How did a community of a few thousand Jewish refugees become, in little over a century, a modern nation-state and homeland of half the world's Jews?  Has modern Israel fulfilled the Zionist vision of becoming "a nation like other nations," or is it still, in Biblical terns, "a people that dwells alone"?

Alan Dowty distils over half a century of study as an inside/outside analyst of Israel in tracing this remarkable story.  It begins in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire, when Jews fleeing Russian persecution established a renewed Jewish presence in their historic homeland.  It continues through harsh struggle and in deep-rooted conflict with another people that sees Israel/Palestine equally as their homeland.  Immensely successful by most standards, Israel today remains a center of contention and is still torn between its hard-earned role as a "normal" nation and the call of its particularistic, and unique, Jewish history.

Show More
Buy Now


Order Exam Copy

For Lecturers Only

More Info
  • September 2021
  • 224 pages
  • 122 x 176 mm / 5 x 7 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $59.95
  • 9781509536894
  • Paperback $14.95
  • 9781509536900
  • Open eBook $14.95
  • 9781509536917
Table of Contents

About the Author


Introduction: Old-New Israel

1. The Zionist Revolution

2. Building a Community

3. Building a Nation-State

4. The Reassertion of Tradition

5. Oslo and the Ascendancy of the Right

6. The New Century: Impasse and Consolidation

Further Reading


About the Author
Alan Dowty is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame.
Show More


“A concise history of modern Israel, from the last decades of the 19th Century to the present. It presents a panoramic view of Israeli history, with special emphasis on the development of the Israeli – Palestinian conflict. A very readable, highly recommended book.”
Anita Shapira, Tel Aviv University

“In this compact yet authoritative volume, Alan Dowty has provided an outstanding introduction to Israeli history, in particular the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Measured in its tone and sympathetic to all sides, the book deserves a wide readership among the general public and can be assigned in a wide variety of college-level courses.”
Derek Penslar, Harvard University

“Professor Dowty does an outstanding job in summarizing history with unique understanding and rich suggestion of further reading.”
Jewish Tribune

Show More