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Beyond the Nation-StateThe Zionist Political Imagination from Pinsker to Ben-Gurion$
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Dmitry Shumsky

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300230130

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300230130.001.0001

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Theodor Herzl

Theodor Herzl

A Non-Jewish State of Jews

(p.50) Chapter Two Theodor Herzl
Beyond the Nation-State

Dmitry Shumsky

Yale University Press

This chapter examines Theodor Herzl (1860–1904), the founder of political Zionism. The very expression “Herzl, visionary of the state,” which has become common not only in Israeli public discourse but in academic discourse as well, contains more than a little anachronism. Here, the anachronistic approach creates an artificial dichotomy that disregards certain conceptual aspects of Herzl's thought while selectively emphasizing and isolating others. By way of comparison between Herzl's and Max Nordau's cultural–linguistic vision and the cultural–national conceptions of the Slovenian, Czech, Lithuanian, Norwegian, and other national movements of the nineteenth century's non-dominant nationalities, the chapter sheds new light on Herzlian Zionism as a cultural–national approach that is embedded in the historical context of its time.

Keywords:   Theodor Herzl, political Zionism, public discourse, Max Nordau, non-dominant nationalities, cultural–national approach

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