In his autobiographical writings, the Russian-Jewish author and the founder of Zionist Revisionism Vladimir Jabotinsky constructed a retrospective self-image, according to which ever since becoming a Zionist early in the 20th century he exclusively clung to a Jewish national identity. This one-dimensional image was adopted by the early historiography of the Revisionist movement in Zionism. Contrary to this trend, much of the recent historiography on Jabotinsky has taken a different direction, describing him, particularly as a young man during the period of his early Zionism in Tsarist Russia, as a Russian-European cosmopolitan intellectual. Both these polarized positions are somewhat unbalanced and simplistic, whereas the figure of Jabotinsky and his worldview that emerge from reading his rich publicist writing in late Tsarist Russia present a far more complex picture of interplay between his deep ethnic-national primordial Jewish affinity, on the one hand, and an array of his different attachments to his non-Jewish surroundings including local, cultural, and civil identities, on the other. Focusing on Jabotinsky's unexplored journalist writings that address the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-1905, the article discovers a previously unknown identity pattern of the young Jabotinsky-his Russian state patriotism-and traces its relationship to his Jewish nationalism.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation, grant no. 1245 / 13.
© 2019 Association for the Study of Nationalities.
- Jewish nationalism
- Russian Zionism
- Vladimir Jabotinsky