Ronen Bergman’s ‘Rise and Kill First’ wins a National Jewish Book Award

17 January 2019

Ronen Bergman's Rise and Kill Wins Jewish Book Prize

Ronen Bergman’s Rise and Kill First is winner of the 2018 Gerrard and Ella Berman Memorial Award for History. In its sixty-eighth year, the Jewish Book Council awarded Ronen for his riveting inside account of Israel’s targeted killing programs.

Journalist and military analyst Ronen Bergman—praised by David Remnick as “arguably [Israel’s] best investigative reporter”—examines the targeted killing programs: their successes, their failures, and the moral and political price exacted on the men and women who approved and carried out the missions.

The National Jewish Book Award is the latest in a string of accolades given to Ronen’s international bestseller. The New York Times named Rise and Kill First one of their Most Notable Books of 2018, and called it “an exceptional work, a humane book about an incendiary subject.” Rise and Kill First was also one of Economist‘s Books of the Year, as “a thrilling narrative of extreme bravery and compromised morality.”

The Jewish Book Council says of Ronen’s Award for Rise and Kill First:

In its presentation of new information regarding previously known hits and misses, gleaned through meticulous research and interviews with key players on both sides of the continual military struggle, Bergman’s work is unquestionably authoritative. He succeeds masterfully in telling the tale of a nation reborn just seventy years ago, whose constant need to defend itself often brings it into conflict with principles of morality and democracy. The consciousness of this tension, and the extensive thought, negotiation, and effort by Israel’s leaders and elite soldiers to navigate it, make up the heart of this eye-opening account.