Brilliant Books of Israel in Vietnam

Start-up Nation - The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle, Let There Be Water: Israel's Solution for a Water-Starved World, Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn, Room for Rent... are well-written books about an extraordinary, enduring, and immortal Israel that are well received by Vietnamese readers.
November 02, 2023 | 07:17

In recent years, a large number of Vietnamese readers have been interested in learning about the Jewish people and Israel. As a result, companies and publishing houses have published many books about this country with diverse topics from history, economy, and culture, to education.

Start-up Nation - The Story of Israel's Miracle Economy by Saul Singer and Dan Senor is among the most famous books on Israel that have been reprinted many times in Vietnam.

Telling the story of the miraculous development of Israel's economy, the book has allowed Vietnamese readers to learn how Israel, despite difficult geographical and political conditions and no natural resources, has established more startups than any other country in the world.

Throughout the book, which consists of 2 parts and 14 chapters, are stories, lessons, and research of the authors on the history, culture, and people of Israel to discuss the innovation and entrepreneurship spirit of this country. Many startups operating in the field of technology have been mentioned by the authors, highlighting the creativity in implementing startup ideas to create a strong ecosystem.

Brilliant Books of Israel in Vietnam
Brilliant Books of Israel in Vietnam (Photo: Hong Anh - Thanh Luan)

Moreover, the book explains the difference between the Jews from the rest of the world. They have to participate in a strict military service regime, thanks to which many businessmen get matured in the army and succeeded in their fields.

Let There Be Water: Israel's Solution for a Water-Starved World is also a brilliant book about Israel published in Vietnam. Based on thorough research and hundreds of interviews, Seth M. Siegel describes how Israel has strived to overcome its own water crises and assist other countries in handling and conserving water sources. The plan, though seemingly crazy, has been implemented and created a water revolution such as the "national water pipelines" or expensive water pipes referred to as "champagne pipelines."

Those expensive pipelines were implemented through a "socialization" model that sought to engage society as a whole and the Jewish settlers abroad in a long-term vision of water governance. Techniques that seemed to be unimaginable in the 1960s - 1970s were applied effectively such as drip irrigation, nutrient irrigation, desalination, and wastewater reuse. Throughout the book is the message "Water is not a free thing,” which deeply ingrained in Israeli thinking nowadays.

In A Concise History of a Nation Reborn, the talented scholar Daniel Gordis has reinterpreted Israel's history in the most succinct and compelling way. Through the book, readers have a better understandings of untold stories about the country as the author delves into the analysis of major milestones, events, and challenges of the Jewish people in general and the country Israel in particular from the start of initial ideas about country restoration until they reunite in Jerusalem.

Not limited to history, economics, education and science books, Israeli children's books are also introduced to Vietnamese readers. Long Haired Cat Boy Cub or the best seller children's book Room for Rent, The Soul Bird... are part of the cooperation project in reading culture between the Embassy of Israel in Vietnam and Kim Dong Publishing House.

Leah Goldberg's Room for Rent is a special book. Having only 24 pages, it has been on the bestseller list in Israel for the past 50 years and translated into many languages around the world. The book tells stories in poetry – a seemingly simple form, but very difficult to successfully translate. Keeping the spirit of the original work, Vietnamese poems are both melodious and fun to read, making the story and the characters, even from a different country and created over a long time, appear cute, and alive with timeless messages of friendship and love.

Above are four of more than dozens of books about the country and people of Israel introduced by the Israeli Embassy and published in Vietnam. Besides, there are other “bedside” books from Israel such as Ben-Gurion: A Biography, The Horse Entering the Bar, and Someone to Run with.

Books about Israel and by Israeli authors also attract interest from publishers beyond the Israeli Embassy. One notable example is Yuval Noah Harari's historical work Unstoppable Us, which was translated by the 10-year-old prodigy translator, Lily. This illustrates that people-to-people exchanges through culture and literature between the two countries are increasingly expanding and valued.

Through these books, Vietnamese readers gain a deeper understanding of the character, spirit, and knowledge of the Jewish people. Thereby, each reader can somewhat find the answer to the question: Why does Israel, a nation that makes up only a very small percentage (0.2%) of the world's population, have so many excellent scientists, and receive 30% of the Nobel Prizes in the fields of physics, chemistry, economics, and medicine since the beginning of the 20th century? From that, they have more sentiment for the country and people of Israel, contributing to strengthening the friendship and solidarity between the two countries.

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