Land and Power: The Zionist Resort to Force, 1881-1948

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This book traces the history of attitudes toward power and the use of armed force within the Zionist movement—from an early period in which most leaders espoused an ideal of peaceful settlement in Palestine, to the acceptance of force as a legitimate tool for achieving a sovereign Jewish state.


"A rich and sophisticated work that nicely complements more conventional political-historical studies of the Arab-Israeli conflict. . . . Shapira sifts through a vast body of material, ranging from essays, poems, and memoir literature to the unpublished minutes of political party and youth group meetings. Shapira interprets these sources with sensitivity and insight . . . and writes with power, compassion, and warmth. . . . A landmark book that is an outstanding contribution to the history of Zionist political thought and culture."

American Historical Review

"This is a superb book . . . a well-researched, detailed, and scholarly account that provides new and valuable insights into the dilemma posed by the formation and elaboration of a more forceful Israeli military posture."

The Historian

"Shapira's powerful, well-written, lucid intellectual history of a segment of the Zionist movement . . . is fascinating and easy to read." —Journal of Economic Literature

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A rich and sophisticated work that nicely complements more conventional political-historical studies of the Arab-Israeli conflict. . . . A landmark book that is an outstanding contribution to the history of Zionist political thought and culture."—American Historical Review

"This is a superb book . . . well-researched, detailed, and scholarly."—The Historian

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Anita Shapira is Professor of Jewish History at Tel Aviv University.

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Table of Contents

I The Crystallization of a Defensive Ethos, 1881-1921
1 The Birth of a National Ethos 3
2 The First and Second Aliyah 53
3 The Emergence of the Defensive Ethos 83
II The Heyday of the Defensive Ethos, 1922-1936
4 The First Challenge, 1922-1929 129
5 The Second Challenge, 1929-1936 173
III The Shift to an Offensive Ethos, 1936-1947
6 The Arab Rebellion 219
7 Consolidation, 1939-1947 277
Conclusion: The Birth of the State 353
Notes 371
Glossary 416
Bibliography 423
Index 431
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2003

    An excellent study

    Anita Shapira has written here a careful study of the transformation of Zionist attitudes toward the use of force. She shows how the unrelenting hostility of the Arab world led the Jewish people to take up arms in a way they largely had not for over two - thousand years. As one who comes from the world of Labor Zionism she has a keen insight into the motivations and dilemnas of Israel's founding fathers, and subsequent generations.

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