Envoy to the Promised Land

Envoy to the Promised Land

The Diaries and Papers of James G. McDonald, 1948–1951
G., Mcdonald
Distribution: World
Publication date: 05/22/2017
Format: Hardback 12 b&w illus., 4 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-02534-0
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Just before Israel emerged as a state in May 1948, key United States officials hesitated and backtracked. Undersecretary of State Robert Lovett told Moshe Sharett of the Jewish Agency for Palestine that the US had expected a peaceful transition to dual states in Palestine. Now, war between Jews and Arabs and a broader regional conflict loomed. Apart from the Cold War repercussions, another mass slaughter of Jews would roil the US in a presidential election year.

James G. McDonald arrived in Israel soon after its birth, serving as US special representative and later as its first ambassador. McDonald continued his longstanding practice of dictating a diary, which remained for many decades in private hands. Here his letters, private papers, and exchanges with the US State Department and the White House are interspersed chronologically with his diary entries. Envoy to the Promised Land is a major new source for the history of US-Israeli relations.

Brilliantly describing the tense climate in Israel almost day by day, McDonald offers an in-depth portrait of key Israeli politicians and analyzes the early stages of issues that still haunt the country today: the disputed boundaries of the new state, the status of Jerusalem, questions of peace with Arab states and Israel's security, Israel's relationship with the United Nations, and the problem of Palestinian refugees.

These papers and diaries from 1948 to 1951 follow the widely praised Advocate for the Doomed (IUP), Refugees and Rescue (IUP), and To the Gates of Jerusalem (IUP). Together these four volumes significantly revise the ways we view the Holocaust, its aftermath, and the early history of Israel.

Author Bio

Norman J. W. Goda is the Norman and Irma Braman Professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Florida and author of Tomorrow the World: Hitler, Northwest Africa, and the Path toward America; Tales from Spandau: Nazi Criminals and the Cold War; and The Holocaust: Europe, the World, and the Jews, 1918–1945. He is author (with Richard Breitman) of Hitler's Shadow: Nazi War Criminals, U.S. Intelligence, and the Cold War and (with Richard Breitman, Timothy Naftali, and Robert Wolfe) of U.S. Intelligence and the Nazis.

Richard Breitman is Distinguished Professor of History at American University and author, most recently, of FDR and the Jews (with Allan J. Lichtman). His other books include The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution and Official Secrets: What the Nazis Planned, What the British and Americans Knew. He is editor of the journal Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

Barbara McDonald Stewart, daughter of James G. McDonald, has taught at George Mason University and is author of United States Government Policy on Refugees from Nazism, 1933–1940.

Severin Hochberg is a historian at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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Table of Contents

1. June – July 1948
2. August 1948
3. September 1948
4. October 1948
5. November 1948
6. December 1948
7. January 1949
8. February 1949
9. March 1949
10. April 1949
11. May 1949
12. June 1949
13. July 1949
14. August 1949
15. September 1949
16. October 1949
17. November 1949
18. December 1949
19. January 1950
20. February 1950
21. March 1950
22. April 1950
23. May 1950
24. June 1950
25. July 1950
26. August 1950
27. September – December 1950

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