My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I read this one pretty fast.
To be honest, I was (am?) a complete disaster when it comes to Middle East contemporary history, Israel included. All my previous knowledge comes from scouring through a couple of Wikipedia articles and watching Waltz with Bashir (if you haven’t seen that movie, shame on you!).
In any case, a book with the catchy premise this one had really caught my attention. And it delivered. The facts were really well researched, and helped to throw some light on why a handful of circumstances have led Israel to be a start-up/venture capital/patents reference. I really wish my home country (Spain) could learn some lessons from the Israeli model.
The only point I don’t fully 100% agree is the need of a strong military/defense plan for a country to strive for innovation. The USA/USSR and their history prove me wrong once again, as does Israel. But I truly wish to believe that there is another way to foster R&D at gigantic steps, at a national level.
With what I do agree (and I know it might be controversial) is the need of a good down to Earth education before college. In Israel’s case, it is the IDF. In my case, it was elite basketball training during high-school, and the private high-school I attended. Those experiences, abilities learned, and networks developed have proven to be key in my adult life so far.