Gil Troy is an American political historian, Zionist activist and author of The Zionist Ideas: Visions for the Jewish Homeland – Then, Now, Tomorrow.
The book, his most recent work, marks the culmination of a Zionist journey that began in Queens Young Judaea and Camp Tel Yehudah in the 1970s – when Troy first read Hertzberg’s book in “MA” – Machaneh Avodah. It included serving as “Machon Merakez” and Educational Director of TY in the 1980s, starting to take on various educational leadership positions in the Montreal Jewish Community in the 1990s, and developing the notion of “Big Tent Zionism” and “Identity Zionism” – which he calls “Young Judaeanism 101” in his best-selling 2001 book Why I am a Zionist.
The winner of the Simon Rockower Awards for Excellence in Commentary from the American Jewish Press Association in 2015 and 2017 for his eloquent defense of Israel during the Gaza War and against the BDS movement, Troy is the author of The Age of Clinton: America in the 1990s, published by Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press in October 2015 and ten other books. In 2012, he edited and updated another classic, the multi-volume History of American Presidential Campaigns, originally edited by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. and Fred Israel.
He has appeared repeatedly as a featured commentator on CNN’s popular, award-winning multi-part “decades” documentaries, on National Geographic’s The Eighties: The Decade that Made Us, and as a political commentator on most major American and Canadian TV and Radio networks. Troy has been widely published and quoted in the American, Canadian, and Israeli media, including writing numerous essays for the New York Times’ feature “Campaign Stops” in the 2012 and 2016 campaigns. He wrote a weekly column for the Daily Beast, “Secret Lives,” and has been writing a weekly column for the Jerusalem Post since 2008 and for the Canadian Jewish News since 2003. He also blogs regularly at the History News Network, www.hnn.us, and has been published in Time, Politico, Newsweek, the Wilson Quarterly, the Washington Post, the Montreal Gazette, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, and The New Republic, among other publications.
In December, 2012, Moynihan’s Moment: America’s Fight against Zionism as Racism examining the fall of the UN and the Rise of Reagan was published by Oxford University Press. Jewish Ideas Daily designated it one of its “best books” of 2012 and it won a 2014 J.I. Segal Award in the category of English Non-Fiction Award on a Jewish Theme.
A Distinguished Scholar in North American History at McGill University, Troy has also taught at the Ruderman Program on Relations between Israel and American Jewry at Haifa University, at the Interdisciplinary Center at Herzliya, at the Rothberg Program for Overseas Students at Hebrew University, and this fall, at the Shalom Hartman Institute. Asked to explain his popularity as a teacher and lecturer in various venues, Troy says, “I never took an education course in my life. All I ever learned about teaching, which we called ‘hadracha’ – like so much else – I learned in Young Judaea, then Tel Yehudah.
His next book, slated for fall, 2019, will be co-authored with Natan Sharansky, using the story of this Zionist icon and modern Jewish hero to define a positive vision for the Jewish people balancing – Young Judaean style – our pride in our particular identity with our commitment to human rights and social action.
He, his wife Linda, and four children went on sabbatical to Jerusalem a decade ago – and made Aliyah a few years later.