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A History of Palestine: From the Ottoman Conquest to the Founding of the State of Israel Hardcover – February 3, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0691118970 ISBN-10: 0691118973 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (February 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691118973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691118970
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,106,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The 400 years before the founding of the Jewish state is a historiographical minefield, but Krämer (The Jews in Modern Egypt), a professor of Islamic studies at Free University Berlin, manages to produce an illuminating survey of the terrain. She insists that modern Palestine had a history before large-scale Jewish immigration began in the late 19th century, along with a substantial, rooted Arab population and society, and a growing economy. The author pays full due to the dynamism of the Zionist nation-building project and the development it brought to Palestine, often to the benefit of Arabs, but also accords weight and legitimacy to the Arab nationalist reaction—while observing that, even as the two communities remained socially segregated, they were economically interdependent and spatially intertwined. The author's restrained account of Israel's war of independence notes atrocities on all sides as it depicts a sometimes incidental, sometimes deliberate campaign of ethnic cleansing of Arabs by the Israeli military. Krämer's fluent narrative pairs a much-needed focus on facts—including useful data on contentious issues of population growth and land ownership—with an evenhanded avoidance of partisanship. 14 b&w photos, maps. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Gudrun Krmer, Winner of the 2010 Gerda Henkel Prize, Gerda Henkel Foundation

"The 400 years before the founding of the Jewish state is a historiographical minefield, but Kramer, a professor of Islamic studies at Free University Berlin, manages to produce an illuminating survey of the terrain...Kramer's fluent narrative pairs a much-needed focus on facts--including useful data on contentious issues of population growth and land ownership--with an evenhanded avoidance of partisanship."--Publishers Weekly

"We tend not to notice that Palestine existed as a territory before there was an Israel, and before there was a Palestinian national movement. Krmer, professor of Islamic studies at Free University Berlin, goes back to early 19th-century Egyptian rule, and then to the modernization undertaken by the Ottoman Empire, to situate the present in its historical context."--Martin Levin, The Globe and Mail

"An excellent source for those desiring an understanding of the background to the present-day unrest in the region."--L. Edward Sizemore, Dallas Morning News

"[Krmer] brilliantly contextualizes Arab anti-Semitism by investigating how, for the Palestinian population, the borders between Jew and Zionist gradually became blurred. By making a series of similar investigations, tracing all the defining points of the conflict, she has been able to write a book that stands out as necessary background reading for all scholars intent on investigating the current situation in Palestine."--Jrgen Jensehaugen, Journal of Peace Research

"This is a welcome addition to the growing number of studies on this increasingly popular field, and the book will be of much use to those teaching classes on Middle Eastern history, the history of the Ottoman Empire and Israel Studies. It will also prove useful in seminars on the construction of historical narratives, the connection between religion and nationalism, and processes of decolonialization."--Scott Ury, Religious Studies Review

"Krmer's is a well-researched and thoroughly referenced work of synthesis offered by a cautious and reflective historian. . . . A History of Palestine is a respectable addition to the synthetic literature in the field. For the non-specialist reader, the book offers a good introduction to the social, political, cultural, and economic history of Palestine and a wealth of statistical information. For specialists, the book is a further reminder of the challenges posed by colonial history and to the importance, in the twenty-first century, of including the voices of the indigenous peoples as well as the colonists."--Abdel Razzaq Takriti, English Historical Review

"[T]his is the first serious biography of the mufti to appear in 14 years and only the fourth ever to appear in English. The authors should be encouraged to greatly expand their research for a much larger second edition. The first edition is already valuable for the dark tale it tells."--Marin Sieff, Sunday Times

"Gudrun Kramer's book, although its name is not attractive, is a very interesting, well written book, which can enrich even those who know the history of Palestine. For those who will use it as a first book on Palestine, it is a good starting place."--Gideon Biger, Shofar

"For anyone seriously interested in the century-old Arab/Jewish struggle for the land they both call holy, you must get acquainted with Gudrun Krmer's A History of Palestine. A professor of Islamic studies at Free University of Berlin, she presents an exhaustive overview of the country's past from the Ottoman conquest to the creation of Israel, albeit with a subtle Arabist slant."--Tim Boxer, 15 Minutes Magazine

"[T]his is a comprehensive and readable account which should be useful to both students and scholars. Krmer's insistence on confronting the historiographical dominance of 1882 is a valuable intervention, and her long view of the past gives today's conflict the wider historical context that too many commentators choose to overlook."--Anna Bernard, Modernism/modernity

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Will Jerom on August 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Content Summary: Kramer delivers what she promises: a history of the events that focuses mostly on the events from the Ottoman Empire to the founding of the State of Israel. Readers will learn something of both Jews and Palestinians and how power was exchanged from the fallen Ottomans to the British, and ultimately to the Jews who won the war of 1948. More ancient history (pre-Ottoman) receives some attention, but the book covers nothing after 1949. There is a great deal covered here for an intermediate length book!

Analytical Review: What readers will appreciate most about Kramer is her objectivity. It is hard to give a balanced account of this history that is not stilted towards Jew of Palestinian, but I believe Kramer has done just that. Kramer's book is mostly an engaging read and an important study. A few dry parts perhaps, but mostly very good. It is perhaps unfortunate that she did not go further to 1967 or later, but overall recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A History of Palestine is an outstanding work which makes clear the current political situation in the Middle East. A must read for anybody interested in why the Middle East is such a mess today.
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10 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Karen on November 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book cuts through the propaganda. There are so many aspects to this story and unfortunately the west is fed only one. We don't learn the truth about it in schools, it's brushed under the rug in our history books.
I felt this book presented the truth, and was sympathetic to the plight and tragedy on both sides. Knowing BOTH sides is the only way to understand this conflict.
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