Why American Newspapers Gave Away the Future

An insider’s assessment of the precipitous decline of large city ...


Theodor Herzl

Theodor Herzl (1860–1904) was born in Budapest, Hungary, to a secular Jewish family. His father was a highly successful businessman. Although Herzl studied law at the University of Vienna, he was drawn to poetry and the humanities and later pursued a career in journalism and, less successfully, playwriting. He initially believed that Hungarian Jews could overcome centuries of impoverishment and oppression and become civilized Central Europeans; but his reporting of the 1894 Dreyfus Affair, the notorious anti-Semitic incident in France, and the 1895 rise of Karl Lueger, an anti-Semitic demagogue in Vienna, may have persuaded him that Jews must remove themselves from Europe and create their own state. From 1896 on, he worked tirelessly for Zionism.