Chapter

Herzl's Place in Zionist Historiography

Yossi Goldstein

in Studies in Contemporary Jewry: XI: Values, Interests, and Identity

Published in print May 1996 | ISBN: 9780195103311
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854585 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195103311.003.0012

Series: Studies in Contemporary Jewry

Herzl's Place in Zionist Historiography

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Zionist historiography is not blessed with an abundance of biographies. However, more than forty biographies and monographs on Theodor Herzl have appeared. Herzl's attractiveness to the biographer or essayist is clear: his Zionist activity and his success in establishing the World Zionist Organization. It is not surprising that the abundance of biographies is matched by a broad range of interpretations of Herzl's life. In 1934 the first edition Alex Bein's biography of Herzl appeared in Vienna and years afterward would be considered the definitive account. According to Bein, Herzl founded Zionism and endeavored to implement its programs almost singlehandedly. One of Bein's innovations was his attempt to furnish psychological explanations for Herzl's behavior. Peter Loewenberg adduced psychological explanations to analyze Herzl's historical developmnet and evoked psychology as his sole analytical tool. Several biographies of Herzl were published including that of Stewart Desmond, Steven Beller, Leon Kellner, Andrew Handler, Jacques Kornberg, and Ernst Pawel.

Keywords: Zionism; historiography; Theodor Herzl; Alex Bein; Peter Loewenberg; Stewart Desmond; Steven Beller; Jacques Kornberg; biographies; World Zionist Organization

Chapter.  4991 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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