View Gallery

Available in

Aaronsohn’s Maps

The Man Who Might Have Created Peace in the Modern Middle East

List Price: $15.95

August 11, 2015 | Paperback | 6 x 9, 344 Pages | ISBN 9781619025592
Order Now From Indiebound

"[A] spry scholarly detective story... Goldstone honors both Aaronsohns, closing with notes on how Aaron's plans for equitable water rights in Palestine might have led to peace today." —Kirkus

Aaron Aaronsohn was one of the most extraordinary figures in the early struggle to create a homeland for the Jewish people. Brought to Palestine at age five, as a young man Aaronsohn was a rugged adventurer who became convinced during years of solo explorations that water should govern the region’s fate. He compiled both the area’s first detailed water maps and a plan for Palestine’s national borders that predicted and—in its insistence on partnership between Arabs and Jews—might have prevented the decades of conflict to come.

In World War I, he ran a spy network with his sister, Sarah, that enabled the British to capture Jerusalem but also made him the rival of his colleague T.E. Lawrence. There is evidence that beautiful, rebellious Sarah, who died tragically in 1917, was the only woman the enigmatic Lawrence ever loved.

Ultimately, Aaron Aaronsohn also paid for his devotion to the new nation with his life. A history that speaks directly to the present, Aaronsohn’s Maps reveals for the first time Aaronsohn’s key role in establishing Israel and the enduring importance of Aaronsohn’s maps in Middle Eastern politics today.

PATRICIA GOLDSTONE has been a reporter for the Los Angeles Times and has written for the Washington PostMaclean’s, and the Economist Intelligence Unit, among others. She is the author of Making the World Safe for Tourism and is an award-winning playwright. She lives in New York.


“[A] spry scholarly detective story… Goldstone honors both Aaronsohns, closing with notes on how Aaron’s plans for equitable water rights in Palestine might have led to peace today.” —Kirkus

[A] well-researched, resourceful, politically balanced… account of the life of the man who made the fatal mistake of taking issue with the leaders of the Zionist movement… Hers is the first true biography.” —H.V.F. Winstone, author of The Illicit Adventure

“How we got to the Middle East of today is at the heart and soul of Aaronsohn’s Maps by Patricia Goldstone. Goldstone has dug deep to come up with the bio of the agronomist, diplomat and spy who helped found Israel. There’s more than a touch of T.E. Lawrence in this child of Jewish settlers in Palestine: Aaron Aaronsohn’s spy network helped the British take Jerusalem in World War I; he compiled the first maps of water in the arid region; his sister, also a spy and possibly Lawrence’s lover, was captured and tortured to death. Aaronsohn died in a plane crash in 1919; his vision for a peaceful Middle East died as well.” —San Diego Union Tribune

“[O]ffers the intriguing notion that, had Aaronsohn lived, his unique survey of Palestinian water sources could eventually have facilitated a peaceful boundary with Lebanon and Syria.” —Library Journal

“Aaron Aaronsohn’s fascinating story will come as a major surprise to most students of Middle Eastern history… a tour de force.” —Winnipeg Free Press

Related Products