Cover image for Spies in Palestine : love, betrayal, and the heroic life of Sarah Aaronsohn / James Srodes.
Spies in Palestine : love, betrayal, and the heroic life of Sarah Aaronsohn / James Srodes.
Publication Information:
Berkeley, CA : Counterpoint Press, [2016]

Physical Description:
xx, 203 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Who was Sarah Aaronsohn? -- Friends in America -- The three pashas -- Love and war -- Plagues of war and locusts -- Success and setback -- Sarah takes command -- Sarah gets her orders and NILI gets its name -- Sarah and NILI make a difference -- The net closes.


Library Branch
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
1 Bob Harkins Branch 940.4865694092 AAR SRO Book Adult General Collection

On Order



Sarah Aaronsohn was a twenty-first century woman in a nineteenth-century world. She and her siblings were born as part of the first wave of Jewish immigrants who fled the pogroms of Russia and Eastern Europe in the 1880s, settling in the province of Syria-Palestine. By the outbreak of World War I in 1914 the settlers had come a dramatic distance in creating the Eretz Israel of their Biblical prophecies. Sarah's home village of Zichron Ya'akov brought prosperity to their lands between the Mediterranean coast and the Mount Carmel range. But when the Ottoman Turkish Empire sided with Kaiser Wilhelm II and the other Central Powers in World War I, the Jewish settlements faced cruel oppressions.

This book describes how the Aaronsohns, one of the most prominent families in the province, came to commit themselves and their comrades to the Allied side and how they formed the NILI espionage organization to spy against the Turkish Army. Late in the war, in 1917, Sarah assumed command of the spy network as the group's penetration of the Turkish army reached a critical juncture. Sarah was idolized by T.E. Lawrence, the fabled Lawrence of Arabia who dedicated his flowery biography, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, to her.

Author Notes

James Srodes is the author of Dream Maker: The Rise and Fall of John Z. DeLorean, Allen Dulles: Master of Spies , Franklin: The Essential Founding Father , and On Dupont Circle: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and the Progressives Who Shaped Our World . He lives in Washington, D.C.

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