The book challenges the long-standing canonical view among scholars that Theodor Herzl was unaware, until after his conversion to Zionism in the spring of 1895, of the Zionist thought and efforts that had preceded him. It begins by noting that Eugen Dühring, whose book Herzl read in early 1882 and often drew upon in subsequent years, discusses the idea of the Jews’ return to Palestine and thrice uses the very term “Juden- staat”. Next explored is the young Herzl’s cognizance of the Zionist student fraternity Kadimah in Vienna, the hub of Zionism in Western Europe in the 1880s. Thereafter the book traces Herzl’s earliest encounters with the works of Leon Pinsker, George Eliot, and Moses Hess – and with the career of Laurence Oliphant. The subsequent sections establish Herzl’s real-time awareness of the Blackstone Memorial and the Lovers of Zion Petition (both from 1891), indicate his familiarity with two Zionist utopian novels (ones published in 1885 and 1893), and examine two pre-1895 reviews he penned of works that highlighted Zionist precepts. Whereas all of these inquiries yield positive results, a small minority is not fully conclusive, although these instances do convincingly describe a willful ignorance on Herzl’s part. A suggestion from the realm of Herzl’s discernible psychology is offered as to why this was. Annex 1 discusses the possible presence of the Zionist rabbis Yehuda Alkalai and Joseph Natonek in Herzl’s youth; Annex 2 argues that Herzl’s contribution to the Dreyfus myth was probably an American interpolation.