A History of Zionism: From the French Revolution to the Establishment of the State of Israel

Walter Laqueur

Publisher: Random House

Walter Laqueur traces the Zionist movement from its beginnings-with the emancipation of European Jewry from the ghettos in the wake of the French Revolution-to 1948, when the Zionist dream became a reality. He describes the contributions of such notable figures as Benjamin Disraeli, Moses Hess, Baron Edmond de Rothschild, and Sir Herbert Samuel, and he analyzes the seminal achievements of Theodor Herzl, Chaim Weitzmann, and David ben Gurion. Laqueur outlines the differences between the various Zionist philosophies of the early twentieth century-Socialist, Communist, Revisionist, cultural utopian-and discusses both the religious and secular Jewish critics of the movement. He concludes with dramatic accounts of the cataclysmic events of World War II, the clandestine immigration of Holocaust survivors, the tragic missed opportunities for co-existence with both the Arab residents of Palestine and those in the surrounding countries, and the struggle to forge a new state on an ancient land.

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