistakes, and missed opportunities . . . The cumulative effect is profound—a steady drumbeat of behind-the-scenes examples of diplomatic dissonance. . . . Adding to the impact is the fact that Oren is neither polemicist nor political partisan. The Jewish Week
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice

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About the Author

Michael B. Oren, an American-born Israeli historian and author, was Israel’s ambassador to the United States from 2009 to 2013. He has written two New York Times bestsellers—Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present and Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for history and the National Jewish Book Award. Throughout his career as a Middle East scholar, he has been a distinguished fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, a contributing editor to the New Republic, and a visiting professor at Harvard, Yale, and Georgetown. The Forward named him one of the five most influential American Jews, and the Jerusalem Post listed him as one of the world’s ten most influential Jews. He is a member of the Knesset and serves on its Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.