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Publisher's Summary

A riveting story about the murder that changed a nation: the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin remains the single most consequential event in Israel's recent history and one that fundamentally altered the trajectory for both Israel and the Palestinians. Killing a King relates the parallel stories of Rabin and his stalker, Yigal Amir, over the two years leading up to the assassination, as one of them planned political deals he hoped would lead to peace - and the other plotted murder.

Dan Ephron, who reported from the Middle East for much of the past two decades, covered both the rally where Rabin was killed and the subsequent murder trial. He describes how Rabin, a former general who led the army in the Six Day War of 1967, embraced his nemesis, Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat, and set about trying to resolve the 20th century's most vexing conflict. He recounts in agonizing detail how extremists on both sides undermined the peace process with ghastly violence. And he reconstructs the relentless scheming of Amir, a 25-year-old law student and Jewish extremist who believed that Rabin's peace effort amounted to a betrayal of Israel and the Jewish people.

As Amir stalked Rabin over many months, the agency charged with safeguarding the Israeli leader missed key clues, overlooked intelligence reports, and then failed to protect him at the critical moment, in November 1995. It was the biggest security blunder in the agency's history.

Through the prism of the assassination, much about Israel today comes into focus, from the paralysis in peacemaking to the fraught relationship between current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama. Based on Israeli police reports, interviews, confessions, and the cooperation of both Rabin's and Amir's families, Killing a King is a tightly coiled narrative that reaches an inevitable, shattering conclusion. One can't help but wonder what Israel would look like today had Rabin lived.

©2015 Dan Ephron (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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What listeners say about Killing a King

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Tragic history well presented.

I want to focus on the narration. It is a real pleasure to listen to Assaf Cohen's excellent reading. He is clearly a fluent speaker of Hebrew whose pronunciations are smooth, accurate and beautiful. I find many Audiobooks on Jewish and Israel related topics rendered unlistenable by otherwise competent readers who massacre the Hebrew words in the books. I have often wondered why competent readers were not insisted upon by publishers and authors. I hope to hear Mr. Cohen's narrations again and I hope his choice represents a commitment to accuracy in narration.

5 people found this helpful

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Stunning narrative

Dan Ephron was the Jerusalem Bureau Chief for Newsweek magazine. Ephron did intensive research for this book. He searched through court records, obtained confessional material, conducted family interviews, and dissected police reports in order to piece together the story. The book narrows in on the rally during which Rabin was killed, and then shifts its focus to the murder trial of the assassin.

Ephron traces the parallel stories of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and his assassin Yigal Amir for the two years leading up to the assassination in 1995. Ephron examines the two men’s thoughts and actions placing them within the context of the anti-government rhetoric of the Israeli religious rightwing. Ephron shows how the assassination, with its far-reaching political repercussions, found a turning point for Israel, derailing the delicate peace process that had been in place.

Ephron attempts to interpret the lessons learned from the dissolution of the peace talks and speculates about how the Middle East might look today if Rabin had not been assassinated. I enjoyed the forensic drama at the end of the book regarding the mysterious hole in Rabin shirt. The book provides the reader with a better understanding of the political situation in Israel. Assaf Cohen does a good job narrating the book.

3 people found this helpful

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Well written

The writer has done his research, gathering the details to present a interesting book free from conspiracy theories based on facts and witnesses.
The Assassination happened when I was kid, and with this book I had the chance to know Yitzhak Rabin and what his vision for the future of Israel.
I liked the book.

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Politically bias, not objective

The last king of Israel was lead away in bronze chains to Babylon after having his family put to death and his eyes put out by Nebuchadnezzar. A respected leader but no king. The reason why the author would label the killers as libertarians. Land for peace works only so long as both parties want peace.

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Excellent chronicle of how a Israeli leader was killed

This book is about the Israeli prime minister Rabin’s assassination and why it occurred. Despite having a note worthy cast of Israeli people from the 1990s, the author makes this whole book easy to understand who they are, why they are important, and what they did. The writing is simple to listen and follow to in audio form. The story goes in depth and detail that doesn’t confuse listeners but aids them. The book has a weird end chapter where the author follows a minor conspiracy theory for too long and he doesn’t really show the extend in which Israeli society was shaped and changed by Rabin’s assassination beyond that people now cheer the killer’s motives. Also another weird but funny part of the book is when the narrator does voices during dialogue. It is especially funny when it is dialogue for women or Bill Clinton.

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Great insights on Israel's complex politics.

Covers well the assassination of Rabin and illustrates just how divisive Israel's political landscape is. Lessons for today as well.

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excellent book

I loved this book. I had not been familiar with this subject matter before so it was very intriguing to me. The author laid out an excellent process of developing the book plot and the reader was very very good. I highly recommend this audio book.

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Fascinating episode of recent history

Truth is stranger than fiction! The Israeli PM was killed not by one of many underground terrorist groups in an intricately planned operation...but by a casual gunman who just walked up and pulled the trigger.

Loved the narrator!

Great explanation of the complexities regarding views on the peace process and settlement building.

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Did Not Live UP to Expectations

The story could have been fascinating but it was written poorly and the performance of the narrator was spoiled by too much falses yiddish accents.

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History at Its Most Interesting

well told story of the struggle of Israel. This was very interesting perspective. Not found in many other publications.

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  • Melanie Preston Lewis
  • 10-19-21

Unbiased and refreshing

This detailed and insightful book into Rabin's assassination takes no prisoners. It's incredibly thoughtful and refreshingly unbiased and that is to Mr Ephron's credit. The unequivocal conclusion is that religious extremism in any form is an obscenity. But using religion as an excuse to murder fellow humans, is an evil abomination that makes me despair for our future. I wept then and I wept again hearing it now. The day hope died.

1 person found this helpful

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  • James
  • 04-17-22

Excellent.

The book itself is very well written and provides great context over the events that unfolded in the early 1990s.