Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn
Ecco/HarperCollins — Publication in October 2016
The first comprehensive yet accessible history of the state of Israel from its inception to present day, from “one of the most respected Israel analysts” (The Forward) living and writing in Jerusalem.
Israel is a tiny state, and yet it has captured the world’s attention, aroused its imagination, and lately, been the object of its opprobrium. Why does such a small country speak to so many global concerns? More pressingly: Why does Israel make the decisions it does? And what lies in its future?
We cannot answer these questions until we understand Israel’s people and the questions and conflicts, the hopes and desires, that have animated their conversations and actions. Though Israel’s history is rife with conflict, these conflicts do not fully communicate the spirit of Israel and its people: they give short shrift to the dream that gave birth to the state, and to the vision for the Jewish people that was at its core. Guiding us through the milestones of Israeli history, Gordis relays the drama of the Jewish people’s story and the creation of the state. Clear-eyed and erudite, he illustrates how Israel became a cultural, economic and military powerhouse—but also explains where Israel made grave mistakes and traces the long history of Israel’s deepening international isolation.
Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn offers us a brief but thorough account of the cultural, economic, and political history of this complex nation, from its beginnings to the present. Accessible, level-headed, and rigorous, ISRAEL sheds light on the Israel’s past so we can understand its future. The result is a vivid portrait of a people, and a nation, reborn.
Israel does not tell the history of the nation in deep detail—there are other excellent books that thoroughly examine specific incidents. Instead, it provides an understanding and context for major historical events that have shaped today’s Israel and 21st century politics, including the state of American-Israeli relations, the calls for European and American divestment, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and international terrorism, and the Iran nuclear deal.
The book’s publication coincides with the centennial of the Balfour Declaration, a turning point in Zionist history when the British Empire formally declared its support for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine.
Please click the thumbnails below to open PDF’s of Suggestions for Reading, A Guide for Book Clubs and Reading Groups, and Putting History on Trial (a guide for classroom teachers).