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The Masada myth : collective memory and mythmaking in Israel

Author: Nachman Ben-Yehuda
Publisher: Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, ©1995.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In 73 A.D., legend has it, 960 Jewish rebels under siege in the ancient desert fortress of Masada committed suicide rather than surrender to a Roman legion. Recorded in only one historical source, the story of Masada was obscure for centuries. In The Masada Myth, Israeli sociologist Nachman Ben-Yehuda tracks the process by which Masada became an ideological symbol for the State of Israel, the dramatic subject of  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Ben-Yehuda, Nachman.
Masada myth.
Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, ©1995
(OCoLC)604838182
Named Person: Flavius Josèphe (0038?-0100?).
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Nachman Ben-Yehuda
ISBN: 0299148300 9780299148300 0299148343 9780299148348
OCLC Number: 32275459
Description: xxi, 401 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Prologue: Masada --
A Chronology --
I. The Puzzle and the Background. 1. Introduction: The Research Puzzle. 2. The Historical Events of Masada. 3. Excavations of Masada --
II. The Masada Mythical Narrative. 4. Shmaria Guttman. 5. Masada and Youth Movements. 6. Masada and the Pre-State Jewish Underground Groups. 7. Masada and the Israeli Army (IDF). 8. Masada in Textbooks. 9. Masada, the Media, and Tourism. 10. Masada in Children's Literature and in Art. 11. The Masada Mythical Narrative --
III. Analysis, Discussion, and Summary. 12. Methodological Framing. 13. Theoretical Interpretation. 14. Summary and a Personal Note --
Appendix: Main Jewish Underground Groups in Palestine, 1920-1948.
Responsibility: Nachman Ben-Yehuda.
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Abstract:

Masada, an ancient desert fortress, is examined in this study as it became an ideological symbol for the State of Israel. The text looks at the way the mythical narrative of Masada was created,  Read more...

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""The Masada Myth is both a scholarly and a passionate book, analyzing with great clarity the relationship between deviance and mythology."--Pat Lauderdale, Stanford University ""The Masada Myth" is Read more...

 
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Primary Entity

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   schema:description "In 73 A.D., legend has it, 960 Jewish rebels under siege in the ancient desert fortress of Masada committed suicide rather than surrender to a Roman legion. Recorded in only one historical source, the story of Masada was obscure for centuries. In The Masada Myth, Israeli sociologist Nachman Ben-Yehuda tracks the process by which Masada became an ideological symbol for the State of Israel, the dramatic subject of movies and miniseries, a shrine venerated by generations of Zionists and Israeli soldiers, and the most profitable tourist attraction in modern Israel. Ben-Yehuda describes how, after nearly 1800 years, the long, complex, and unsubstantiated narrative of a Romanized Jew, Josephus Flavius, was edited and augmented in the twentieth century to form a simple and powerful myth of heroism. Ben-Yehuda looks at the ways this new mythical narrative of Masada was created, promoted, and maintained by pre-state Jewish underground organizations, the Israeli army, archaeological teams, mass media, youth movements, textbooks, the tourist industry, and the arts. He discusses the various organizations and movements that created "the Masada experience" (usually a ritual trek through the Judean desert followed by a climb to the fortress and a dramatic reading of the Masada story), and how it changed over decades from a Zionist pilgrimage to a tourist destination. Placing the story in a larger historical, sociological, and psychological context, Ben-Yehuda draws upon theories of collective memory and myth-making to analyze Masada's crucial role in the nation-building process of modern Israel and the formation of a new Jewish identity. An expert on deviance and social control, Ben-Yehuda looks in particular at how and why a military failure and an enigmatic, troubling case of mass suicide (in conflict with Judaism's teachings) were reconstructed and fabricated as a heroic tale."@en ;
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