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Reviews of Zionism: A Brief History

“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 Afterword 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, Jewish Book Council

“A concise yet insightful survey … An accessible yet scholarly translation.”
Midwest Book Review

“… an excellent reference …”

“In this translation of the German Geschichte des Zionismus (2002), Brenner (Jewish history and culture, U. of Munich) explains the early history of the movement for the Jewish return to the biblical land of Israel, foundational myths, and the status of Zionism since the founding of modern Israel. Includes posters for the cause, and a chronology spanning from 1825 (proposal for a Zionist community in upstate New York) to 2002.”
Book News

“Prof. Michael Brenner’s brilliant short survey of one of the most interesting and embattled movements of the contemporary world is the most reliable introduction available in English into a subject that has become in recent years a matter of much controversy, very often on the basis of ideological prejudice or simply ignorance. This admirably objective review of a multifaceted movement deals both with its cultural and political origins and manifestations.”
— Walter Laqueur, author of The History of Zionism (1972)