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The Labyrinth of Exile

A Life of Theodor Herzl

Ernst Pawel

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

"At the age of thirty-five, the fashionable Viennese playwright and journalist Theodor Herzl fantasized about the collective conversion of the Jews in a mass ceremony at the cathedral of St. Stephen. By the time he died, a mere nine years later, he had redefined Jewish identity in terms of a modern secular faith and created a national movement which, within less than half a century, led to the foundation of the Jewish state."

So begins Ernst Pawel's remarkable study of Herzl. In The Labyrinth of Exile Pawel restores the vital link between the myth of the founding father of Zionism and the human being and demonstrates that the reality of Herzl's life is much more complicated and far more interesting. Legendary and all too human, Herzl remains one of the emblematic figures of modern times.

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Praise for The Labyrinth of Exile

"Pawel brings to his study of the first Jewish leader in modern times an intellectual energy and literary elegance that combine to make the book not only a masterpiece of its genre but an absorbing, indeed definitive, portrait of a prophet."--Alyn Brodsky, The Detroit News

"A spellbinding narrative...It is impossible to finish this book without feeling the exhilaration that comes from plumbing the depths of a powerful personality."--Jim Miller, Newsweek

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Ernst Pawel

  • Ernst Pawel was born in Berlin and lived in Yugoslavia before coming to the United States. He was the author of three novels and the award-winning The Nightmare of Reason: A Life of Franz Kafka.
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    The Labyrinth of Exile

    A Life of Theodor Herzl

    Ernst Pawel

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    Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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