Adam LeBor

Seeds of Discord

Killing a King: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin & the Remaking of Israel


W W Norton 304pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

‘What if?’ is the great question of history, all the more so for being unanswerable. What if Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s driver had not taken a wrong turn and stalled the engine in June 1914 in Sarajevo, thus denying Gavrilo Princip the opportunity to open fire and kill the Habsburg heir? What if Hitler had been assassinated in, say, 1938?

The murder of Yitzhak Rabin, then prime minister of Israel, on 4 November 1995, well within living memory, shaped the destiny of a nation – indeed a region – and prompts similar speculation. Rabin’s greatest political achievement was the signing of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation in Washington, DC, in 1993. The television footage of the Israeli prime minister shaking hands with Yasser Arafat remains electrifying, though Rabin – and presumably Arafat – had their private doubts. ‘No kissing,’ insisted Rabin.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,