'We shall live at last as free men on our own soil, and die peacefully in our own homes'
Theodor Herzl's passionate advocacy of the founding of a Jewish state grew out of his conviction that Jews would never be assimilated into the populations in which they lived. Herzl concluded that the only solution for the majority of Jews would be organised emigration to a state of their own.
Herzl's political and social plea was the result of centuries of restrictions, hostility and pogroms against the Jews of Europe. His revolutionary proposal for the solution to anti-Semitism was a Jewish state, where Jews could live in peace, free from persecution - and this hugely influential essay led directly to the creation of Israel.
GREAT IDEAS. Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.
Theodor Herzl (1860-1904) was born in Pest, Hungary and lived much of his life in Vienna. The creator of modern Zionism, Herzl worked as a journalist and polemicist, reporting on anti-Semitism across Europe. He negotiated with several governments over the location of a Jewish homeland, coming closest to success with schemes for settlement in Sinai and Uganda, but died before his ideas could be realized.