To understand the unique nature of Zionism, the political movement which revolutionized the marginal existence of world Jewry, the author grapples with its ideologues on their own terms. Deftly fusing biography and intellectual history, he charts two rival conceptions which encompass the various schools of Zionist thought. One focused on the dangers besetting Jews in their adopted countries, and optimistically asserted that this persecuted community would be restructured by sovereignty on its ancient soil and provided with a rmalized, Western existence. The other perspective, rooted in the people's centures-old attachment to the biblically covenanted Eretz Israel, emphasized the preservation of Jewry's singular identity in the projected commonwealth. The resolution of this dialectic, in the author's view, continues to remain open.
The Author: Monty Noam Penkower is Professor of History and Chairman of the Division of the Social Sciences at Touro College. His many publications include The Federal Writers' Project and The Jews Were Expendable: Free World Diplomacy and the Holocaust, which received the B'nai B'rith-A.D.L. Merit of Educational Distinction and the second Belkin Memorial Literary Award from Yeshiva University. He is a consultant to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, on the editorial board of Holocaust Publications, and a member of the Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society.