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The Founding Fathers of Zionism Hardcover – June 1, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1933267159 ISBN-10: 1933267151 Edition: 1st

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The Founding Fathers of Zionism + Jabotinsky: A Life (Jewish Lives) + Menachem Begin: The Battle for Israel's Soul (Jewish Encounters)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Balfour Books; 1 edition (June 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933267151
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933267159
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #296,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A brilliant, elegantly written work, highly original and personalin its portrayal of five of the most important of Zionist theorists,from Pinsker to Jabotinsky. The author...was himself an activist in the Revisionist Zionist movement and an aide to one the founders about whom he writes...-Michael Curtis, Rutgers University

About the Author

Benzion Netanyahu was born in March 25, 1910. He is an historian and a professor emeritus at Cornell University. He served as secretary to Ze'ev Jabotinshy, and was a Revisionist leader of the Zionist Movement in the United States. He has three sons: Yonatan (killed at Entebbe), Benjamin (Israeli Prime Minister, 1996-99, 2009-present), and Iddo.

Customer Reviews

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If you are interested in the history of Zionism, this is an absolute must read.
G. Weinstein
A must read for anyone who is interested in how an idea is articulated from one lonely leader to another until it finds its moment to appear and materialize.
Ellee Celler
Essential reading in order to understand the philosophy and principles of the Zionist movement.
Daniel Goldschmidt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Israel Drazin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Benzion Netanyahu is the perfect person to write this insightful book containing five scholarly essays on five of the most significant figures in the evolution of modern Zionism: Leo Pinsker, Theodore Herzl. Max Nordau, Israel Zangwill, and Ze'ev Jabotinsky. Netanyahu is the author of two other widely-acclaimed scholarly books about Jews and Spain: Don Isaac Abravenel and The Marranos of Spain. He is the father of two famous Zionist-oriented sons: Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Netanyahu who commanded the Entebbe Rescue Force and lost his life in Entebbe on July 4, 1976, and Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu who is presently the Prime Minister of Israel. Gefen Publishing House, the joint publisher of this volume, has books by all three of these men. This volume was a joint publication with Balfour Books.

Netanyahu points out that modern Israel is built on the intellectual foundations of Zionism's founding fathers, just as the United States is built on the principles formulated by America's founding fathers. The ideas that these five men taught Jews changed Jewish history, just as those taught by American fathers changed their country. These ideas have withstood the test of time. The insights of both are not relevant to their country alone; these men taught ideas that are important for all nations and people.

One of the many lessons that the Israeli Zionists taught is that it may be impossible to cause anti-Semitism to disappear, but people must realize that a strong Jewish State would give Jews the power to defend themselves. This lesson has been expanded today to an understanding that a viable Israel will help secure America and its ideals.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Vivian Lopez on July 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book very much. These four men were truly amazing people. Their personal stories are so well written. You definitely walk with an appreciation for the sense of vision these founding fathers had.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Goldschmidt on September 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Essential reading in order to understand the philosophy and principles of the Zionist movement. Important to understand the foundations of the State of Israel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stillwaters on July 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Must read! Informative, compelling and well written. I came away with a better understanding of the history of Zionism and the nation of Yisrael.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By kiwitech on May 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this book to be illuminating. I have always watched the various history programs on the founding of the Israel after the British left. This book has given me more depth on some of the people of strength and courage from that time.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By igal zuravicky on March 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book is written with a definite political agenda and a view point, but as such it fills a gaping hole in the story of Zionism which needed to be filled. Narrowing the founding fathers of Zionism to just five is a daunting task, and to include both Norau and Zangwill in this short list corrects an injustice caused by the left slant that has controlled the story telling and historiography of Zionism. To include especially Zangwill, given his almost complete absence in many other books on Zionism, is courageous. The documentation is scant to non-existing, but the fact that the book is based on work that dates back more than 50 years and judges the founding fathers in light of of the then contemporaneous events makes up for the lack of sources. This is a view of Zionism from the right side of the political spectrum, but it accomplishes some badly needed balancing of the prevailing left view point. It reads well and is worth reading.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Omer Belsky on August 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The late professor Benzion Netanyahu, father of current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was well known as a scholar of Judaism in the Middle Ages, and as a hardline right wing zionist ideologue. This book, actually a collection of essays, most of which were written before the foundation of the state of Israel, offers a partial view on some key personalities in Zionism, and especially in Revisionist (Right Wing) Zionism. The title itself is misleading - surely no list which excludes Chaim Weitzman and David Ben Gurion can be an account of "the" founders of Zionism, no more than a list of America's founders can be complete with only Jefferson, Madison and Monroe and without Washington and Hamilton.

Zionism is the ideology that the Jews are a people who deserve their own national homeland, like all other peoples. Early on, Netanyahu argues that the Jews had their "national consciousness... developed to its maximum degree". But such mystical notions are hardly elaborated upon, and no evidence is brought forward to sustain them. More plausiblely, later chapters locate the root of the Zionist ideology in the rejection of Jews by European society: Europe's Jews tried to assimilate to the nationalism of their host nations (they key figure here in German denker Heine); Failing that, they tried to oppose all nationalism in name of universalism (a movement epitomized by Marx) and only when this dream failed, the Jews turned to their own nationalism (e.g. Herzl).
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