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The Founding Fathers of Zionism 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1933267159
ISBN-10: 1933267151
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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.
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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: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #789,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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The book presents a great deal of interesting information and conjecture. The problem is that the conjecture is usually passed off as fact, which it may or may not be, in support of some position of the author. The writing style is dry and, therefore, I felt my reading experience was more a battle to persevere than an enjoyment. Notwithstanding, I'm still glad I read the book and believe that it sheds some light on the author's son, Bibi Netanyahu.
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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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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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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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This work is concisely written, and should be a foundational book for those who wish to trace the Zionist movement. The author, Benzion Netanyahu, was intimately involved with the Zionist movement, as he was secretary to Ze'ev Jabotinsky. I would highly recommend this beautifully written book.
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I learned so much about how the strand of a concept can be carried from one great and determined thinker to the next.
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.
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