Zionism: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover


1st Edition

By David Engel


230 pages

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Zionism is an international political movement that was originally dedicated to the resettlement of Jewish people in the Promised Land, and is now synonymous with support for the modern state of Israel. This addition to the Short Histories of Big Ideas series looks at the controversial and topical notion of Zionism from a balanced viewpoint, concentrating on where it came from, how it accomplished its goals, and why it affected so many people.


"This is a superb introduction to a crucial chapter in Jewish history for the uninitiated reader. In this engaging and highly accessible book, David Engel provides a concise, informative and lucid account of the history of the modern Zionist movement and its impact on both Israeli society and Israel's relations with Diaspora Jewry."

Yael Zerubavel, Professor of Jewish Studies & History at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and author of Recovered Roots: Collective Memory and the Making of Israeli National Tradition .

"David Engel's book is a masterpiece of brevity and insight, offering a sweeping survey of political Zionism from its 19th century inception, through its practical realization, to its standing in contemporary Israel. The debate on Zionism as the liberation movement for Jews everywhere is greatly enriched by this fascinating study."

Ronald W. Zweig, Taub Professor of Israel Studies at New York University and author of Britain and Palestine During the Second World War .

Table of Contents

I. The Idea of a “Jewish State”

A. Self-Representations of Zionist Origins

B. Jewish Settlement in Palestine before Zionism

C. Europe and the Near East Between Multinational Empire and Nation-State

D. The Origins of Jewish Nationalism

II. Crystallization of a Movement, 1881-97

A. New Jewish Immigration and Settlement Patterns in Palestine

B. Conflicting Concepts: Palestine as a Refuge and a “National Home”

C. The Beginnings of Western European Jewish Involvement in Palestine

D. Theodor Herzl and the Establishment of the World Zionist Organization

III. Zionist Diplomacy and Jewish Settlement under Ottoman Rule, 1897-1918

A. “Political,” “Practical,” and “Synthetic” Zionism

B. The Second Aliyah and its Impact on Zionist Development

C. The Beginnings of Zionist-Arab Friction

D. World War I, the Balfour Declaration, and the Rise of Palestinian Nationalism

IV. Growth of the Zionist Enterprise under the British Mandate, 1918-29

A. The Structure of the Mandatory Regime

B. Building Palestine's Economic Infrastructure

C. The Hegemony of the Labor Movement and the Revisionist Challenge

D. Building a New Jewish National Culture

V. The End of British-Zionist Cooperation, 1929-48

A. Arab Opposition Mounts; Britain Rethinks the Mandate

B. The Rise of Nazism and the Struggle over Immigration

C. The Idea of Partition and its Challenge to Zionist Thought

D. Britain as Enemy

VI. The Partitioned State, 1948-67

A. Proclaiming Independence and the 1948 War

B. New Tasks for Zionism: The Post-Holocaust Jewish World

C. Mass Immigration and Social Change

D. Israel’s Relations with the Arab World

VII. Greater Israel, 1967-

A. The Six-Day War and its Effects

B. Religious Zionism: Messianic Influences in Israeli Politics and Culture

C. The 1973 War and the Tribulations of the Peace Process

D. Facing the Palestinians

VIII. Towards a New Era?

A. Non-Jews in a Jewish State

B. The Impact of Globalization

C. Jewish or Israeli?

D. The Post-Zionist Debates

About the Author

David Engel is Maurice Greenberg Professor of Holocaust Studies, Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies and Professor of History at the Skirball Dept of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University. He is a Longman author (SSH: The Holocaust, 2000) and famous for his seminal work In the Shadow of Auschwitz (Uni North Carolina Press, 1987) and its sequel Facing a Holocaust (Uni North Carolina Press, 1993).

About the Series

Short Histories of Big Ideas

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General