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The Israel-Palestine Conflict: One Hundred Years of War

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  120 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
James L. Gelvin's new account of the century-old conflict between Israelis and Palestinians presents a compelling, accessible and up-to-the-moment introduction for students and general readers. Placing events in the disputed area within the framework of global history, the book skillfully interweaves biographical sketches, eyewitness accounts, poetry, fiction and official ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by Cambridge University Press (first published 2005)
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that cute little red-eyed kitten
I'd prefer a book which cited sources, as there are very few here. Plus for suggested further reading at the end of each chapter, but huge minuses for what I think is "fake neutrality", especially bad when the author uses the UN Durban conference in the text but doesn't mention what kind of hate fest that was. Also, I'm sure a lot of the critisism of Sharon is well-earned, but isn't Arafat, or Hamas leaders for that matter, let of the hook very easily in comparison? - just two of several problem ...more
Aug 18, 2014 Inge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: boekenkast, academic
This was a very good introduction to the Israel-Palestine conflict, especially for someone who knows very little about it and does not come from a social sciences background. I especially liked the beginning which puts both the Israeli and Palestinian national movements in the context of nationalism and the modern state. Further along it became a bit more focused on the political happenings (which is of course understandable) and I lost interest a bit. It does strive to be very objective (I thin ...more
Sep 15, 2009 Katie rated it liked it
Recommended to Katie by: Shaul Mishal
Shelves: class-readings
The beginning of the book focused on the nationalist project of both the Jews and the Palestinians - and the creation of both nations. Gelvin underscores the fact that prior to the Zionist/Nationalist movement, diasporic Jews tended to view themselves as part of their territorial nation, not a broader, religious nation. In fact, he cites an author who bemoans the creation of the Jewish nation, for no person ought to belong to two nations - meaning that it was an either/or situation. For the Pale ...more
Apr 23, 2013 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-east
Gelvin is a great writer who excels writing about complicated history in a very readable way. I've read the second edition of The Modern Middle East: A History as well as The Arab Uprisings, and he has a similar style in each of these books: explaining the events in the context of world-historical developments, with a touch of humor.

This is mostly good, but sometimes the blow-by-blow of the story is sacrificed for the thematic focus. In this book, his major theme is nationalism, and how both Isr
Jun 29, 2008 Ben rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ben by: Max Gasteen
This book was great. I think it is fairly typical in the US to see this conflict in the historical context of the end of the Holocaust and World War II. Unfortunately, this is a very short-sighted view.

Also, a failing of many Americans is that we tend to see Arabs as a singular block. Saudis, Syrians, Jordanians, Egyptians, Lebanese, etc... they are all the same. Palestinians are just another subset of Arabs and they all have the same interests.

This book puts both of those ideas to rest and is a
Jim Lewis
Apr 03, 2015 Jim Lewis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a textbook, rather than a history for general audiences, but it is extremely approachable and reads like the latter. Because it was published eight years ago, it is a bit dated now.

Nevertheless, it is an excellent introduction to how we got to "now" in Palestine and Israel. It is even-handed, taking an outside view of the many factions that have fought over the future of this land during the past century.

It includes a timeline of events, biographies of key figures, and glossary of terms,
Bram Hubbell
Aug 07, 2014 Bram Hubbell rated it it was amazing
Gelvin does a wonderful job of explaining the broad factors that have shaped the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. You won't walk away from this book with lots of names and dates, but that it not Gelvin's style.
Sep 23, 2014 Lee rated it really liked it
This presupposes a bit more background knowledge than, say, Martin Bunton's "very short introduction" (which I also recently read), but it also offers a bit more depth and context. Gelvin looks at the I-P conflict largely through the lens of 19th- and 20th-century nationalism, and he is refreshingly clear-eyed about nationalist myths on both sides.
Aug 28, 2014 Maeve rated it really liked it
Not my usual thing but feeling the need to educate myself. Informative, oddly even has the odd joke.
Shyam Sundar
Dec 08, 2012 Shyam Sundar rated it really liked it
Shelves: history-modern
The book is neutral in its tone, and the author is not partisan in his opinions. His introduction of Zionism and its surge among the Jews of Europe is fascinating. He presents the most important facts of the wars and the peace processes between the Arabs (particularly the Palestinians) and the Israelis without confusing the readers in a web of complexity. This book was prescribed as the primary texts for one of my courses, and I think it's a damn good choice by my professor.
Sep 21, 2010 Kristi rated it really liked it
This has turned out to be a really good work. Gelvin's approach to the subject as a conflict of nationalisms is useful for helping students step outside their ideological biases and consider the subject from different perspectives. He does a good job of being balanced in his discussion, and he brings in a wide variety of primary source materials. My criticism is that his tone is light and occasionally glib, which I find difficult to swallow as I'm reading the book.
Anne Coneeney
Dec 13, 2014 Anne Coneeney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book goes back in time explaining the history of both cultures,
and brings the reader to where it is today Extremely informative, well written
with maps to follow along as you read.
Timely experience for me! So happy I took the time to educate myself to
better understand the conflicts of today
Sep 13, 2011 Pauline is currently reading it
Excellent primer on the subject. Lots of new insight, despite covering a topic that has been well covered.
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“What Zionists did, as all nationalist movements before and since have done, was to read their history selectively and draw conclusions from it that would not have been understandable to their ancestors before the advent of the modern era.” 0 likes
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