Morton was strict and sometimes taciturn, but never unapproachable to his men. In fact when off duty he was a devoted family man, living with his wife, Alice, in police quarters in the town.
He faced a fanatic, who had no compunction to kill when the need arose. When the gang needed money they robbed a bank and if Jews got in the way, they were murdered in the street. He assassinated Jewish police officers whom he regarded as traitors. Stern felt the greater need was to establish a Jewish state now. An attitude that upset official Jewish thinking at the time. So Stern had few friends while, as Bishop points out the search became relentless. Throughout the period of the hunt, for that Is what the book is about, the police come out of it well. But Bishop quotes his mind and does not hold back punches, there being some enigmatic situations not entirely satisfactorily explained, and doubtless if the officers were still alive a useful interview would have been helpful.
But finally Stern was trapped and Morton met his quarry for the first time. Book Description -. Condition: Very Good. The Reckoning This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering.
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The Reckoning by Patrick Bishop. On a cold morning in February , with the world plunged in the horrors of World War Two, Avraham Stern hid in an attic in Tel Aviv, a price on his head.
The Reckoning: How the Killing of One Man Changed the Fate of the Promised Land by Patrick Bishop
As leader of the Stern Gang, he had committed spectacular and murderous crimes, sparking outcry from both British and Jewish groups. An intellectual poet and mystic, Stern believed himself destined for greatness; the Jewish liberator of British Palestine. Drawn always to the margins — his writings were drenched in images of martyrdom and blood. Assistant Superintendent Geoffrey Morton, a middle-class Londoner who had swopped milk deliveries for the dangers of colonial policing, was the man tasked with stopping Stern.
Seemingly so different, in fact the men had much in common — ambition, dedication and conviction in his own righteousness.
A cat-and-mouse game between terrorist and policeman in Tel Aviv has a potent legacy
The incidents of that morning would be endlessly contested but two things were clear; Morton had cornered Stern and, minutes later, shot him dead. The shots Morton fired that day would echo down the remaining years of British rule in Palestine and through the titanic events that shaped the birth of Israel. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages.
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To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Reckoning , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jan 02, Steven Z. As Israel approaches new elections in March, the Palestinian Authority calls for further recognition in the United Nations, and Hamas still struts their weapons in Gaza, we find ourselves asking what is next for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
If there will be one state, it will be an Arab state. The other option is an Israeli dictatorship, probably a religious nationalist dictatorship, suppressing the Palestinians and suppressing its Jewish opponents. If we examine the ideological splits in Zionism at the time there were groups that favored the concept of some sort of Israeli government excluding Palestinians in Palestine. For Morton, Stern was a terrorist who was responsible for political assassinations of British officials, the murder of innocent Arabs, as well as Jews who became collateral damage.
Stern had evolved from a career as a promising poet in Poland, to an aspiring Zionist theorist, to an underground fighter. By he saw himself as a warrior prophet who believed that England was the main enemy of the Jews and the chief obstacle to a Jewish state in Palestine. Bishop provides biographical information for all of his characters and takes the reader through the politics on both sides. Bishop also explores the different factions within the British government, some who favored greater leniency toward the Jews because of their plight, and those like Morton who wanted to enforce the law as it was written and did not want to compromise.
The reader is taken behind the scenes reflecting solid research for each group and witnesses how decisions were reached and operations were planned. Bishop keeps the reader aware of events in Europe and how they impacted the region to promote further understanding of all sides. Bishop discusses the major actions taken by the Stern Group as it became known and its results. He details the British response to the violence and how it finally was able to kill Stern in February, It is the killing of Stern that forms a major focus of the book and the controversy that ensued.
Both points of view are given and to this day the controversy remains as to how Stern died. In trying to take a historical monograph that describes so many different characters, ideologies, and government edicts it is very difficult to try and fit it into the parameters of detective non-fiction. From the outset of the book, Bishop drops numerous hints as to his plot line and the coming death of Stern. The book is a useful addition to the vast bibliography that deals with the creation of Israel, but it does itself a disservice by trying to create a historical mystery.
Feb 23, Pirate rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: All. This is a gem of a book, beautifully written and engrossing. The irony is that in death as a young man like many others - fo This is a gem of a book, beautifully written and engrossing. The irony is that in death as a young man like many others - for cinema read James Dean, for poetry perhaps Keats -- it only enhanced Stern's standing whilst Geoffrey Morton became not quite an embarrassment but his refusal to see the 'political' picture and enforce the law whether they be Arab or Jew became inconvenient.
Whether it was 'murder' or justified Bishop presents both sides but it would appear to be very much the latter. Bishop portrays life in Palestine at the time vividly, the upside as well as the largely nervy negative and febrile atmosphere. Also his description of the 'realpolitik' as the British had to weigh up what was happening to the Jews in Europe with allowing mass immigration is brilliantly observed.
A moral conundrum that even Solomon would have had trouble deciding on let alone a foreign ruler such as Britain or its leader in place Harold MacMichael. There is a salutary note too for the present day Israelis in their declaring the Palestinians terrorists as two of their future Prime Ministers Yitzhak Shamir and Menachem Begin were exactly that indeed Shamir sided with Stern even when they tried to do a deal with the Nazis -- a fascinating anecdote which I had no idea about prior to reading this tome -- for as Stern said tthe British were the 'enemy' and the Germans the 'oppressors'.
Bishop has a beautiful turn of phrase and his research has been exhaustive there is a lovely remark made by Morton"'s headmaster at St Olave's Stogs as the alumni were called regarding his somewhat distracted pupil when he left "He can't smile a path to success. This is a timeless book but one I would heartily recommend to all. Dec 08, Barry Sierer rated it really liked it. While this book has been marketed as nonfiction written like a novel, the book is much more interesting for a different reason.
The coverage of the hunt for Avraham Stern is haphazard, and inconsistent, but then again, so was the hunt. Unlike other histories of the Middle East, the author gives much more detailed reasoning behind the target selection, and guerilla campaigns, of the Irgun and Lehi. Patrick Bishop's The Reckoning: Death and Intrigue in the Promised Land is a crisp, controversialist biography of Avraham Stern, the notorious leader of the Zionist Lehi Stern Gang which constituted the extreme fringe of the Israeli independence movement. Bishop's analysis is clear-eyed yet damning, cutting away the layers of myths and apologetics to show Stern as an unsettling combination of sincere idealist and fascist gangster, willing to use any unsavory tactics to achieve his goal.