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divdivThis timely book tells the fascinating story of how Zionists colonizers planned and established nearly 700 agricultural settlements, towns, and cities from the 1880s to the present. This extraordinary activity of planners, architects, social scientists, military personnel, politicians, and settlers is inextricably linked to multiple contexts: Jewish and Zionist history, the Arab/Jewish conflict, and the diffusion of European ideas to non-European worlds. S. Ilan Troen demonstrates how professionals and settlers continually innovated plans for both rural and urban frontiers in response to the competing demands of social and political ideologies and the need to achieve productivity, economic independence, and security in a hostile environment. In the 1930s, security became the primary challenge, shaping and even distorting patterns of growth. Not until the 1993 Oslo Accords, with prospects of compromise and accommodation, did planners again imagine Israel as a normal state, developing like other modern societies. Troen concludes that if Palestinian Arabs become reconciled to a Jewish state, Israel will reassign priority to the social and economic development of the country and region. /DIV/DIV
Scholars have struggled for decades to explain why Jews have succeeded extravagantly in modern science. A variety of controversial theories—from such intellects as C. P. Snow, Norbert Wiener, and Nathaniel Weyl—have been promoted. Snow hypothesized an evolved genetic predisposition to scientific success. Wiener suggested that the breeding habits of Jews sustained hereditary qualities conducive for learning. Economist and eugenicist Weyl attributed Jewish intellectual eminence to "seventeen centuries of breeding for scholars." Rejecting the idea that Jews have done well in science because of uniquely Jewish traits, Jewish brains, and Jewish habits of mind, historian of science Noah J. Efron approaches the Jewish affinity for science through the geographic and cultural circumstances of Jews who were compelled to settle in new worlds in the early twentieth century. Seeking relief from religious persecution, millions of Jews resettled in the United States, Palestine, and the Soviet Union, with large concentrations of settlers in New York, Tel Aviv, and Moscow. Science played a large role in the lives and livelihoods of these immigrants: it was a universal force that transcended the arbitrary Old World orders that had long ensured the exclusion of all but a few Jews from the seats of power, wealth, and public esteem. Although the three destinations were far apart geographically, the links among the communities were enduring and spirited. This shared experience—of facing the future in new worlds, both physical and conceptual—provided a generation of Jews with opportunities unlike any their parents and grandparents had known. The tumultuous recent century of Jewish history, which saw both a methodical campaign to blot out Europe's Jews and the inexorable absorption of Western Jews into the societies in which they now live, is illuminated by the place of honor science held in Jewish imaginations. Science was central to their dreams of creating new worlds—welcoming worlds—for a persecuted people. This provocative work will appeal to historians of science as well as scholars of religion, Jewish studies, and Zionism.
Tel-Aviv, the First Century brings together a broad range of disciplinary approaches and cutting-edge research to trace the development and paradoxes of Tel-Aviv as an urban center and a national symbol. Through the lenses of history, literature, urban planning, gender studies, architecture, art, and other fields, these essays reveal the place of Tel-Aviv in the life and imagination of its diverse inhabitants. The careful and insightful tracing of the development of the city's urban landscape, the relationship of its varied architecture to its competing social cultures, and its evolving place in Israel's literary imagination come together to offer a vivid and complex picture of Tel-Aviv as a microcosm of Israeli life and a vibrant modern global city.
Holy war, sanctioned or even commanded by God, is a common and recurring theme in the Hebrew Bible. Rabbinic Judaism, however, largely avoided discussion of holy war in the Talmud and related literatures for the simple reason that it became dangerous and self-destructive. Reuven Firestone's Holy War in Judaism is the first book to consider how the concept of ''holy war'' disappeared from Jewish thought for almost 2000 years, only to reemerge with renewed vigor in modern times. The revival of the holy war idea occurred with the rise of Zionism. As the necessity of organized Jewish engagement in military actions developed, Orthodox Jews faced a dilemma. There was great need for all to engage in combat for the survival of the infant state of Israel, but the Talmudic rabbis had virtually eliminated divine authorization for Jews to fight in Jewish armies. Once the notion of divinely sanctioned warring was revived, it became available to Jews who considered that the historical context justified more aggressive forms of warring. Among some Jews, divinely authorized war became associated not only with defense but also with a renewed kibbush or conquest, a term that became central to the discourse regarding war and peace and the lands conquered by the state of Israel in 1967. By the early 1980's, the rhetoric of holy war had entered the general political discourse of modern Israel. In Holy War in Judaism, Firestone identifies, analyzes, and explains the historical, conceptual, and intellectual processes that revived holy war ideas in modern Judaism.
The powerful, disturbing history of Nazi Europe by Mark Mazower, one of Britain's leading historians and bestselling author of Dark Continent and Governing the World Hitler's Empire charts the landscape of the Nazi imperial imagination - from those economists who dreamed of turning Europe into a huge market for German business, to Hitler's own plans for new transcontinental motorways passing over the ethnically cleansed Russian steppe, and earnest internal SS discussions of political theory, dictatorship and the rule of law. Above all, this chilling account shows what happened as these ideas met reality. After their early battlefield triumphs, the bankruptcy of the Nazis' political vision for Europe became all too clear: their allies bailed out, their New Order collapsed in military failure, and they left behind a continent corrupted by collaboration, impoverished by looting and exploitation, and grieving the victims of war and genocide. About the author: Mark Mazower is Ira D.Wallach Professor of World Order Studies and Professor of History Professor of History at Columbia University. He is the author of Hitler's Greece: The Experience of Occupation, 1941-44, Dark Continent: Europe's Twentieth Century, The Balkans: A Short History (which won the Wolfson Prize for History), Salonica: City of Ghosts (which won both the Duff Cooper Prize and the Runciman Award) and Governing the World: The History of an Idea. He has also taught at Birkbeck College, University of London, Sussex University and Princeton. He lives in New York.
The German-Jewish émigré composer Stefan Wolpe was a vital figure in the history of modernism, with affiliations ranging from the Bauhaus, Berlin agitprop and the kibbutz movement to bebop, Abstract Expressionism and Black Mountain College. This is the first full-length study of this often overlooked composer, launched from the standpoint of the mass migrations that have defined recent times. Drawing on over 2000 pages of unpublished documents, Cohen explores how avant-garde communities across three continents adapted to situations of extreme cultural and physical dislocation. A conjurer of unexpected cultural connections, Wolpe serves as an entry-point to the utopian art worlds of Weimar-era Germany, pacifist movements in 1930s Palestine and vibrant art and music scenes in early Cold War America. The book takes advantage of Wolpe's role as a mediator, bringing together perspectives from music scholarship, art history, comparative literature, postcolonial studies and recent theories of cosmopolitanism and diaspora.
Whether real or imagined, the past filtered through their collective memories has an influence on how Jews and Arabs perceive themselves. This work highlights the effects of historical memory on the Arab-Israel conflict, demonstrating that Jews and Arabs use stories of distant pasts to create their identities and shape their politics.

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