“Sharp, clear-eyed interpretations of Zionism’s winding past and volatile present and the shifting pieces of Israeli society.” —The New York Times Book Review
Tom Segev, Israel’s best-known journalist-historian, here confronts cherished assumptions about the country today, in the process tipping a number of sacred cows. Drawing on personal experience as well as all kinds of artifacts from Israeli popular culture—shopping malls, fast food, public art, television, religious kitsch—he puts forward his controversial view that the sweeping Americanization of the country, rued by most, has had an extraordinarily beneficial influence, bringing not only McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts but the virtues of pragmatism, tolerance, and individualism. Jumping into the fierce ideological battle over the future of Zionism, Segev welcomes the diffusion of ideology that has taken place in the last decade as the harbinger of a new spirit of compromise and openness.
At a time of crisis, as Israelis and Palestinians retreat to their most embattled positions, Segev’s sharp, colorful, and provocative book is sparking heated debate.