Who By Fire: Leonard Cohen in the Sinai

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Who by Fire: Leonard Cohen in the Sinai by Matti Friedman examines Cohen’s surprise visit to the Israeli front lines of the Yom Kippur War in 1973. The tale begins with the end of the sleepy, laidback days of a group of boy and girl Israeli soldiers (“boy” and “girl” are the author’s chosen terms, and he explains why) as they were the first to be surprised in October of 1973 by the Egyptian Army. It contains never-before-published writings by Cohen himself, as he reflected on what was happening.

The book, for those interested in the early history of the modern state of Israel, is both quite nostalgic and informative. Friedman’s research includes accounts of those who were there at the time and had encounters with Cohen. He writes beautifully and compliments Cohen’s writings well. I was grateful for Friedman’s interpretations and analysis throughout the book, as Cohen’s original writings were a bit difficult for me to decipher. Different entertainers accompanied Cohen on his travels in October ‘73 and the book explores that aspect. There are also several wonderful pictures included.


Reviewed By:

Author Matti Friedman
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 224 pages
Publisher Spiegel & Grau
Publish Date 29-Mar-2022
ISBN 9781954118072
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue April 2022
Category History
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