The Israel-Palestine Conflict: One Hundred Years of War Paperback – 1 Nov 2007
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'Gelvin's volume is distinguished from … others … because it is concise; written in a witty and engaging style; profusely illustrated with photographs, facsimiles of stamps, and maps; and successfully uses poetry and other cultural materials to inform the political narrative. Most importantly … Gelvin's book is theoretically informed without being jargonistic; and it is equally skeptical of the nationalist mythologies of both parties to the conflict without indulging in false moral equivalencies. While debunking the national mythologies of Zionism and Palestinian nationalism, Gelvin has a humane and reasoned approach to the plight of both peoples.' Joel Beinin, Director of Middle East Studies, American University in Cairo
James Gelvin's account of the Israel-Palestine conflict, from the first glimmerings of national consciousness among Jews and Ottoman Palestinians to the present, offers a compelling and up-to-the-moment introduction for students and general readers. It is written as an interpretive, thematically composed essay, set within the framework of global history.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Gelvin begins his history a long time ago, giving some perspective on the geographical history of the Palestine area during the Ottoman empire, and also takes some time to discuss cultures of nationalism relevant to the conflict. These introductory chapters serve as a context in which to understand the later events. After this, Gelvin chronicles the foundation of Zionism by Herzl in the latter half of the 19th century, the first jewish settlements in Palestine and so on, following history until the present day (approximately around 2006, with the construction of the security fence / separation wall having begun at the time of the writing of the book).
The writing is lucid, and events can be followed rather easily even by someone without any particular historical understanding (such as myself). Also, the book is relatively short (less than 300 pages), and thus serves very well as a primer before taking on more in-depth studies.
I definitely recommend this book both for its very relevant topic, for its clear writing and for its lack of bias.
It's the story of how a much put upon people, the European Jews, were able to dispossess the native population from their land. It starts in 1880 with the naive early Zionists and brings us up to today.
I lived in Israel for a while and while there thought to find out how we got into this mess. That's difficult to do for each side has a different version of history. This book gives both and adds a few awkward facts.
Painful reading in parts, and no one comes out looking heroic, but if you want to know what has happened then read this book.
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