Gershom Gorenberg

Gershom Gorenberg -

is the author of War of Shadows: Code Breakers, Spies, and the Secret Struggle to Drive the Nazis from the Middle East, forthcoming from Public Affairs. Based on documents that remained classified for decades, War of Shadows demolishes myths of World War II in the Middle East and solves the mystery of the spy affair that nearly brought Rommel’s army and SS death squads to Cairo and Jerusalem.

Gershom’s previous book was The Unmaking of Israelon the crisis of Israeli democracy and how to solve it.  Named by Newsweek/The Daily Beast as one of the ten best books of 2011, it is available at bookstores and online at all the usual places. “Until I read The Unmaking of Israel,” wrote novelist Michael Chabon, I didn’t think it could be possible to feel more despairing, and then more terribly hopeful, about Israel.”

Gershom is also the author of The Accidental Empire:  Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977 (Times Books). Based on previously unpublished documents and extensive interviews, The Accidental Empire presents a strikingly new picture of Israel’s post-1967 history, of major Israeli leaders, and of Israel-U.S. relations.

His first book was The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount, which portrays the role of religious radicalism in the Mideast conflict. He co-authored The Jerusalem Report’s 1996 biography of Yitzhak Rabin, Shalom Friend, winner of the National Jewish Book Award, and edited Seventy Facets: A Commentary on the Torah from the Pages from the Jerusalem Report.

Gershom is a columnist for The Washington Post and a senior correspondent for The American Prospect. He has written for The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, the New York Review of Books, The New Republic, and in Hebrew for Ha’aretz. He will return to the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in 2021 to teach his workshop on writing history.

As a commentator on Middle East affairs and the interface of religion and politics, Gershom has appeared on Sixty Minutes, Nightline, Fresh Air and on CNN and BBC. He has lectured at the Council on Foreign Relations, the Carnegie Council, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the Middle East Institute, the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, and for universities, congregations and other organizations seeking an insightful view of politics, Mideast affairs and religion.

Gershom was born in St. Louis and grew up in California. After graduating from the University of California at Santa Cruz, he came to Israel in 1977 and earned an MA in education at the Hebrew University. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife, journalist Myra Noveck. They have three children – Yehonatan, Yasmin and Shir-Raz.

Contact Gershom at

Photo of Gershom Gorenberg by Debbi Cooper

The Accidental Empire

“The most complete book on the war’s aftermath. . . . Riveting.”
– David Remnick, The New Yorker

“Remarkably insightful . . . A groundbreaking revision that deserves to reframe the entire debate.”
The New York Times Book Review

“[A] masterly book … that could have served as a telling additional chapter in Barbara Tuchman’s The March of Folly.”
– Amos Elon, New York Review of Books

“A welcome corrective to standard accounts of Israel’s policies . . . Gorenberg’s book is a must.”
– Shlomo Avineri, Washington Post Book World

“Gorenberg’s account… is a classic case study of the arc of foreign policy misadventure in a democratic society.”
The Washington Monthly

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