On Questions, Methodological Approaches, and Sources
The introductory chapter presents the main argument of the book, that the ascendancy of Zionism in British Jewry during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s is best understood as a particularly complex, but not untypical variant of the nineteenth- and twentieth-century trend to reimagine communities in a national key. It gives an account of the extant scholarship on British Zionism and adapts theories of nationalism so as to provide a suitable framework of analysis for diaspora Zionism. While modernist theories of nationalism promise an integrated interpretation of what has hitherto been explained within separate compartments, their use/application also presents a methodological challenge, since Zionism though generally considered a form of nationalism is rarely thoroughly investigated within the context of theories of nationalism.
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