Land and Power: The Zionist Resort to Force, 1881-1948

Front Cover
Stanford University Press, 1999 - History - 446 pages
This book traces the history of attitudes toward power and the use of armed force within the Zionist movement from an early period in which most leaders espoused an ideal of peaceful settlement in Palestine, to the acceptance of force as a legitimate tool for achieving a sovereign Jewish state.


"A rich and sophisticated work that nicely complements more conventional political-historical studies of the Arab-Israeli conflict. . . . Shapira sifts through a vast body of material, ranging from essays, poems, and memoir literature to the unpublished minutes of political party and youth group meetings. Shapira interprets these sources with sensitivity and insight . . . and writes with power, compassion, and warmth. . . . A landmark book that is an outstanding contribution to the history of Zionist political thought and culture."

American Historical Review

"This is a superb book . . . a well-researched, detailed, and scholarly account that provides new and valuable insights into the dilemma posed by the formation and elaboration of a more forceful Israeli military posture."

The Historian

"Shapira's powerful, well-written, lucid intellectual history of a segment of the Zionist movement . . . is fascinating and easy to read." Journal of Economic Literature

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


The First and Second Aliyah
The Emergence of the Defensive Ethos
The Heyday of the Defensive Ethos 19221936
The Second Challenge 19291936
The Shift to an Offensive Ethos 19361947
Consolidation 19391947

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1999)

Anita Shapira is Professor of Jewish History at Tel Aviv University.

Bibliographic information