Zion­ism: A Brief History

Michael Bren­ner; Shel­ley Frisch, trans.
  • Review
By – June 26, 2012

In the ear­ly years, Zion­ism was a rev­o­lu­tion­ary idea. This brief his­to­ry, which reads like a his­tor­i­cal nov­el, shows how the ideas that were to become Zion­ism were forged, how those ideas were turned into real­i­ty, and how Zion­ism trans­formed the Jew­ish peo­ple into par­tic­i­pants in their own des­tiny.

First pub­lished in 2003, this expand­ed new edi­tion con­tains a much need­ed After­ward which deals with the assas­si­na­tion of Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Yitzhak Rabin, the rise of con­sumerism, the rise of right­ist par­ties, and the emer­gence of new polit­i­cal par­ties in today’s Israel.

One of the strengths of this work is that Bren­ner does not have an ax to grind, nor does he come with an agen­da. He is not a new his­to­ri­an who argues that Zion­ists oppressed the Arabs who were liv­ing in Pales­tine. He does not pro­pose that Zion­ist ideas and the real­i­ty of Zion­ism are not in tan­dem. Nor is he a right-wing his­to­ri­an try­ing to prove Israel’s role and right to cer­tain polit­i­cal ideas and places. Michael Bren­ner is a gift­ed sto­ry­teller who gleans the best sto­ries from a rich and dynam­ic cen­tu­ry. Those sto­ries just hap­pen to be true.

Mic­ah D. Halpern is a colum­nist and a social and polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor. He is the author of What You Need To Know About: Ter­ror, and main­tains The Mic­ah Report at www​.mic​ah​halpern​.com.

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