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In the Shadow of Zion


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Contents Preface xv Introduction: They Say There Is a Land ... 1 1. Noah's Ark on the Niagara: Grand Island, New York 15 (1818-1848) 2. Greetings from the Promised Land: Uasin Gishu, East Africa 45 (1903-1905) 3. Angolan Zion: Benguela Plateau (1907-1914) 79 4. The Lost Jewish Continent: Madagascar (1933-1942) 117 5. New Jerusalem, Down Under: Port Davey, Tasmania 149 (1940-1945) 6. Welcome to the Jungle: Suriname (1938-1948) 183 Epilogue: Go to Uganda 219 Acknowledgments 229 Notes 233 Bibliography 295 Index 317 About the Author 323

About the Author

Adam Rovner is Associate Professor of English and Jewish Literature at the University of Denver. He holds an M.A. from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Ph.D. from Indiana University-Bloomington. His articles, essays, translations and interviews have appeared in numerous scholarly journals and general interest publications. An accomplished public speaker, Rovner has addressed a variety of audiences in Canada, England, Israel, and the U.S. His short documentary on Jewish territorialism,""No Land Without Heaven,"" has been screened at exhibitions in New York, Paris, and Tel Aviv. Further information available at


"In this path breaking study Adam Rovner takes us on a riveting journey through a boundless fantasy. Masterfully written, this little known chapter in modern Jewish history is also painfully thought provoking, for had there been a viable Jewish homeland anywhere on earth prior to the Second World War, the Holocaust may not have happened."-Tom Segev,author of One Palestine, Complete "From an island in the Niagara River to the depths of Africa, In the Shadow of Zion shows that the contemporary state of Israel was just one of many modern attempts to solve the 'Jewish problem' through land. This compelling and beautifully written book reveals a history of alternative Zions rendered invisible today by national and imperial ambitions that conspired against them. A masterpiece about the true origins of Zionism and the 'paths not taken,' this volume is a must read for anyone interested in global Jewish history or in the history of Israel."-David Shneer,University of Colorado Boulder "Through his travel and his scholarship, Adam Rovner recovers the search for a Jewish homeland in upstate New York, in Great Britain's East African Protectorate (now Kenya), in Angola, on the island of Madagascar and on portions of Australia, and in Dutch Guiana (now Suriname). A fascinating physical and intellectual geography before the establishment of Israel."-Susan Gubar,author of Poetry After Auschwitz "Equipped with verve and an eye for the absurd detail, Adam Rovner set out across continents and into archives to recover the story of a time when desperation, imagination, and a sheer unwillingness to surrender to reality led some Jews to consider alternate Zions in unlikely corners of the globe. The result is a colorful and offbeat contribution to our understanding of modern Jewish history and of the fevered milieu out of which the state of Israel was born." -Matti Friedman,author of The Aleppo Codex

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