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Hamas: A History from Within Paperback – May 30, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In this trenchant history spanning from the first days of the 1987 intifada to the sweeping democratic victory of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the Palestinian elections of January 2006, London-based scholar Tamimi argues that seeing Hamas as merely another face of Al Qaeda obscures more than it elucidates. A successor to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas comes out of a transnational Islamic reform movement that grew among Palestinians in the 1970s, largely in reaction to Arab nationalism's failure to champion the Palestinian cause. Increasingly, against a string of failed peace processes and the corruption and concessions of the PLO-led secular leadership, Hamas's popular support has rested heavily on its stance as a militant resistance movement wedded to the Palestinian dream of regaining pre-1948 Palestine, and as provider of essential social services. Tamimi draws extensively on the words of insiders in carefully charting and contextualizing the development of Hamas's highly resilient organization, shifting outlook and embrace of various tactics, including the offer of a truce with Israel and, most controversially, suicide bombing. Although mostly dispassionate and at times critical, this is a generally sympathetic analysis. It will be a key resource in English for any serious assessment of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. (Nov.)
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Review

'In this trenchant history spanning from the first days of the 1987 intifada to the sweeping democratic victory of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the Palestinian elections of January 2006, London-based scholar Tamimi argues that seeing Hamas as merely another face of Al Qaeda obscures more than it elucidates. A successor to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas comes out of a transnational Islamic reform movement that grew among Palestinians in the 1970s, largely in reaction to Arab nationalism's failure to champion the Palestinian cause. Increasingly, against a string of failed peace processes and the corruption and concessions of the PLO-led secular leadership, Hamas's popular support has rested heavily on its stance as a militant resistance movement wedded to the Palestinian dream of regaining pre-1948 Palestine, and as provider of essential social services. Tamimi draws extensively on the words of insiders in carefully charting and contextualizing the development of Hamas's highly resilient organization, shifting outlook and embrace of various tactics, including the offer of a truce with Israel and, most controversially, suicide bombing. It will be a key resource in English for any serious assessment of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.'--Publishers Weekly (** review) 'An excellent history, deeply researched, the story is dramatic, and Tamimi tells it well... gives access to fascinating detail.'--Palestine News 'Tamimi's book is the most authoritative account yet published of the origins, rise and impact of Hamas.'--Abdel Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief, Al-Quds Al-Arabi 'Provides facts on Hamas' struggle in Palestine from real sources in the organisation.'--Malaysian National News Agency --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Olive Branch Press; First Edition edition (May 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566566894
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566566896
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,391,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Mr. Tamimi has given readers an excellent perspective from within Hamas. The author used his access to this group and its leadership to create a work that gives the reader the Hamas story as seen by Hamas. There is no filter, but instead the reader hears the Hamas perspective from their own mouths as they see themselves. This is a very important distinction because too often we get the Hamas story as told from the Western perspective. Hamas as viewed by the West is a limited and skewed perspective, and the only way to really get a whole picture is to see this group from their own vantage point as well. Any good student of history knows that the more angles one views a particular subject the more clearer the image becomes.

Mr. Tamimi's work is a chronological history of Hamas from its ideological inception from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood organization all the way to its electoral victories in the Palestinian elections. This book really gives the reader a sense of the evolution of this group from its humble beginnings trying to revitalize Palestinian society that was largely secular to its beginnings as a resistance organization to its eventual ascension to political power. The reader will be able to see how many different factors worked for and against this group and how these factors influenced the evolution of this group.

What I most liked about this book is that it focuses in on leaders and on their philosophy. The author uses their own statements and writings to give the reader a sense of what they believe and what they are fighting for.
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