Academic Studies Press
The Tel Aviv annual Purim celebrations were the largest public events in British Palestine, and they played a key role in the development of the urban Jewish experience in the Promised Land. Carnival in Tel Aviv presents a historical-anthropological analysis of this mass public event and explores the ethnographic dimension of Zionism. This study sheds new light on the ideological world of urban Zionism, the capitalistic aspects of Zionist culture, and the urban nature of the Zionist project, which sought to create a nation of warriors and farmers, but in fact nationalized the urban space and constructed it as its main public sphere.
“Shoham’s monograph presents fascinating new research that uncovers an important component of the building of Tel Aviv, the development of the Yishuv, and Zionism at large. His book would well enhance seminars on themes such as the development of Hebrew and Israeli culture, the formation of Tel Aviv, tourism and religion, and the intersections of nationalism, culture, and public space. He opens an important conversation on urban Zionism and provides significant insights into the development of Tel Aviv culture during the Yishuv. Shoham’s study is an essential addition to the field and enhances our understandings of Zionist culture and history.”
“Hizky Shoham combines fastidious attention to historical detail with considerable theoretical sophistication to make an important intervention in our understanding of the history of Zionism. Glancing through the prism of Purim carnivals in Tel Aviv, he reorients our gaze from the rural countryside to the city, as well as from the realm of politics to that of culture. The result is a path-breaking inquiry into Urban Zionism, an important and understudied phenomenon that blends the vaunted nationalist ethos of Zionism and the leisure culture of an emerging major city. All in all, a major contribution from a leading member of the new generation of historians of Zionism”