Late in life, Theodor Herzl wrote this book to explain his vision for a Jewish settlement in Palestine. He covered politics, religion, education, and social matters in great detail. For anyone interested in Zionism or the history of Israel, this is a must-read.
But Herzl was a frustrated (or failed) writer, and rather than write a straightforward tract, he wrote a novel -- and a novel that is rather like a play. While the factual information conveyed is fascinating and Herzl was a political visionary, he wasn't much of a writer. As a result, the plot of Old-New Land is rather mediocre.
One final note: The translation and editing of this book is TERRIBLE. The translation from German into English, done by Lotte Levensohn in 1929, is simply not very good. She used archaic or awkward expressions, even by the standards of 1929. The explanatory footnotes accompanying the the text are pathetic. They do nothing to clarify unknown terms or relate forgotten historic items. Instead, they enthusiastically point out how technologically and socially advanced modern Israel is, making reference to Herzl's proposals for the use of technology in Palestine. The typsetting is also riddled with typos or incorrect terms/translations. It's too bad that no publisher wants to issue a new, modern edition, and this is all the English-reading public has.
In sum: Five stars for importance, three stars for plot, and one star for translation and editing.