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Old New Land

4.1 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1558761605
ISBN-10: 1558761608
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Altneuland (Old New Land) is one of the most remarkable books of the twentieth century. . . . Altneuland is a blueprint of the perfect Jewish state, a technocratic utopia, a socialist dream with all the advantages of capitalism, an idealistic colonial enterprise, a model of pure reason, a `light unto the nations.' It also helps to explain the extremism of some of those who rebel against the dominance of what is widely regarded as the arrogant West. "By the 1920s, in Herzl's tale, Jerusalem would be transformed into a thoroughly modern metropolis. . . . Arab and Jew would live happily together in the New Society, working in vast `co-operative syndicates.'. . . Herzl could not possibly have foreseen [the tensions to come], and yet the seeds of tragedy are already buried in this text, which was well meant, deeply idealistic, and in many ways typical of everything that people who feel so victimized by the West that they wish for its destruction fi nd most hateful. -- The New York Review of Books<br /><br />"Altneuland (Old New Land) is one of the most remarkable books of the twentieth century. . . . Altneuland is a blueprint of the perfect Jewish state, a technocratic utopia, a socialist dream with all the advantages of capitalism, an idealistic colonial enterprise, a model of pure reason, a `light unto the nations.' It also helps to explain the extremism of some of those who rebel against the dominance of what is widely regarded as the arrogant West. "By the 1920s, in Herzl's tale, Jerusalem would be transformed into a thoroughly modern metropolis. . . . Arab and Jew would live happily together in the New Society, working in vast `co-operative syndicates.'. . . Herzl could not possibly have foreseen [the tensions to come], and yet the seeds of tragedy are already buried in this text, which was well meant, deeply idealistic, and in many ways typical of everything that people who feel so victimized by the West that they wish for its destruction find most hateful." --The New York Review of Books

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Markus Wiener Publishers (December 30, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558761608
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558761605
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,365,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Late in life, Theodor Herzl wrote this book to explain his vision for a Jewish settlement in Palestine. He covered politics, religion, education, and social matters in great detail. For anyone interested in Zionism or the history of Israel, this is a must-read.

But Herzl was a frustrated (or failed) writer, and rather than write a straightforward tract, he wrote a novel -- and a novel that is rather like a play. While the factual information conveyed is fascinating and Herzl was a political visionary, he wasn't much of a writer. As a result, the plot of Old-New Land is rather mediocre.

One final note: The translation and editing of this book is TERRIBLE. The translation from German into English, done by Lotte Levensohn in 1929, is simply not very good. She used archaic or awkward expressions, even by the standards of 1929. The explanatory footnotes accompanying the the text are pathetic. They do nothing to clarify unknown terms or relate forgotten historic items. Instead, they enthusiastically point out how technologically and socially advanced modern Israel is, making reference to Herzl's proposals for the use of technology in Palestine. The typsetting is also riddled with typos or incorrect terms/translations. It's too bad that no publisher wants to issue a new, modern edition, and this is all the English-reading public has.

In sum: Five stars for importance, three stars for plot, and one star for translation and editing.
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While the content of Old New Land (Altneuland) gives a fascinating look into Hertzl's ideals for the development of a Jewish homeland, the Filiquarian edition makes reading continuity very difficult due to the tremendous amount of typographical errors. Often the typo does not interfere with the content of the text - modem for modern, or random periods throughout - but there are cases where the characters' statements are incomprehensible due to the error. Filiquarian Publishing, LLC offers no contact information on their website or within the book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This seminal novel from Herzl is unfortunately subject to numerous editing errors in this edition - there are punctuation, spelling, and formatting issues on nearly every page. I would give the book itself 4 stars, but this edition deserves negative stars; the publishing company should be ashamed to put a book out in this condition.
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By Andrew on September 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most interesting books I have read in awhile. It might have been easier to read then Der Judenstaat, Herzl's other book. The focus of both books is the same, to explain how Israel could be born at a time when the thought of it's creation was considered an impossible joke. But, this one is told as a novel which gives great insight into the life of Jews in Europe during the 1800's, while also lecturing on economics and politics. As a note: Zionism is the belief that the people of Zion belong at the place of Zion, and of this idea Herzl was not the creator, but maybe the long needed reviver.
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Format: Paperback
"Altneuland (Old New Land) is one of the most remarkable books

of the twentieth century. . . . Altneuland is a blueprint of the perfect

Jewish state, a technocratic utopia, a socialist dream with all the

advantages of capitalism, an idealistic colonial enterprise, a model

of pure reason, a `light unto the nations.' It also helps to explain

the extremism of some of those who rebel against the dominance

of what is widely regarded as the arrogant West.

"By the 1920s, in Herzl's tale, Jerusalem would be transformed

into a thoroughly modern metropolis. . . . Arab and Jew would live

happily together in the New Society, working in vast `co-operative

syndicates.'. . . Herzl could not possibly have foreseen [the

tensions to come], and yet the seeds of tragedy are already buried

in this text, which was well meant, deeply idealistic, and in many

ways typical of everything that people who feel so victimized by

the West that they wish for its destruction fi nd most hateful."

--The New York Review of Books
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

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