In AD 70, when the Second Temple was destroyed, a handful of visionaries saved Judaism by reinventing it--by taking what had been a national religion and turning it into an idea. Jews no longer needed Jerusalem to be Jews. Whenever a Jew studied--wherever he was--he would be in the holy city. But in our own time, Zionists have turned the book back into a temple. In Rich Cohen's new history of the Zionist idea and the Jewish state--the history of a nation chronicled as if it were the biography of a person--he brings to life dozens of figures, each driven by the same impulse: to reach Jerusalem. From false messiahs to the early Zionists, to the iconic figures of David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir Cohen shows how all these lives together form a single story. He examines the myth of the wandering Jew, the paradox of Jewish power, and the triumph and tragedy of the Jewish state.--From publisher description.