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The People, Food for Kings

Yitzhak Laor
In this monumental novel, Yitzhak Laor made a significant departure from the heroic depiction of the Israeli army. A dusty, neglected supply base in the Negev desert, several months before the 1967 Six Day War, reveals the army as a refuge for the wretched, humiliated dregs of Israeli society, brought even lower by military life. However, the soldiers of this base manage to disrupt and cancel the war, creating an “alternative history,” a State of Israel without the West Bank.
In the autumn of 1966, the commander of the army camp dies and the phlegmatic-absurd camp routine is shattered. “The new era began slowly,” explains the narrator as he launches into a vivid portrayal of the humiliations that begin when the new commander, Major Uri takes over. A born recluse, Major Uri imposes his power by targeting individual soldiers as his victims and issuing capricious commands that are later withdrawn. But the war never breaks out because a secret document with war plans reaches the supply base and the soldiers run away, altering the course of events. And yet, despite the novel’s black humor and cruelty, Laor creates beauty and poignancy, underscoring man’s greatness and humanity.

This is a great book from every point of view: it is one of the most humanistic statements of our generation.

Laor leads his characters into situations of intolerable intensity in this complex, demanding narrative. It is destined to become a cornerstone of our literature.
Al Hamishmar

One reading of this rare masterpiece it just not enough. Maariv

Partial English translation available (for publishers only)

The People, Food for Kings
Title The People, Food for Kings
Author’s Last Name Laor
Author's First Name Yitzhak
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Hakibbutz Hameuchad/ Siman Kriah
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1993
Publisher 2 (Hebrew) Yedioth Ahronoth
Year of Publication 2 (Hebrew) 2013
No. Pages 534 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Am, Maʹachal Melachim
Representation Represented by ITHL


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