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Book description

Book description
In A Living Revolution, James Horrox explores the foundations of the kibbutz movement, providing a detailed look at its early economic, social, and political organization. Based on newly translated letters, diaries, and essays by key figures, A Living Revolution uncovers a deep, explicitly anarchist strain running through the movement. This book illuminates a neglected aspect of Jewish history, taking serious issue with Marxists and other historians who see the kibbutzim primarily as progenitors of the Israeli State. It depicts anarchism as both an inspiring utopian ideology and a viable social practice. Praise for A Living RevolutionA brilliant study of anarchism in the kibbutz movement...Revealing the roots and processes of the influx of anarchist ideas and practices into the early Jewish labour movement, assessing the actual kibbutz practice and seeing the kibbutzim as both a model way to live and a set of experiments to learn from, Horrox gives this history the meticulous attention it deserves—Michael Albert, editor Znet and Z MagazineZionism has always been an overly complex phenomenon. From its very inception, it sheltered a plurality of radical ideologies, many of which remain inherently opposed to the nationalist and market-driven values that it has become synonymous with. If Jews are ever going to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, and bring a just peace to the Middle East, we will need to reacquaint ourselves with these traditions, many of which remain alive and vital today. Moving back in time to the inception of Israels kibbutz movement, ending up in the misery of the present, British journalist and scholar James Horrox does just that. Excavating Israels anarchist ideological heritage, Horrox illuminates a progressive political history that Israelis can actually be proud of and look to as a source of renewal, as natural to their politics as militarism and ethnic conflict. At a time when most literature of this kind follows the familiar path of critique and denunciation, James Horrox achieves the same results by going in the opposite direction. This is a deeply inspiring book that will make you think twice, and question the prevailing consensus that only right-wing politics work in Israel. — Joel Schalit, author of Israel vs. UtopiaThe defining influence of anarchist currents in the early kibbutz movement has been one of official Zionist historiographys best-kept secrets...It is against this background of induced collective amnesia that A Living Revolution makes its vital contribution. James Horrox has drawn on archival research, interviews and political analysis to thread together the story of a period all but gone from living memory, presenting it for the first time to an English-reading audience. These pages bring to life the most radical and passionate voices that shaped the second and third waves of Jewish immigration to Palestine, and also encounter those contemporary projects working to revive the spirit of the kibbutz as it was intended to be, despite, and because of, their predecessors fate.—Uri Gordon, author of Anarchy Alive!Interesting and informative...a refreshing reminder of the constructive possibilities of anarchist ideas.—Ruth Kinna, editor Anarchist Studies
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