chapter
2 Pages

Politics

WithJoseph Rykwert

This chapter provides the early experiences of the author. Railways and Anglophilia may have been his private and also professional passions, but his father's public ones were political: Zionism and Polish nationalism. As for his Zionism, he was the kind of Zionist of whom the old joke said that he was a Jew who takes the money of a second Jew to send a third Jew to Palestine. Except that in his father's case, it was his own money that sent other Jews there; he himself certainly had no immediate plans to emigrate, though his quixotic aim during the early 1930s was the reunion of the divided Zionist movements. Like all emigres – or, at any rate, landless – political groups, Zionism had, since its late nineteenth-century beginnings, been perennially fractious. His father took it on himself to heal the breach and bring Jabotinsky back into the Zionist fold.