By Ben Halpern
Chaim Weizmann, steeped within the people tradition of the East eu shtetl and the humanistic technology of relevant and Western Europe, used to be the ambassador of the Jewish humans to the English-speaking global. Louis D. Brandeis, nevertheless, used to be often called the real exponent of Anglo-American civic tradition who gave his management at a severe second to the yankee and international Jewish group. A conflict of Heroes reviews 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 transferring heritage of a global at battle 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 captivating portrait of 20th-century Zionism and illuminates the complicated relationships among leaders and the general public and among Jewish nationalism and its prolonged setting.
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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.
He reported the scene in Pinsk in terms verging on disgust, deriding its intellectual life, decrying its moral deficiencies, and mentioning efforts to effect improvements by himself and his Zionist friends in alternating outbursts of pride and despair. The fact that his return to Pinsk had been forced, not chosen (since his father's difficulties in supporting him in Berlin had compelled it), no doubt contributed to Weizmann's besetting gloom. But it is equally clear from his letters that he now saw himself as a Russian-Jewish intellectual, shaped in the mold of his Berlin friends; this ideal made him take a very contemptuous view of the common run of Russian Jews—of their plutocratic leaders as well as their toiling (or wheeling-dealing) masses, of their traditionalists as well as their assimilationists.
He cited as reasons personal problems that beset him and also his doubts whether a "homogeneous" group would be available to bring such a meeting to a successful conclusion. The issue of homogeneous participation at the meeting was a policy difference between the two men, arising less from opposing conceptions than from diverging personal situations. Weizmann, taking up the organization of a youth conference from his base in Geneva, extended his range to cover Zionist youth groups in Russia as well as the Western universities, whereas Motzkin was absorbed in a battle then being fought by his Berlin society.