On this week’s episode of the Seekers of Meaning TV Show and Podcast, former Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren discusses his new novel, Swann’s War, set in New England during World War II.
The Second World War is raging overseas, but life remains painfully quiet on the rugged New England fishing island of Fourth Cliff—an afterthought of an island now home to only
aged fishermen, drunks, and an Italian POW camp guarded by damaged and subpar
With her husband Archie, the island’s beloved police captain, off fighting in the Marines, Mary Beth Swann steps into his role, without the respect of Fourth Cliff’s hardscrabble residents. When a murdered POW surfaces in a fisherman’s net, and soon more bodies appear, Mary Beth’s hold on order and rule wears thin. She must rely on
the help of a simple-minded deputy, a disgraced doctor, and a mob-connected mainlander to find the person responsible…all while Swann’s loneliness, uncertainty, and self-doubt threaten to derail her investigation.
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About the Guest
Hon. Michael B. Oren
Michael B. Oren served as Israel’s ambassador to the United States from 2009 to 2013.
As Ambassador, he was instrumental in securing U.S. support for Israel’s defense and upholding Israel’s right to security and peace. The Forward named Ambassador Oren one of the five most influential Jews in America and the Jerusalem Post listed him as one of the ten most influential Jews worldwide.
Born in the United States and educated at Princeton and Columbia, Dr. Oren has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Yale, and Georgetown, and was a Distinguished Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem. He has received fellowships from the British and Canadian governments as well as a Moshe Dayan Fellowship from Tel Aviv University and the Lady Davis Fellowship at the Hebrew University. His last two books, Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East from 1776 to the Present and Six Days of War, were both New York Times bestsellers. He has won the Los Angeles Times History Book of the Year Award and the National Jewish Book Award.
In Israel, Ambassador Oren served as an officer in the Israel Defense Forces, in the paratroopers in the Lebanon War, a liaison with the U.S. Sixth Fleet during the Gulf War, and an IDF spokesman during the Second Lebanon War and the Gaza operation in January 2009. He acted as an emissary to Jewish refuseniks in the Soviet Union, as an advisor to Israel’s delegation to the United Nations, and as the government’s director of Inter-Religious Affairs. He was a gold medal-winning athlete in the Maccabiah Games.
Ambassador Oren and his wife, Sally, have three children.