Available June 2008
The Returns of Zionism: Myths, Politics and Scholarship in Israel by Gabriel Piterberg:
Leading Israeli scholar with a major re-evaluation of Zionist ideology and literature.
In this original and wide-ranging study, Gabriel Piterberg examines the ideology and literature behind the colonization of Palestine, from the late nineteenth century to the present. Exploring Zionism's origins in Central-Eastern European nationalism and settler movements, he shows how its texts can be placed within a wider discourse of western colonization. Piterberg revisits the work of Theodor Herzl, Gershom Scholem, Anita Shapira and David Ben-Gurion, among other thinkers influential in the formation of the Zionist myth, to break open prevailing views of Zionism. He demonstrates that it was in fact unexceptional, expressing a
consciousness and imagination typical of colonial settler movement. Shaped by European ideological currents and the realities of colonial life, Zionism constructed its own story as a unique and impregnable one, in the process excluding the voices of an indigenous people—the Palestinian Arabs.
About the Author
Gabriel Piterberg teaches history at UCLA, and has taught at St Antony's and Balliol Colleges, Oxford. His previous books include An Ottoman Tragedy: History and Historiography at Play. He writes for the New Left Review and the London Review of Books.
Gabi Piterberg was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and grew up in Israel. He graduated at Tel Aviv University, where he majored in Middle East history and political science (BA), and Middle East and European history (MA). His D.Phil. in the history of the Ottoman Empire is from the University of Oxford. He taught at the University of Durham, England, and Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.