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.
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.