Jabotinsky's Novels, and How They Relate to His Politics

Jabotinsky was the rare political leader who devoted as much time to artistic pursuits as to his political activities. What can be learned from them?

Vladimir Jabotinsky at Liverpool Street Station in London around 1940. FPG/Getty Images.

Vladimir Jabotinsky at Liverpool Street Station in London around 1940. FPG/Getty Images.

Response
Aug. 25 2021
About the author

Rick Richman is a resident scholar at American Jewish University and a frequent contributor to Mosaic. He is the author of Racing Against History: The 1940 Campaign for a Jewish Army to Fight Hitler (Encounter Books, 2018).

In “The Jabotinsky Paradox,” Avi Shilon writes that Jabotinsky had “one of the subtlest and most insightful minds in the history of Zionism.” He was “highly sophisticated” in his political thinking, with a “unique worldview” that was simultaneously “bold and sober.” But Shilon notes that Jabotinsky was a poet before he was a politician and suggests that Jabotinsky’s literary efforts—including two novels written at the height of his Zionist activities in the 1920s and 1930s—diverted him from a greater role in Zionism.

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

More about: History & Ideas, Israel & Zionism, Vladimir Jabotinsky