Chaim Weizmann

A Biography

Jehuda Reinharz and Motti Golani, Translated by Haim Watzman

In Chaim Weizmann: A Biography, Jehuda Reinharz and Motti Golani show how Weizmann, a leader of the World Zionist Organization who became the first president of Israel, advocated for a Jewish state by gaining the support of influential politicians and statesmen as well as Jews around the world. Beginning with his childhood in Belorussia and concluding with his tenure as president, Reinharz and Golani describe how a Russian Jew, who immigrated to the United Kingdom in the early twentieth century, was able to advance the goals of Theodor Herzl, the founder of the Zionist Organization. Weizmann is also shown as a man of human foibles – his infatuations, political machinations and elitism – as well as a man of admirable qualities – intelligence, wit, charisma, and dedication.

Weizmann, who came to the UK to work as a biochemist, was in regular communication with British political figures, including prime ministers Arthur James Balfour, David Lloyd George, Winston Churchill, and Ramsay MacDonald. He also met presidents of the United States from Woodrow Wilson to Harry Truman. His success in earning the support of British political figures helped lead to the Balfour Declaration, which advocated for a “national home” for the Jewish people in Palestine.

As the authors show in this authoritative account of Weizmann’s life, Weizmann was guided by the belief that “Zion shall be redeemed in justice,” a phrase that recurs often in his writings.

Cloth: $40 | E-book: $39.95
ISBN-13: 9781684581962
Pages: 820 | Size: 7 in. x 10 in.
Date Published: May 1, 2024

A scrupulously detailed work chronicles the incremental triumph of Zionism through its greatest champion.

Kirkus Reviews


  • This exquisitely detailed and rich biography makes a huge contribution not only in bringing to life this extraordinary and complex figure, but also in animating the difficult challenges of the Zionist movement.

    A. B. Yehoshua
    Israel Prize Laureate
  • Eminently readable and as riveting as a work
    of fiction.

  • A scrupulously detailed work chronicles the incremental triumph of Zionism through its greatest champion.

    Kirkus Reviews
    Starred Review
  • Vast and detailed, "Chaim Weizmann" captures Weizmann’s tenacity, shrewd compassion, and the complexities of his diplomatic mission.

    Foreword Reviews
  • “As a chemist, Chaim Weizmann was a man of data and fact. As a diplomat, he was a man of imagination and overarching vision. As a statesman, he employed every facet of his complex intriguing identity to establish the political platform from which the State of Israel would rise. In Chaim Weizmann: A Biography, Jehuda Reinharz and Motti Golani bring to the fore this monumental figure of modern Israeli history in a gripping, precise and humane manner. This riveting account of a man who made Zionism his trade and went on to preside over the Jewish, democratic State of Israel is a very important addition to the collective Jewish library.”

    Isaac Herzog, President of the State of Israel
  • Chaim Weizmann is worth the time to travel through a remarkable life. The text is simple, clean, and modern, almost a necessity for a book so large to really be read and appreciated… An epic but comprehensive and highly readable biography.

    New York Journal of Books

About the Author

Jehuda Reinharz

Jehuda Reinharz is the Richard Koret Professor of Modern Jewish History at Brandeis University, where he served as President for seventeen years. He is the author and coauthor of more than thirty books in Jewish studies, including The Road to September 1939: Polish Jews, Zionists, and the Yishuv on the Eve of World War II and Zionism and the Creation of a New Society. He is the president and chief executive officer of the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Foundation.

Motti Golani

Motti Golani is Ruhama Rosenberg Professor for Jewish History and heads the Chaim Weizmann Institute for the Study of Zionism and Israel at Tel Aviv University. He has authored and coauthored over a dozen books, including Palestine Between Politics and Terror, 1945-1947 and Two Sides of the Coin: Independence and Nakba 1948, Two Narratives of the 1948 War and its Outcome.

Haim Watzman

Haim Watzman is a Jerusalem-based writer, journalist, and translator. His most recent book is Necessary Stories, a collection of his short fiction.

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