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Palestine Paperback

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics; First Edition edition (December 17, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156097432X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560974321
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 4.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Sacco uses the comic book format to its fullest extent, creating bold perspectives that any photojournalist would envy.” (Utne Reader)

“Sacco's Palestine brilliantly and poignantly captures the essence of life under a repressive and prolonged occupation.” (Nasseer H. Azuri, Professor of Political Science, The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth)

“Sacco is a pioneer.” (Journal of Palestinian Studies)

“Based on his research, interviews, and personal experiences in Palastinian Occupied Territories in 1991 and 92, [Palestine] takes you there and gives you a first-hand account of the atrocities and suffering in the conflict with Israel. He gives you a close up visual rendering of the physical and emotional conditions of the people, who struggle daily for survival... Sacco has rendered the terrible conditions of life into a compelling and sympathetic artistic documentary. It is sad, but most good stories are sad... What’s better, his drawing is detailed and realistic, very approachable and interesting.” (American in Auckland)

About the Author

Joe Sacco lives in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of many acclaimed graphic novels, including Palestine, Safe Area Gorazde, But I Like It, Notes from a Defeatist, The Fixer, War's End, and Footnotes in Gaza.

Edward W. Said was University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of Literature and of Kings College Cambridge, his celebrated works include Orientalism, The End of the Peace Process, Power, Politics and Culture, and the memoir Out of Place. He is also the editor, with Christopher Hitchens, of Blaming the Victims, published by Verso. He died in September 2003.

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Customer Reviews

Not to mention the book itself is one of the best books you'll ever read.
Alexandra M.
Using the graphic novel format, Joe Sacco provides his readers with an excellent way of telling a deeply disturbing story.
M. T. Guzman
Everyone with an interest in the Middle East Crisis or terrorism should read this book.
Bill Corporandy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

103 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Chutes on April 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
You have to read Palestine carefully, especially if you are either strongly sympathetic or hostile to Israel. It would be easy to see the book as condemning Israel. It is not, but since Sacco's intention was to get to know the community that we in the US don't know well, the Palestinians, the book shows mainly their experiences and interpretations of them. (It would have been a good idea to include a timeline of the historical events related to the Israel/Palestine tragedy, so that people who do not know the facts could put into perspective the versions of history that Sacco's Palestinian interviewees have.)
I emphasize that this is not the book to turn to in order to figure out whether to side with the Israelis or the Palestinians. It does not give that kind of information, and there are other books for that (Thomas Friedman's From Beirut to Jerusalem is a good one). For the most part there are no terrorists or major political figures interviewed and there is no survey of the historical background, the mistakes and crimes that have left both peoples in this mess. What I saw in this brilliant piece of comic journalism is an on the ground look at what is going on with people caught in the storm.
Palestine is about the human spirit, often humorous and courageous. It is also about the tragedy that is what happens when people suffer at each other's hands, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, as well as physically, and lose the ability to see the human face.
Victims turn into villains. The scenes of the settlers attacking the Arab villages at night reminded me chillingly of Kristalnacht. A 16 year old Palestinian terrorist-in-training is chilling as he describes his recruitment at 13, his loss of interest in anything but the violence, and the version of history that he believes in.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Bill Corporandy on June 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
I do not have much to contribute that has not already been stated by other customer reviewers but I would like to add to the overwhelming consensus that this is an excellent book and, since it is done in comic book style, I would recommend it as an effective tool for adolescent readers in our high schools. Saccco's book was written before the most recent wave of Palestinian suicide bombings which has wreaked havoc both to Israel and to outside sympathy for the Palestinian cause. However, this book should give all open-minded readers insight into the despair that has led so many Palestinians to support terrorism. Sacco's disarmingly informal writing style and his powerful artwork convey both the constant systematic and randomly unsystematic injustice that Israel, its soldiers, settlers and other citizens have directed at the Palestinians. Sacco exposes the economic discrimination that gives incentives to West Bank Jewish settlers and imposes taxes and other bureacratic and physical barriers on Palestinian attempts to earn a living: Palestinian agricultural produce left on the docks to spoil before it is shipped to European customers, the denial of adequate water and permits to drill deeper wells, cutting down groves of olive trees, etc. Sacco also takes us inside hospitals where Israeli soldiers intimidate and beat patients, nurses, and doctors, disrupting surgeries, treatments, etc. Individual Palestinians recount their prison experiences: the psychological and physical torture and the inhuman living conditions, abuses of the legal system, etc. There is much more in this new edition--printed in 2001 and again in 2002--at roughly 300 pages, this is nearly double the size of an earlier edition. Everyone with an interest in the Middle East Crisis or terrorism should read this book.Read more ›
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67 of 77 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 22, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Joe Sacco's "Palestine" provides the western world with a powerful account of the Palestinian perspective of their conflict with Israel. Sacco's path takes him through much of the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem and parts of Israel. He tells the stories of the people he meets and through them paints a picture of the brutality and injustice they endure under the apartheid policies of Israel. With the media coverage of the conflict being what it is, the accessibility of the graphic novel format makes "Palestine" a singularly important work. By communicating the truth, perhaps a lasting solution to this conflict can be found.
Although the journalistic content of "Palestine" is its primary value, it also stands on its own aesthetically. Sacco also writes well and the narrative flows smoothly from one part of his journey to another.
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78 of 91 people found the following review helpful By al mann on September 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
It may be the case that in the United States the issues of the Middle East are presented in a very subjective manner (pro-Israeli) through mainstream media. This is not the case where I live now, where there is a pro-Palestinian sentiment, expressed again in a subjective manner.
The value of this book is relative to the exposure one has already had on the subject. If you do not know much about it, and especially if you have lived in an environment which portrays Palestinians as bad and Israelis as good, then this is a good book for you, that will open your eyes to the other side of the story.
However, you should not then regard this book as the truth. It is subjective as well in its own manner. Its subjectivity lies not so much on the presentation of non-truths, or its certain exagerations, but rather on its omission of truths which support the other side. For example, when the name "Golda Meier" comes up, the book mentions statements she made about the Palestinians which are ridiculous and cruel: and she did make such statements. However, when the name Nasser comes up, he appears only as someone who "symbolises Arab nationalism and unity," which is a great injustice to history and to the reader. Moreover, the coverage of the Israeli side of the story is so superficial, that it would be better if it had been omitted altogether.
Therefore, you should follow up in quest for knowledge on the subject with more material, from both sides. (try not to spend time looking for something "objective!" It does not exist.
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