Labyrinth of Exile

Ernst Pawel, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $30 (572p) ISBN 978-0-374-18256-4
Herzl (1860-1904), a Hungarian-born Viennese Jew, at age 35 transformed himself from journalist and dandified minor playwright to leader of the secular Zionist movement by dint of willpower and charisma. He emerges in Pawel's near psychobiography as a dictatorial, sexually repressed, cruelly misogynistic, arrogant fame-seeker who believed in his own legend and ``channeled his self-destructive impulses into a self-transcending cause.'' Pawel ( The Nightmare of Reason ) shatters the icon of the bearded prophet with burning eyes; the figure that remains in this probing portrait is a great man, but not a likable one. Herzl, in this telling, rose above his elitist bias to create a democratic mass movement that spawned the nucleus of a future state. His ``life of tragic grandeur which left much wreckage in its wake'' is candidly re-created. Photos. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
Paperback - 584 pages - 978-0-374-52351-0
Open Ebook - 572 pages - 978-1-4299-3331-5
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