Desert in the Promised Land


Product Details

Stanford University Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 1.3 X 8.8 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author

Yael Zerubavel is Professor of Jewish Studies & History and the founding director of the Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She is the author of Recovered Roots: Collective Memory and the Making of Israeli National Tradition (1995).


"Written with passion, innovation, and clarity, Desert in the Promised Land makes an original and significant contribution towards understanding the deeper currents of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. By analyzing the role of the desert in Zionist ideology and the collective identity of Israel, Zerubavel adds new dimensions to her groundbreaking and acclaimed study of Israeli myths and memory, Recovered Roots."--Tom Segev "author of 1949: The First Israelis "
"In Desert in the Promised Land, space and memory, desert and settlement, are interwoven into a complex and fascinating portrait of Israel. Yael Zerubavel has written an engaging book that combines anthropology, culture, and history."--Anita Shapira "author of Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel "
"Yael Zerubavel has produced an important, original study of the multiple meanings of the desert in Zionist and Israeli culture. Ranging from the early twentieth century to the present, Zerubavel brings together a vast array of sources, which she reads with deep insight and describes in graceful prose."--Derek J. Penslar "author of Jews and the Military: A History "
"Desert in the Promised Land is not an academic exercise in abstract distinctions, but a 'metaphorical journey' through the collective Jewish Israeli imaginary drawing from literary narratives, educational texts, newspaper articles, tourist materials, films, popular songs, posters, photographs, and cartoons. Recommended to all academic libraries."--Roger S. Kohn "Association of Jewish Libraries "
"In a rewarding but not easy read, Zerubavel analyzes the complex meanings and varied perceptions of this desert for Jews before 1948 and for Israelis thereafter. She organizes her analysis as a metaphysical yet also a chronological journey through the symbolic desert landscape of space and meaning. The text moves from the ancient biblical story of divine revelations and of national birth of the Jewish people to the more recent tension between the themes of desert and settlement as opposing symbolic landscapes. Recommended."--B. Harris Jr. "CHOICE "