I was looking for a comprehensive history of Zionism and this is the only book I found that fit the bill. Checked author's background and took note of Mr. Laqueur's credentials, such as, for example, his past employment as a "Professor of History and Ideas at Brandeis University". Considering credentials of this sort, I fully expected this book to be written from a certain point of view and therefore was not disappointed when my expectations were met.
The book is expertly researched and is a must read for anyone who wants to understand how the State of Israel came to be and the currents and ideas that led to its creation. The author went to great lengths to describe different political movements within Zionism. He is very thorough in his description of the political process and his portrayal of political figures.
Nevertheless, this book has several issues with it. To start with, the author does not interpret Zionism in the context of the rise of the nation-state model. Zionism was and is, fundamentally, a nationalist movement, and its first seeds came from Germany, which had just undergone unification. The rise of the nation-state had also, in many cases, institutionalized antisemitism and attached it to a larger platform.
Second, the author is openly partisan, with particular hostility toward Revisionists such as Jabotinsky.
Third, this book is primarily a history of political Zionism. I didn't think enough attention was given to the economic development of the land in years before the statehood, which is a fascinating story of achievement in and of itself.
I recommend this book for its competent, well-researched, reasonably comprehensive content. I found no good alternative on the subject matter.