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Zionism: An Emotional State - a book talk and signing with Derek Penslar

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Zionism: An Emotional State - a book talk and signing with Derek Penslar

Monday, March 4, 2024
5pm to 6:30pm PT

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Building 360, Conference Room
Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE), 450 Jane Stanford Way Building 360, Stanford, CA 94305
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Praise for Zionism: An Emotional State

“Derek Penslar has written a brave and thought-provoking book that seeks to understand the well-springs of hope and belief in Zionism. Yet he does not shy away from less attractive passions, especially hatred in the name of Zionism and hatred of Zionism itself. Anyone keen to understand the way such deep emotions animate and shape history must read this compelling book.”

~Ruth Harris, author of Dreyfus: Politics, Emotion, and the Scandal of the Century

“Derek Penslar introduces a ‘new key’ to the history of Zionism with his examination of the emotions involved, helping us understand the passionate dynamics of both Zionist and anti-Zionist sensibilities as they have emerged and developed over time. This is a must read.”

~Ute Frevert, author of Emotions in History—Lost and Found

"Perhaps the finest book on Zionism written in recent memory. This slim, brilliant volume probes with rare equanimity every volatile corner of this topic with its focus squarely on why it generates such promiscuous, even universal heat. Derek Penslar is an outstanding historian who knows so well how to marshal knowledge of the past to illuminate the aching complexities of the present."

~Steven J. Zipperstein, author of Pogrom: Kishinev and the Tilt of History

Derek Penslar is the William Lee Frost Professor of Jewish History. He is the director of Harvard’s Center for Jewish Studies. He takes a comparative and transnational approach to modern Jewish history, which he studies within the contexts of modern nationalism, capitalism, and colonialism. His books have engaged with a variety of approaches and methods, including the history of science and technology (Zionism and Technocracy: The Engineering of the Jewish Settlement in Palestine 19870-1918, 1991), economic history (Shylock’s Children: Economics and Jewish Identity in Modern Europe, 2001), military history (Jews and the Military: A History, 2013), biography (Theodor Herzl: The Charismatic Leader, 2020), and most recently, the history of emotions (Zionism: An Emotional State, 2023). In two co-edited volumes, Penslar has brought Jewish studies into conversation with postcolonial studies (Orientalism and the Jews, [2005] and Unacknowledged Kinships: Postcolonial Theory and the Historiography of Zionism [2023]). Penslar’s current interests lie in international history, and he is writing a book about worldwide reactions to the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.