The Autobiography of Weizmann's Zionism:
The Road from Motol to Jerusalem
Chaim Weizmann has attained the distinction of an elder statesman of the world. Along with Winston Churchill, who is one year younger, Weizmann belongs to the handful of leaders whose careers reach back to the great war of 1914-18 and beyond it to an age which now seems distant and strange to the point of unreality. He has become the unique symbol, both official and popular, and for Gentile as well as for Jew, of the political rebirth of an ancient people, the head of a veritable phoenix. Not only is Chaim Weizmann the first president of the first Jewish state in nearly two thousand years, but he holds that position quite inevitably. The choice of anyone else would have been almost unnatural.
The publication of the autobiography of such a man is an important event; doubly so in this case, since Weizmann has written very little before, although he has spoken much on the public platform and in private conference. But it is difficult to spell out Weizmann in Trial and Error. For the book is not a spiritual autobiography in the manner of St. Augustine, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Stuart Mill, or even our own contemporary Bernard Berenson, who wrote their lives as “confessions.” Nor is Trial and Error the traditional “life and letters” that illumines the past and every actor in it by a sheer mass of recorded conversations, “minutes,” memoranda, and exchanges of correspondence. From the dullest of such biographies we learn much, and from the longest-winded of them the most. They are of the stuff of history.
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