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The Making of a Human Bomb: An Ethnography of Palestinian Resistance
In The Making of a Human Bomb, Nasser Abufarha, a Palestinian anthropologist, explains the cultural logic underlying Palestinian martyrdom operations (suicide attacks) launched against Israel during the Al-Aqsa Intifada (2000–06). In so doing, he sheds much-needed light on how Palestinians have experienced and perceived the broader conflict. During the Intifada, many of th ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 24th 2009 by Duke University Press Books
(first published 2009)
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I think the real heart of his book is in the last two chapters. I understand that he perhaps had to frame martyrdom because of its controversial representation in Western media, but I wish he went into greater detail into the martyrs' narratives.
This is a dissertation turned into a book. The work is jam packed with academic defensiveness because the topic is so volatile. I think Abufarha wants to make the work "stick." We find lots of writing in the passive voice, large numbers of references, huge literature review, explanations and justifications of his methodology, and a tone that says, "look, I am playing this game according to your rules about science, objectivity, and all that." This tactic does make the book "stick" but it also ta ...more
I probably have a better understanding of the history and reasons behind the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than the average American, but I learned a lot from "The Making of a Human Bomb." It's the best book I've come across on explaining the source of conflict. I knew the least about what apparently most Palestinians-in-occupied-areas assume Americans know: what daily life is like for the average person in Israeli-occupied Palestinian areas. Reading this book really helped me understand the deep ...more