Plowshares into Swords
From Zionism to Israel
By Arno J. Mayer
(Verso, Hardcover, 9781844672356, 432pp.)
Publication Date: August 17, 2008
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This rich, authoritative history chronicles the Zionist Israeli quest from itsorigins in pre-Great War Europe. Plowshares Into Swords traces the development ofpolitical Zionism’s primal resolve to implant a state for Jews in aMiddle East of ever greater strategic importance. In it, Mayer provides newperspectives on key turning points as well as on such enduring issuesas the young country’s dire need for imperial protection, the oilimperative, the hidden ascendance of Jabotinsky’s martial andexpansionist canon, and reliance on the American Jewish and Christianevangelical lobbies. He examines, too, the post-colonial backlash against Westernsupremacy, the asymmetry of power between Israelis and Palestinians,the Zionist Israeli leaders’ studied prevarication on borders, and theemergence of political Judaism and political Islam.
Incorporatingreflections on founding violence, sovereignty, resistance, terror, andreligious politics, Plowshares into Swords is an absorbing, challenging narrative of Zionism and Israel in the context of world history.
Arno Mayer is Professor Emeritus of European History at Princeton University. His many books include The Persistence of the Old Regime: Europe to the Great War, The Furies: Violence and Terror in the French and Russian Revolutions, Plowshares into Swords: From Zionism to Israel and Why Did the Heavens Not Darken? The “Final Solution” in History.