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Biography and Historiography: The Case of David Ben-Gurion

Biography and Historiography: The Case of David Ben-Gurion BIOGRAPHY AND HISTORIOGRAPHY: THE CASE OF DAVID BEN-GURION MICHAELKEREN As is well known, David Ben-Gurion had an enormous impact on the his- tory of modern Israel. Rarely have one person’s thoughts, decisions, and actions had such an effect, for not only is the writing of Israeli history dom- inated by the towering figure of Ben-Gurion, but that history—in fact, the history of the entire Jewish people in the modern era—often takes the form of life-writing by or about Ben-Gurion. Therefore, Ben-Gurion biography and Israeli historiography are strongly interrelated. This may allow us to observe transformations in Israeli historiography by observing changes in the biographical literature on Ben-Gurion, which itself impacts these changes. By outlining these transformations, this paper attempts to both high- light the relationship between biographical work and historiographical change, and to provide a conceptual framework for an analysis of that rela- tionship. The case study discussed here allows us to do so because of Ben- Gurion’s dominance in modern Israeli history, but there is reason to believe that the relationship may hold in a wide range of cases. This is so because biographical work is an important part of any society’s self-consciousness about its history—and “historiography” may http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biography University of Hawai'I Press

Biography and Historiography: The Case of David Ben-Gurion

Biography , Volume 23 (2) – Mar 1, 2001

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 Biographical Research Center.
ISSN
0162-4962
eISSN
1529-1456

Abstract

BIOGRAPHY AND HISTORIOGRAPHY: THE CASE OF DAVID BEN-GURION MICHAELKEREN As is well known, David Ben-Gurion had an enormous impact on the his- tory of modern Israel. Rarely have one person’s thoughts, decisions, and actions had such an effect, for not only is the writing of Israeli history dom- inated by the towering figure of Ben-Gurion, but that history—in fact, the history of the entire Jewish people in the modern era—often takes the form of life-writing by or about Ben-Gurion. Therefore, Ben-Gurion biography and Israeli historiography are strongly interrelated. This may allow us to observe transformations in Israeli historiography by observing changes in the biographical literature on Ben-Gurion, which itself impacts these changes. By outlining these transformations, this paper attempts to both high- light the relationship between biographical work and historiographical change, and to provide a conceptual framework for an analysis of that rela- tionship. The case study discussed here allows us to do so because of Ben- Gurion’s dominance in modern Israeli history, but there is reason to believe that the relationship may hold in a wide range of cases. This is so because biographical work is an important part of any society’s self-consciousness about its history—and “historiography” may

Journal

BiographyUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Mar 1, 2001

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