The Making Of Modern Zionism

The Making Of Modern Zionism

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Author: Avineri, Shlomo

For eighteen centuries pious Jews had prayed for the return to Jerusalem, but only in the revolutionary atmosphere of nineteenth-century Europe was this yearning transformed into an active political movement: Zionism. In The Making of Modern Zionism, the distinguished political scientist Shlomo Avineri rejects the common view that Zionism was solely a reaction to anti-Semitism and persecution. Rather, he sees it as part of the universal quest for self-determination. In sharply-etched intellectual profiles of Zionism's major thinkers from Moses Hess to Theodore Herzl and from Vladimir Jabotinsky to David Ben Gurion, Avineri traces the evolution of this quest from its intellectual origins in the early nineteenth century to the establishment of the State of Israel. In an expansive new epilogue, he tracks the changes in Israeli society and politics since 1967 which have strengthened the more radical nationalist and religious trends in Zionism at the expense of its more liberal strains. The result is a book that enables us to understand, as perhaps never before, one of the truly revolutionary ideas of our time.