In the Shadow of Zion: Promised Lands Before Israel

In the Shadow of Zion: Promised Lands Before Israel

by Adam L. Rovner

Hardcover(New Edition)

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From the late nineteenth century through the post-Holocaust era, the world was divided between countries that tried to expel their Jewish populations and those that refused to let them in. The plight of these traumatized refugees inspired numerous proposals for Jewish states. Jews and
Christians, authors and adventurers, politicians and playwrights, and rabbis and revolutionaries all worked to carve out autonomous Jewish territories in remote and often hostile locations across the globe. The would-be founding fathers of these imaginary Zions dispatched scientific expeditions to far-flung regions and filed reports on the dream states they planned to create. But only
Israel emerged from dream to reality. Israel’s successful foundation has long obscured the fact that eminent Jewish figures, including Zionism’s prophet,
Theodor Herzl, seriously considered establishing enclaves beyond the Middle

In the Shadow of Zion brings to life the amazing true stories of six exotic visions of a Jewish national home outside of the biblical land of Israel. It is the only book to detail the connections between these schemes, which in turn explain the trajectory of modern Zionism. A gripping narrative drawn from archives the world over, In the Shadow of Zion recovers the mostly forgotten history of the Jewish territorialist movement,
and the stories of the fascinating but now obscure figures who championed it.

Provocative, thoroughly researched, and written to appeal to a broad audience, In the Shadow of Zion offers a timely perspective on Jewish power and powerlessness.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781479817481
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 12/12/2014
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Adam Rovner is Associate Professor of English and Jewish Literature at the University of Denver. He holds an M.A. from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Ph.D. from Indiana University-Bloomington. His articles, essays, translations and interviews have appeared in numerous scholarly journals and general interest publications. An accomplished public speaker, Rovner has addressed a variety of audiences in Canada, England, Israel, and the U.S. His short documentary on Jewish territorialism,"No Land Without Heaven," has been screened at exhibitions in New York, Paris, and Tel Aviv. Further information available at

Table of Contents

Preface xv
Introduction: They Say There Is a Land . . . 1
1. Noah’s Ark on the Niagara: Grand Island, New York 15
2. Greetings from the Promised Land: Uasin Gishu, East Africa 45
3. Angolan Zion: Benguela Plateau (1907–1914) 79
4. The Lost Jewish Continent: Madagascar (1933–1942) 117
5. New Jerusalem, Down Under: Port Davey, Tasmania 149
6. Welcome to the Jungle: Suriname (1938–1948) 183
Epilogue: Go to Uganda 219
Acknowledgments 229
Notes 233
Bibliography 295
Index 317
About the Author 323

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