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Distributed for Brandeis University Press

The Rise of the Individual in 1950s Israel

A Challenge to Collectivism

In this sharply argued volume, Orit Rozin reveals the flaws in the conventional account of Israeli society in the 1950s, which portrayed the Israeli public as committed to a collectivist ideology. In fact, major sectors of Israeli society espoused individualism and rejected the state-imposed collectivist ideology. Rozin draws on archival, legal, and media sources to analyze the attitudes of black-market profiteers, politicians and judges, middle-class homemakers, and immigrants living in transit camps and rural settlements. Part of a refreshing trend in recent Israeli historiography to study the voices, emotions, and ideas of ordinary people, Rozin’s book provides an important corrective to much extant scholarly literature on Israel’s early years.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments • Introduction: The First Years • AT HOME AND ON THE STREET • Austerity: Desperate Housewives and the Government • Austerity and the Rule of Law • The Law Enforcement System • IN THE CITY SQUARE • Austerity Tested: The Local Elections of 1950 • The Municipal Election Results and Their Significance • From Poll to Poll: The Elections for the Second Knesset • The Outcome of the Elections to the Second Knesset • SOMEWHERE IN THE TRANSIT CAMP • Terms of Abhorrence: How Old-Time Israelis Viewed Immigrants from the Islamic World • Parents, Parenting, and Children • The Construction of a Collective: Relations between Immigrants and Old-Time Israelis • Conclusion • Notes • References • Index

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