The Plough Woman: Records of the Pioneer Women of Palestine

Edited and Annotated by Mark A. Raider & Miriam B. Raider-Roth

Cover of "The Plough Woman: Records of the Pioneer Women of Palestine" with historic photos of young Zionist women working the land.

These memoirs of young Zionist women who emigrated to Palestine at the turn of the century offer an intimate look at life of a veritable frontier.

Memoirists discuss tensions in communal living and disclose the hardships of working and raising families in isolated agricultural colonies. Nonetheless, their narratives show them to be keenly motivated by the vision of creating a Jewish homeland, an egalitarian society that would foster and celebrate individual growth sustain family life, and provide a secure future for all.

First published in 1932 — and long out of print — this new, fully annotated edition includes biographies of the book's original contributors, photographs, glossaries of terms and places and a map of pre-state Israeli society. The editors' new introductory essays establish the historical, literary, and psychological context for the memoirs; discuss women in Zionist history; and focus on the work and family issues vexing these early pioneers.

"This important book opens a new window into the lives and experiences of pioneer women, 'The Plough Woman' of pre-state Israeli society five us a new understanding of how women contribute to the interplay of ideology, family, work and community in building a new society. 'The Plough Woman' makes an invaluable contribution in bringing forward the voices of these remarkable women and allowing is to hear them in all their complexity. It is essential reading for everyone interested in women's lives and utopian visions." — Carol Gilligan, University Professor, New York University, author of "The Birth of Pleasure" and "In a Different Voice"

"This updated critical edition of 'The Plough Woman' shed light on modern Jewish history, the development of pre-state Israeli society and the role of women in contemporary life. The editors have performed a most valuable service in this detailed exploration of the public and private writings of Zionist women pioneers. The introductory essays are rich with insights about Jewish and Zionist history, the American Jewish experience, and feminism." — Anita Shapira, the Ruben Merenfeld Professor of Zionism, Tel Aviv University, author of "Land and Power; The Zionist Resort to Force"

About the Editors

Mark A. Raider, is the Chair of the Judaic Studies Department and Director of the Center for Jewish Studies at SUNY, Albany. He is also is author of The Emergence of American Zionism (1998) and numerous articles on pre-state Israel and American Zionism.

Miriam B. Raider-Roth is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at SUNY, Albany.