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27/09/2016

Books on Zionism and Israel: Suggested Readings

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Author: Gil Troy

A list of useful books on Israel and Zionism

 
ZIONISM
 
Arthur Hertzberg, The Zionist Idea: A Historical Analysis and Reader (New York, 1997) - a collection of different Zionist thinkers, a bit heavy for first timers but my favorite book on Zionism.
 
Walter Lacqueur, A History of Zionism (New York, 1997) -a straightforward, if somewhat long, look at the history of Zionism Shlomo Avineri, The Making of Modern Zionism: The Intellectual Origins of the Jewish State (New York, 1981) - a shorter and more readable series of profiles.
 
Alex Singer, Alex: Building a Life - the Story of an American Who Fell Defending Israel (New York, Jerusalem, 1996) - an inspiring story of a young man who lived the Zionist dream.
 
Yossi Beilin, His Brother's Keeper: Israel and Diaspora Jewry in the Twenty-First Century (New York , 2000) - a secular, dovish Israeli politician offers his reading of modern Zionism and its relevance.
 
Yoram Hazony, The Jewish State: the Struggle for Israel's Soul (New York, 2001) - a counter to Beilin, offering a passionate denunciation of post-Zionism and Israeli ideological decadence from the right.
 

JEWISH HISTORY

 
The Bible - the all-time, best-selling classic - try reading it cover to cover - great stories your Hebrew school teachers skipped over, and the best possible grounding.
 
Haim H. Ben-Sasson, ed. A History of the Jewish People ( Cambridge , 1976) - authoritative, but more encyclopedic than readable.
 
Martin Gilbert, Jewish History Atlas 2nd rev. ed. (London, 1976) superb view of Jewish history from maps.
 
Howard Morley Sachar, The Course of Modern Jewish History (New York, 1990) - an excellent overview of what shaped the modern world.
 
Mendes-Flohr, Paul R. and Jehuda Reinharz, eds., The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History (New York, 1980) - an amazing collection of documents.
 
ISRAEL
 
Howard Morley Sachar, A History of Israel: from the Rise of Zionism to our Time (NewYork, 1996) -very thorough overview. 
 
James Michener, The Source (New York, 1992) - don't be put off by its size. This is the classic first-trip-to-Israel historical novel, following the sweep of Israeli and Jewish history through the various layers of one archaeological dig.
 
Leon Uris, Exodus (New York, 1983) - the romantic view of Israel's founding, another classic historical novel.
 
Thomas Friedman, From Beirut to Jerusalem (New York, 1990) - somewhat dated, but still very interesting look at modern Israel.
 
David Shipler, Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land (New York, 1987) - another somewhat dated but very good look at the Arab-Israeli conflict.
 
OTHER SOURCES
 
(wherever possible, the latest, in-print edition is listed) 
 
Samuel G. Freedman, Jew Vs. Jew: the Struggle for the Soul of American Jewry ( New York , 2000).
 
Theodor Herzl, The Jewish State (New York, 1989).
 
Moses Hess, The Revival of Israel: Rome and Jerusalem, the Last Nationalist Question (Omaha , 1995).
 
Avi Shlaim, The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World (New York 2000, 2001).
 
Michael Walzer, et al., eds. The Jewish Political Tradition: Volume One: Authority (New Haven, 2000).
 
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