Zionism and the Roads Not Taken

Zionism and the Roads Not Taken

Rawidowicz, Kaplan, Kohn
Noam Pianko
Distribution: World
Publication date: 06/03/2010
Format: Paperback 3 b&w photos
ISBN: 978-0-253-22184-1
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Today, Zionism is understood as a national movement whose primary historical goal was the establishment of a Jewish state. However, Zionism's association with national sovereignty was not foreordained. Zionism and the Roads Not Taken uncovers the thought of three key interwar Jewish intellectuals who defined Zionism's central mission as challenging the model of a sovereign nation-state: historian Simon Rawidowicz, religious thinker Mordecai Kaplan, and political theorist Hans Kohn. Although their models differed, each of these three thinkers conceived of a more practical and ethical paradigm of national cohesion that was not tied to a sovereign state. Recovering these roads not taken helps us to reimagine Jewish identity and collectivity, past, present, and future.

Author Bio

Noam Pianko is Samuel and Althea Stroum Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and International Studies in the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington.


“Offers new, original, and genuinely interesting readings of key figures in twentieth-century thought.”
 — David N. Myers, author of Between Jew and Arab: The Lost Voice of Simon Rawidowicz

“A brilliant and provocative work . . . persuasive and elegantly argued. The book makes a signal contribution to Jewish political thought by enlarging its scope and giving it back some of its rich, yet overlooked history.”
 — Deborah Dash Moore, author of G. I. Jews

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Table of Contents

1. Breaking the Sovereign Mold: Nation beyond State in Modern Jewish Thought
2. "Sovereignty Is International Anarchy": Jews, World War I, and the Future of Nationalism
3. Text, Not Territory: Simon Rawidowicz, Global Hebraism, and the Centering of Decentered National Life
4. Making American Democracy Safe for Judaism: Mordecai Kaplan, National Civilization, and the Morality of Zionism
5. From German Zionism to American Nationalism: Hans Kohn, Cultural Humanism, and the Realization of "the Political Idea of Judaism"
6. Zionism, Jewish Peoplehood, and the Dilemmas of Nationality in a Global Era


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