Golda Meir The Romantic Years Author:Ralph G. Martin Golda Meir, one of the greatest women of this century, lived a life filled with extraordinary events, towering achievement, hope, courage, and conviction. Born in Russia in 1898, Golda Meir emigrated to America with her family when she was three. Raised in Milwaukee's Jewish community, she was headstrong even as a young girl, constantly fighting... more » with her mother and challenging her teachers. At fifteen she ran away to be with her sister in Denver and to start life on her own. As a young woman, she had great beauty, a full, firm figure, long lustrous hair, and a magnetic sparkle when she threw her head back to laugh.
"History has created the myth that Golda was tough, purely pragmatic. David Ben-Gurion had called her 'the only man in my cabinet.' She had steel when it was wanted, but beneath the steel was poetry, music, romance." The love affairs she had, revealed here for the first time, were with men of power, the pioneering giants of her time. They had opened doors for her, pushed her career, but she still had to prove herself, again and again. And she did. In this tight society, managed by men, she was the only woman, the only American, to break into their inner circle.
Yet though she was so strong-willed, her letters to these men she loved were passionate and tender, and made clear her longing and her loneliness. And greatest of all was her love affair with Israel. She yearned to see Palestine returned to the Jews, and she was willing to fight for it for the rest of her life. She settled in Tel Aviv, then moved to a kibbutz. In Golda's vision, "the kibbutz would form the spiritual core of the homeland. The idea was that the kibbutz would help their people grow into a nation living on their own soil as of right and not on sufferance, living in houses they had built, eating food they had grown."
Later she traveled the world to raise desperately needed money and worked closely with Ben-Gurion to mobilize the Israeli army. She lived through the fighting and the shelling of Jerusalem. She lived to join those who signed Israel's Declaration of Independence. And the rest is history.« less