By Ben Halpern
Chaim Weizmann, steeped within the people tradition of the East ecu shtetl and the humanistic technology of important and Western Europe, used to be the ambassador of the Jewish humans to the English-speaking international. Louis D. Brandeis, nonetheless, was once referred to as the genuine exponent of Anglo-American civic tradition who gave his management at a serious second to the yank and global Jewish neighborhood. A conflict of Heroes stories the clash among those dominant personalities, each one of whom has been hailed by means of committed fans because the hero of an important period in fresh Jewish background. Halpern units the assembly, collaboration, and sharp clash among those males opposed to the moving heritage of an international at warfare and the shaky travail of revolution and reconstruction within the early twentieth century. via a comparability of 2 exemplary figures in Jewish management, Halpern paints a charming portrait of 20th-century Zionism and illuminates the advanced relationships among leaders and the general public and among Jewish nationalism and its prolonged atmosphere.
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Extra resources for A Clash of Heroes: Brandeis, Weizmann, and American Zionism (Studies in Jewish History)
They did not lose their sympathy with the Hibbat Zion agenda of continued settlement support or with Ahad Ha'am's cultural strategy when they committed themselves to Herzl's more daring program of political action. But they hoped that the Russian veterans would accept Herzl's leadership and the primacy of the WZO—even though they often 24 A CLASH OF HEROES sided with them against Herzl on particular matters. Such matters included not only ideological issues but questions of organization and personal differences.
This professional elevation also marked a significant, if subtle, change in his Zionist status. In Geneva, where an important colony of Jewish students was gathered, he figured as a senior member of the Zionist circle, no longer as in Berlin a junior adjutant. A new phase of growth, fostered as well by other circumstances, had begun. When Theodor Herzl issued his call for a Zionist congress, the young activists found the occasion they had been seeking to reinvigorate the movement. Others did not share such ready enthusiasm; their welcome of the new recruit was shaded with wariness of his leadership and alarm at his polemical stance.
Moreover, Weizmann was far from sanguine about the outcome of any frontal challenge to Herzl's authority; he hoped to work within a framework of autonomy that would enjoy WZO support. But the relationship to Herzl, always uneasy, soon ended in a rupture, which arose not over an issue of substance but over questions of personal loyalty. In 1902 Herzl's Utopian Zionist novel Altneuland was published and was promptly attacked by Ahad Ha'am as blatantly un-Jewish. Max Nordau replied in Die Welt on March 3, 1903 with a scathing, derisive, and deliberately insulting assault upon Ahad Ha'am: he undertook to deny him any right to be called a Zionist.
A Clash of Heroes: Brandeis, Weizmann, and American Zionism (Studies in Jewish History) by Ben Halpern