In Search of Israel: The History of an Idea

A major new history of the century-long debate over what a Jewish state should be


Mar 24, 2020
5.5 x 8.5 in.
24 b/w illus. 4 maps.
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Many Zionists who advocated for the creation of a Jewish state envisioned a nation like any other. Yet for Israel’s founders, the nation that emerged against all odds in 1948 was anything but ordinary. Born from the ashes of genocide and a long history of suffering, Israel was conceived to be unique, a model society and the heart of a prosperous new Middle East. It is this paradox, says historian Michael Brenner—the Jewish people’s wish for a homeland both normal and exceptional—that shapes Israel’s ongoing struggle to define itself and secure a place among nations. In Search of Israel is a major new history of this struggle from the late nineteenth century to our time.

Awards and Recognition

  • Finalist for the 2018 National Jewish Book Award in History, Gerrard and Ella Berman Memorial Award