Book Information

Israel: A History

528 pp. 12 color maps. 6x9"
Paperback, 978-1-61168-618-0
Hardcover, 978-1-61168-352-3
E-book, 978-1-61168-353-0

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By Gideon Shimoni, in Studies in Contemporary Jewry v.28 [Oxford University Press]

By Alan Dowty, in Israel Studies Review 28:2 (Winter 2013).

"One Nation Under God," The Jewish Daily Forward

Israel: A History wins National Jewish Book Award.

"Adventure Story," Jewish Review of Books review

"Fascinating new one-volume history of Israel..." The Jewish Review

Shapira makes top 40 Jewish books of 2012 in Jewish Ideas Daily

Shapira cited in Huffington Post, January 10th 2013

"A Traditional Socialist Zionist Tale," review

Hebrew Bibliography

Click here for a set of recommended readings in Hebrew.

Israel: A History

Anita ShapiraIsrael: A History

Written by one of Israel’s most notable scholars, this volume provides a breathtaking history of Israel from the origins of the Zionist movement in the late 19th century to the present day.

Organized chronologically, the volume explores the emergence of  Zionism in Europe against the backdrop of relations among Jews, Arabs, and Turks, and the earliest pioneer settlements in Palestine under Ottoman rule. Weaving together political, social, and cultural developments in Palestine under the British mandate, Shapira creates a tapestry through which to understand the challenges of Israeli nation building, including mass immigration, shifting cultural norms, the politics of war and world diplomacy, and the creation of democratic institutions and a civil society. References to contemporary diaries, memoirs, and literature bring a human dimension to this narrative history of Israel from its declaration of independence in 1948 through successive decade of waging war, negotiating peace, and building a modern state with a vibrant society and culture.

Based on archival sources and the most up-to-date scholarly research, this authoritative history is ideal for course adoption and a must-read for anyone with a passionate interest in Israel. Israel: A History will be the gold standard in the field for years to come.

Winner of the National Jewish Book Award in History for 2012 and the Azrieli Award for Best Book in Israel Studies in English or French, November 2014.

ANITA SHAPIRA is Professor Emerita at Tel Aviv University. An internationally acclaimed scholar with a special interest in social and cultural history, Shapira has published pathbreaking studies on the history of Zionism, Jewish-Arab relations, and the state of Israel.

This book can be purchased in the United States and Canada directly through your university bookstore or Brandeis University Press.

In Europe, it can be purchased from Orion Publishing Group.

In Hebrew it can be purchased from the Zalman Shazar Center.

"Shapira sustains her readers' interest as she takes them along a road filled of twists of destiny that unfold in the miraculous story called Israel."—Jewish Book World

"Shapira has written what is in many respects an important, exhaustive and richly thoughtful march through the annals of Zionism."—Simon Schama, Financial Times

"A fascinating new one-volume history of Israel by the eminent Israeli historian Anita Shapira. . . Unlike other histories that often tell Israel's story by jumping from one war to the next, . . . Israel: A History captures the nation's diversity and cultural richness along with its existential struggles."—Jewish Week

[A]n indispensable guide. . . The author is at her best focusing on economic, social, and cultural history - she makes deft use of Hebrew literature to illuminate her points, and she succinctly captures the zeitgeist of the times." —Publishers Weekly

"This is surely a much-needed primer for an English-language audience that is often unaware of the intricacies of the country's social past, knowing only about the battles and intifadas that seem to make up its history. . . Shapira's accessible survey of Israeli history provides a though-provoking text for those unfamiliar with the Jewish state."—Jerusalem Post

"A definitive history of Israel for our time."—Israel Studies Review

"The best book in English on Israel's inner workings. . . Highly recommended."—Choice

This book was published by Brandeis University Press as part of the Schusterman Series in Israel Studies.