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(cover: Susan Erony)
The Impossible Takes Longer by Vera Weizmann as told to David Tutaev (125,000 words, 23 illustrations)
Vera Chatzman was born on November 27, 1881, in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don. She was a medical student soon to become a pediatrician when, in 1906, she married Chaim Weizmann, a chemist already involved in the Zionist movement. For the next 46 years of their marriage, Vera was his companion, hostess, critic and adviser, with an intimate view of Weizmann’s career as scientist, diplomat and Jewish leader.
In this memoir by the wife of a prominent man who held on to her own career, Vera Weizmann recounts momentous events in Zionist history and relates her impressions of personalities such as David Ben-Gurion, Vladimir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky, Albert Einstein, Isaiah Berlin, Harry Truman, Léon Blum and Arthur James Balfour.
“The late Vera Weizmann, the wife of Israel’s first President, spent most of her life at the centre of Jewish history, and this book evokes, vividly, if painfully, the various crises suffered by the Jewish people before they finally attained Statehood... [Vera Weizmann’s] intensity of feelings makes it a moving social document.” — The Observer
“... warm-hearted, engaging and often wise companion-volume to [Dr. Chaim Weizmann’s] magnificent Trial and Error... Its personal anecdotes... will enliven the Doctor’s more discreet paragraphs, and his carefully measured sentences.” — Sunday Telegraph
“Vera Weizmann was one of the most remarkable personalities of those who led the great phase of Zionist development... This book contains her memories as related to her editor David Tutaev. He has succeeded in presenting her vivid self-portrait. Vera’s charm, will, wit and broad humour are here unmistakable and authentic.” — Christopher Sykes, Sunday Times (London)
“The memoirs of Mrs. Chaim Weizmann are invested with the qualities of character, exacting civilized standards, and independence of spirit which her collaborator, Mr. Tutaev remarks upon in his memorial foreword (Mrs. Weizmann died in 1966 after approving proofs of this book). They reveal also that Mrs. Weizmann participated in her husband's public life fully and intimately; her book is a personal record of the Zionist movement at the highest level.” — Kirkus Reviews
“In an age dominated by the big battalions the individual with nothing but the moral force of an idea can still make an impact on the world given the will, perseverance and character. The memoirs of the State of Israel’s first First Lady exemplify this truth while presenting a vivid panorama covering eighty-five eventful years... Affairs of state, conversations with Churchill, Truman, Lloyd George, Smuts, Orde Wingate, rub shoulders with the worries of everyday life, proud boasts with frank admissions. It is a most personal and revealing document as well as saga of achievement.” — Birmingham Post
“Like Chaim Weizmann’s memoirs Trial and Error, it is a book that adds to history, and is the story of a miraculous achievement... [Vera Weizmann] records faithfully the principal political events affecting Zionism, and Chaim’s encounters with the statesmen and people who mattered in several countries. She has a talent for remembering good stories and witty conversations. Her book supplements the more political memoirs of her husband, adding picturesque details of the heroic period of Zionism, of the negotiations over years about the Balfour Declaration, and of the Jewish-English partnership in building the National Home.” — Jewish Chronicle