4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
An important thesis, but not repeated enough,
This review is from: The Tragedy of Zionism: How Its Revolutionary Past Haunts Israeli Democracy (Paperback)
Avishai has written an important work on the history of Zionism and its implications for the State of Israel as a democratic nation. His essential thesis is that Zionism was a revolutionary movement designed to create a state, but not to govern a state. Revolutionary Zionism should have ended following the founding of the State of Israel. Permanent features of a democratic government, like a written constitution, a bill of rights, separation of religion and state, should have been fixed. But Zionism continued after the founding of the Jewish state, much to the detriment of Israel's vision of itself and its view in the world. This is a good thesis, but Avishai does not repeat it enough, or work out its implications in a general sense. The conclusion spends too much time examining events from 1985, and the afterword, from 2001, does the same. Avishai should have written more generally about the topic near the end, making this work stronger and clearer for the reader.