There are, no doubt, other nations which experience one or more of the conditions which make Israel, first of all, an isolated country. But no other confronts them all: land borders shared entirely with unfriendly neighbors, across which no airplanes can fly, no letters be sent, no roads be built; a language spoken by no other people; a past, both within and outside the nation's borders, devoid of special ties to any other people; located in a region culturally alien as well as politically hostile. To these must be added the size of the country, for Israel's smallness -- eight thousand square miles, one-third the size of Lake Michigan, smaller than all but six of America's fifty states -- reinforces, intractably, its isolation. Nor is this splendid isolation Israel's only distinguishing quality. Alone among the nations of the world, most of its adult citizens were born elsewhere, and have come to the country with some part of their diverse native cultures still intact. Like its people, Israel's political institutions trace their roots to another time, and, in some measure, another place. The result is that Israel's quest for national identity must follow a lonely and pitted path; no trail has been blazed by others, no partners share the journey's perils. - Introduction. "New and comprehensive analysis of Israel's national development" - jacket.