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The Labyrinth of Exile: A Life of Theodor Herzl Paperback – May 1, 1992

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Herzl (1860-1904), a Hungarian-born Viennese Jew, at age 35 transformed himself from journalist and dandified minor playwright to leader of the secular Zionist movement by dint of willpower and charisma. He emerges in Pawel's near psychobiography as a dictatorial, sexually repressed, cruelly misogynistic, arrogant fame-seeker who believed in his own legend and "channeled his self-destructive impulses into a self-transcending cause." Pawel ( The Nightmare of Reason ) shatters the icon of the bearded prophet with burning eyes; the figure that remains in this probing portrait is a great man, but not a likable one. Herzl, in this telling, rose above his elitist bias to create a democratic mass movement that spawned the nucleus of a future state. His "life of tragic grandeur which left much wreckage in its wake" is candidly re-created. Photos.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Pawel brings to his study of the first Jewish leader in modern times an intellectual energy and literary elegance that combine to make the book not only a masterpiece of its genre but an absorbing, indeed definitive, portrait of a prophet."--Alyn Brodsky, The Detroit News

"A spellbinding narrative...It is impossible to finish this book without feeling the exhilaration that comes from plumbing the depths of a powerful personality."--Jim Miller, Newsweek
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 572 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Reprint edition (May 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374523517
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374523510
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,352,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
Pawel attempts and largely succeeds at placing Herzl and the Zionist movement in its historical and cultural setting. He thoroughly and without sentiment unveils the conflicts and crises that drove Herzl to become the international leader of Zionism. The rise of Jewish nationalist sentiment and the personalities involved in its emergence are well presented. I especially enjoyed the depiction of the Vienna of Herzl's era. I recommend it for readers with an interest in the origins of the Zionist movement and its uniquely gifted leader, Theodor Herzl.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Simon Barrett 'Il Penseroso' on July 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
Amos Elon's 1975 work is considered the standard Life but by comparison seems rather novelised; this riveting read, about a decidedly bizarre yet wholly admirable gentleman, surely surpasses it
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The Labyrinth of Exile: A Life of Theodor Herzl
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