The Rise of the Individual in 1950s Israel: A Challenge to Collectivism

Overview

In this sharply argued volume, Orit Rozin reveals the flaws in the conventional account of Israeli society in the 1950s, which portrayed the Israeli public as committed to a collectivist ideology. In fact, major sectors of Israeli society espoused individualism and rejected the state-imposed collectivist ideology. Rozin draws on archival, legal, and media sources to analyze the attitudes of black-market profiteers, politicians and judges, middle-class homemakers, and immigrants ...

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The Rise of the Individual in 1950s Israel: A Challenge to Collectivism

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Overview

In this sharply argued volume, Orit Rozin reveals the flaws in the conventional account of Israeli society in the 1950s, which portrayed the Israeli public as committed to a collectivist ideology. In fact, major sectors of Israeli society espoused individualism and rejected the state-imposed collectivist ideology. Rozin draws on archival, legal, and media sources to analyze the attitudes of black-market profiteers, politicians and judges, middle-class homemakers, and immigrants living in transit camps and rural settlements.

Part of a refreshing trend in recent Israeli historiography to study the voices, emotions, and ideas of ordinary people, Rozin’s book provides an important corrective to much extant scholarly literature on Israel’s early years.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Rozin makes an important contribution to understanding how Israel moved from a society that emphasized national and communal needs first, to one that gradually allowed average Israelis to seek—and expect the state to grant—individual freedoms that steadily led to a rising standard of living and personal fulfillment. . . . A major contribution to Israeli social history. . . . Highly recommended.”—Choice

“[A] work of a cultural, social, and to an extent, political history, which shines methodologically in its critical discourse analysis. . . As much as it is a book about the rise of the individual in 1950s Israel, it is also a revisionist study of an era commonly remembered (and arguably mystified) by Israelis as extremely collectivist in ethos.”—H-JUDAIC

“Rozin’s book is a very useful source of well-collected information on the culture of austerity in early Israel, drawn from the period’s newspapers, speeches, testimonies, and government records.”—Israel Studies Review

“The numerous primary sources that this book includes, showing the stereotyping and racism employed by the elite in Israel against the immigrants, makes this book a major asset and important work for understanding Israeli society.”—Middle East Media and Book Reviews Online

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611680812
  • Publisher: Brandeis University Press
  • Publication date: 12/13/2011
  • Series: The Schusterman Series in Israel Studies
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 276
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

ORIT ROZIN is a lecturer in the department of Jewish History at Tel Aviv University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: The First Years
AT HOME AND ON THE STREET
Austerity: Desperate Housewives and the Government
Austerity and the Rule of Law
The Law Enforcement System
IN THE CITY SQUARE
Austerity Tested: The Local Elections of 1950
The Municipal Election Results and Their Significance
From Poll to Poll: The Elections for the Second Knesset
The Outcome of the Elections to the Second Knesset
SOMEWHERE IN THE TRANSIT CAMP
Terms of Abhorrence: How Old-Time Israelis Viewed Immigrants from the Islamic World
Parents, Parenting, and Children
The Construction of a Collective: Relations between Immigrants and Old-Time Israelis
Conclusion
Notes
References
Index

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