Beyond the Nation-State

The Zionist Political Imagination from Pinsker to Ben-Gurion

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Dmitry Shumsky
  • New Haven, CT: 
    Yale University Press
    , October
     2018.
     320 pages.
     $40.00.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9780300230130.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

A revisionist account of Zionist history, challenging the inevitability of a one-state solution, from a bold, path-breaking young scholar.

The Jewish nation-state has often been thought of as Zionism’s end goal.  In this bracing history of the idea of the Jewish state in modern Zionism, from its beginnings in the late nineteenth century until the establishment of the state of Israel, Dmitry Shumsky challenges this deeply rooted assumption.  In doing so, he complicates the narrative of the Zionist quest for full sovereignty, provocatively showing how and why the leaders of the pre-state Zionist movement imagined, articulated and promoted theories of self-determination in Palestine either as part of a multinational Ottoman state (1882-1917), or in the framework of multinational democracy.

In particular, Shumsky focuses on the writings and policies of five key Zionist leaders  from the Habsburg and Russian empires in central and eastern Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: Leon Pinsker, Theodor Herzl, Ahad Ha’am, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, and David Ben-Gurion to offer a very pointed critique of Zionist historiography.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Dmitry Shumsky is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and  former director of its Cherrick Center for the Study of Zionism, the Yishuv and the State of Israel.

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