Past books, including Sharon's own 1989 autobiography, Warrior: An Autobiography by Ariel Sharon and David Chanoff, closed the curtain on the former prime minister's life with a narrative that overwhelming focused on his actions in the military. Sharon ends Warrior with his resignation from the Defense Ministry, which he described as the result of betrayal by a government - and a people - who held him a scapegoat for their own failures.
"Strangely, I did not feel defeated," he wrote.
He spent the next quarter of a century proving that he could indeed move forward and remake his own story.
But it is only this fall that authors are putting forward a narrative of a man more in keeping with what recent polls reveal. Namely, that he is one of the more popular and beloved Israeli politicians.
In contrast, Uzi Benziman, the first author to write Sharon's biography, in his landmark 1987 book, Sharon: An Israeli Caesar, spoke of him as a man who "wreaked havoc" on the country. He described him as "deceitful, crafty, uncouth, egotistic and paranoid." He examined Sharon's military exploits, which in the 1950s, '60s and '70s had won him great acclaim, but also highlighted his insubordination to authority and the innocent Palestinian lives lost as the result of his actions.
In the second and gentler biography, Sharon, Israel's Warrior-Politician, written in 2002 by Anita and Jordan Miller and Sigalit Zetouni, the narrative moves away from Lebanon. The majority of the book, some 300 of its 567 pages, focus on Sharon as a diplomatic and political figure. But Miller and Zetouni are hesitant to give him a passing grade.
Their book ends in 2002, at the height of the deadlock in the Palestinian conflict, before there was a US-backed Road Map to create a Palestinian state and before Sharon withdrew from the Gaza Strip. It was a time of suicide bombings and Israeli military reprisals against Palestinians. The book ends with a question mark over whether Sharon would overcome his past and make the leap into statesmanship.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>