David Ben-Gurion has been, for more than half a century, inseparably linked with the building of Israel as the Jewish State. More than any other man he is responsible for Israel's existence today; to millions of Jews, he is the Churchill of Israel. The story of his life is, in a very real sense, the story of Israel and the centuries of a dream. This book unfolds the story of Ben-Gurion's life in his own words. How he arrived in Israel in 1906, when there was no question of nationhood but rather of holding on to some rocky fields against the Bedouins. How he served in the Jewish battalion in World War I, the first Jewish military unit since the fall of Jerusalem in 73 AD. How he participated in the implementation of the Balfour Declaration, finally opening Palestine to Jewish immigration. Why, some years later, he struggled desperately against Britain's reversal of this policy on the eve of World War II, when the Nazis were preparing their "Final Solution." How he supported the illegal immigration of the persecuted Jews into Israel. Why, in the face of insuperable odds, he so fought for Israel's independence against the British and then against the numerically superior and better equipped Arab forces of five nations. How he became the first Prime Minister of the new State, and why, after many years, he suddenly retired to the desert kibbutz Sde Boker and the simplicity of his early pioneering life. Even more intriguing are the persona l glimpses afforded by the Memoirs into the mind, heart, and character of this indomitable, complex man. Born in a Polish ghetto, immigrant to Palestine, farm laborer and pioneer, political organizer, statesman, founder of the Israel Defense Forces (and their first Commander-in-Chief), kibbutznik, and scholar. David Ben-Gurion has in the course of more than eighty years lived many lives.