This first volume of Vital's trilogy traces the roots of the movement from its source in Jewish tradition, concentrating on the crucial formative period from the onset of the great East-West migration of European Jews in 1881 to the first World Congress of Zionists in 1897, which marked the emergence of Zionism as an organized political force.
"This is an excellent work on the East European origins of modern Jewish nationalism. It is fast becoming a classic of modern Jewish historiography."--Hillel J. Kieval, University of Washington
"A major event....Its peculiar virtue is rather as a synthesis, a considered statement by a humane and charitable historian. Such a work has been badly needed for some time....Vital's style, a blend of moderation and pungency, should guarantee this book a wide popular as well as academic readership."--Midstream
"Provide[s] the best available synthesis of the ideas and events which flowed together into the formal creation of the Zionist Organization in 1897."--Journal of Modern History
"A beautifully written and fact-filled history of the emergence of Political Zionism up to the First Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897."--The Jewish Spectator
"Reading [this volume], we can actually see the Jewish situation in the emancipatory era....At last a major writer has done justice to a major topic, and the work shines like a diamond in a heap of stones."--American Historical Review