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Land and Desire in Early Zionism
Boaz Neumann



The Schusterman Series in Israel Studies

Brandeis University Press
2011 • 264 pp. 29 illus. 6 1/8 x 9 1/4"
Israeli Studies

$35.00 Paperback, 978-1-58465-968-6
$85.00 Hardcover, 978-1-58465-967-9

$32.99 Ebook, 978-1-61168-015-7

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

(Cloth edition is un-jacketed.
Cover illustration is for paperback edition only)



“Neumann takes seriously all the earnest paeans to the land in the diaries and literary works of Zionist pioneers, understanding their passion for territory, both symbolic and concrete, as foundational to the Israeli enterprise.”—Tablet Magazine

A provocative look at the centrality of desire for “the Land” among early settlers in pre-state Israel

This innovative study examines the responses of early-twentieth-century pioneers to “the Land” of Palestine. Early Zionist historiography portrayed these young settlers as heroic; later, more critical studies by the “new” historians and sociologists focused on their failures and shortcomings. Neumann argues for something else that historians have yet to identify—desire. Desire for the Land and a visceral identification with it begin to explain the pioneer experience and its impact on Israeli history and collective memory, as well as on Israelis’ abiding connection to the Land of Israel. His close readings of archival documents, memoirs, diaries, poetry, and prose of the period develop new understandings—many of them utterly surprising—of the Zionist enterprise. For Neumann, the Zionist revolution was an existential revolution: for the pioneers, to be in the Land of Israel was to be!

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BOAZ NEUMANN is an assistant professor in the Department of History, Tel Aviv University.






Mon, 23 Jun 2014 12:53:37 -0500