The Lions’ Den: Zion­ism and the Left from Han­nah Arendt to Noam Chomsky

  • From the Publisher
January 1, 2019

In this live­ly intel­lec­tu­al his­to­ry of the polit­i­cal Left, cul­tur­al crit­ic Susie Lin­field inves­ti­gates how eight promi­nent twen­ti­eth-cen­tu­ry intel­lec­tu­als strug­gled with the phi­los­o­phy of Zion­ism, and then with Israel and its con­flicts with the Arab world. Con­struct­ed as a series of inter­re­lat­ed por­traits that com­bine the per­son­al and the polit­i­cal, the book includes philoso­phers, his­to­ri­ans, jour­nal­ists, and activists such as Han­nah Arendt, Arthur Koestler, I. F. Stone, and Noam Chom­sky. In their engage­ment with Zion­ism, these influ­en­tial thinkers also wres­tled with the twen­ti­eth century’s most cru­cial polit­i­cal dilem­mas: social­ism, nation­al­ism, democ­ra­cy, colo­nial­ism, ter­ror­ism, and anti‑Semitism. In oth­er words, in prob­ing Zion­ism, they con­front­ed the very nature of moder­ni­ty and the often cat­a­stroph­ic his­to­ries of our time. By exam­in­ing these left­ist intel­lec­tu­als, Lin­field also seeks to under­stand how the con­tem­po­rary Left has become focused on anti‑Zionism and how Israel itself has moved rightward.

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