Why this book?
I have been teaching from this book for many years. Books about Israel are fraught with bias. Many are post or anti-Zionist. They do not represent Israeli mainstream and the Israeli perception of history. Anita Shapira is Israel’s foremost historian of Zionism who received the Israel Prize, the highest prize Israel confers on its leaders. She describes and explains the emergence of Zionism in Europe against the backdrop of relations among Jews, Arabs, and Turks. Shapira describes the challenges that Zionists had to face in Palestine and from 1948 onwards in the newly established state. Much of her research is based on primary sources: archival sources, including diaries, memoirs, and other documents. This book does an excellent work of explaining Israeli history, politics, and society.