In the Shadow of Zion brings to life the true stories of six exotic visions of a Jewish home outside the biblical land of Israel. Israel’s establishment has long obscured the fact that eminent Jewish figures, including Theodor Herzl, seriously considered settling enclaves beyond the Middle East. Christians and Jews, authors and adventurers, politicians and playwrights, and rabbis and revolutionaries all worked to carve out autonomous Jewish territories across the globe in remote locations, including Angola, Kenya, Madagascar, Suriname and Tasmania. The would-be founding fathers of these imaginary Zions dispatched expeditions to these far-flung regions and filed reports on the dream states they planned to create. But only Israel emerged from dream to reality.
In the Shadow of Zion explores this shadow history of Jewish nationalism, making this an important book for understanding the trajectory of Zionism. A gripping narrative drawn from the author’s travels and from his meticulous research in archives the world over, In the Shadow of Zion recovers the stories of these promised lands and of the fascinating figures who championed them.