The Origins of Democratic Socialism in Israel: Foundations and Leadership, covers the Socialist-Zionist history of Israel, with a focus on communal organizations in the pioneering settlement waves of Israel, as well as other significant, related topics. The book addresses the Jewish Revolutionary youth groups in Russia, Poland and the Ukraine, who as pioneers in Israel established the kvuzot (small, self-sufficient communal groups of 10-12 people), the kibbutzim (plural of kibbutz) and the Histadrut (General Federation of Labor), all of which transformed Jewish Palestine into a Democratic and Socialist settlement society, which itself was instrumental in the development of Israel’s infrastructure.
Central to the book is the actual experimental methods employed to develop communes, cooperatives, and trade unions, their difficulties and successes. Reading the book will reveal a history of a miraculous development. The book chronicles the development of the social movement that would become so developed that it competed with the capitalist world after 1948. The author included a chapter on the leadership of the movement and a section on the expectations and analysis of scholars after 1924. Thoughts of the best writers, scholars and political activists of the period are included.
One of the most prominent goals has been to describe the movement’s leadership, giving a human identity to the struggle, conflicts and compromises that lay at the base of the Socialist Settlement Society.
It is important to see how socialism can develop first democratically and if changes occur to a capitalist society when privatization is used, how even that can happen in a democratic manner. This can occur even with continual criticism of the new style of society and the profound loyalty of others for the traditional model.
Finally, in the Afterword, the book describes the fate of the Socialist Democratic ideology since 1980, and what has come since, establishing our discussion of the history with the state of the present. This is especially important now, as volunteerism and collective national identity have weakened substantially in the movement, and the kibbutzim are no longer uniform as social collectives.
However, in that short section, and in the Comments and Conclusions, references
Ivan Frank lived on kibbutz in Israel in the late 1950s, and again with his family from 1977-1982. He has taught at Ben Gurion University and at the Regional College of the Negev. He worked for the Histatdrut in Israel that trained African and Asians in the development of Labor and Cooperative movements. Ivan has written four books on Israel, one historical, covering 1880-2007 and three on kibbutz ideology and education.
He has taught courses since 2005 in the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University in the Osher Program on Israeli History, Israeli Current Events and the Development of Socialism in Israel. One of his books (Children in Chaos, Praeger 1992) was included in the collection at the Carnegie Library in New York City, and two in the University of Pittsburgh Library.
Ivan Frank holds a Ph.D. in the International Development Education Program, with