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Footnotes in Gaza

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  3,286 Ratings  ·  233 Reviews
From the great cartoonist-reporter, a sweeping, original investigation of a forgotten crime in the most vexed of places

Rafah, a town at the bottommost tip of the Gaza Strip, is a squalid place. Raw concrete buildings front trash-strewn alleys. The narrow streets are crowded with young children and unemployed men. On the border with Egypt, swaths of Rafah have been bulldoz

Hardcover, 432 pages
Published December 22nd 2009 by Metropolitan Books (first published 2009)
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Paul Bryant
This book is all about Gaza, where those Palestinians live. You’ve heard all this woebegone Palestinian stuff before, too many times. What a benighted people they are, either victims or terrorists, that’s all they ever seem to be, and this big book reinforces that stereotype on every page. It’s about Joe Sacco’s quixotic one-man research mission into two atrocities committed by Israeli armed forces in 1956 - oh yeah, very worthy. Joe was offended that these two massacres had been simply beneath ...more
Seth T.
Dec 22, 2013 Seth T. rated it it was amazing
Let’s be honest for a moment: the only thing I know about Willard Quine, the 20th century Harvard philosopher, is a tacit understanding of his idea of recalcitrant experiences. And, having picked it up in a casual conversation at a Thanksgiving party more than a decade ago, I may not even have that right.

The idea is 1) that each person has created a complex web of beliefs that fit together in such a way as to support their perception of the world and 2) as new pieces of information are assimilat
Jared Millet
Jun 17, 2015 Jared Millet rated it it was amazing
This book will make you angry. It will also break your heart, assuming you have one.

In 1956, during a brief conflict between Israel and Egypt that no one in America knows about since we weren't there and never made a TV show about it, Israeli troops raided the refugee towns of Khan Younis and Rafah in the Gaza Strip and killed upwards of 111 Arabs, most of whom were innocent bystanders.

So why should we care about ancient history? Many of Joe Sacco's sources say the same thing as he basically goe
Huda AbuKhoti
Jan 24, 2013 Huda AbuKhoti rated it it was amazing
A Palestinian boy in this book was asking Joe Sacco about the reason he's chosen 1956 in particular? and what good does it do to look at the past? since Palestinians are going through the same situations nowadays if not worse. His answer was simple and sufficient:"one day" I tell him, "50 years from now they'll forget about you, too".

This book is about his adventure to get to the bottom of what happened in Khan Younis and in Rafah in November 1956. According to UN figures quoted in the book, Isr
Jan 27, 2010 Sheehan rated it it was amazing
Joe Sacco is not only a great illustrator, he is the Studs Terkel of war reporting, interviewing his many subjects, and compiling a history of two ignominious events in the Gaza Strip during 1956-7.

I have read Sacco's other two books, Palestine and Safe Area Gorazade, both also insightful treatments of genuinely heart-wrenching daily living circumstances; and based on a solid foundation of Sacco's experience investigating the stories and the people whom service grand narrative structure.

The onl
Jan 23, 2010 Laura rated it it was amazing
Joe Sacco's whole career has been leading up to writing this book. He's documenting a massacre that's been little-known except by its survivors until now, and also writing about the problems of documenting a particular trauma from 50 years ago in a place saturated by layer after layer of trauma, where fresh and current traumas keep interceding. It's brilliant. But not exactly a light read.
Lars Guthrie
Mar 13, 2010 Lars Guthrie rated it it was amazing
History is usually written in broad strokes. Historians appreciate nuances and contradictions as they try to make sense of events, but to explain or even just to retell, they must generalize. And to generalize they must edit.

Beneath any retelling are incidents of kindness and cruelty, justice and injustice, that are lost in that retelling. To focus on a single story would mean missing the larger story, so those individual tales become footnotes, only valued if enough of them accumulate to indic
Andrea Poulain
Feb 26, 2016 Andrea Poulain rated it really liked it

Desde que vi las novelas gráficas Palestine, me interesó el trabajo de Joe Sacco. Esta fue la primera novela gráfica de su autoría a la que le pude poner las manos encima y con más de cuatrocientas páginas, lo que la vuelve todo un tocho de novela gráfica. LO VALE. Sacco, en plena guerra, en vez de escribir sobre la guerra, va en busca de una historia más vieja, una historia que podría sólo pasar a la Historia con mayúsculas como una lista de muertos, o má
Mar 21, 2010 Wayne rated it really liked it
This book was so big and dense that it took me an entire day, with a couple of sanity breaks in between to finish it. A truly amazing book from start to finish. I truly respect Joe Socco for undertaking a book like this. Years of work for one incredible story. This book mainly centers on a particularly bad year of the forever war between Israel and Palestine.The year was 1956. I'm not qualified to comment on the accurateness or facts from this time. All I know is Socco did his homework and it ...more
Having read Palestine, I must say Footnotes was probably even better in some ways, it certainly is more focused and the artwork is greatly improved (the cityscapes in Footnotes were mesmerizing.) That said, it's a little too much of the same and all these tales of woe do become rather exhausting after awhile. Also the book is based almost solely on personal accounts of events that happened over 50 years ago, so the nature of human memory is a reoccurring theme. Sacco goes out of his way to ...more
Nadia Fadhillah
Komik yang menggetarkan batin.

Footnotes from Gaza adalah graphic novel terbaik Joe Sacco menurutku, sepanjang karya-karyanya sebelumnya yang sudah aku baca. Penelusurannya terhadap fakta Insiden Rafah dan Khan Yunis tahun 1956 membuat Joe dan Abed (partner lokal dan penerjemahnya) keduanya menjadi ahli sejarah Insiden Rafah 1956 di dunia. Graphic novel ini bikin aku takut, merinding, nyaris menangis, dan tertawa di tengah-tengah halaman-halamannya. Meskipun sangat menyenangkan untuk terus membac
Feb 19, 2012 Poonam rated it really liked it
A worthy book to have on one's shelf. Reporter-cartoonist Joe Sacco reconstructs the massacre of Palestinian men by Israeli soldiers in 1956 in the villages of Rafa and Khan Younis in Gaza strip. His research relies on primarily from the interviews conducted with veterans in Rafa and Khan Younis who survived the incident. He is objective to point out the differences in various narrations and how our memories misguide us. Joe does support the story of events with few documents in Appendix - ...more
Aug 21, 2016 Sookie rated it really liked it
Sacco uses his distinctive style of narration by going through daily motions of life in a city that stands amidst the rubble of past and uncertainty of the future. When people meet on the street, they exchange news of a relative, a friend or a mutual acquaintance getting into trouble. The everyday life involves people talking about food and politics, atrocities of the past and violence in the present; the coherence and contradictions these people seem to imbibe induces anger and heartbreaks.

John Doez
Apr 21, 2015 John Doez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comic
Se trata de una crónica periodística más que cualquier otra cosa. La investigación del autor de los hechos acontecidos en la Franja de Gaza en 1956, tal y como se produjo dicha investigación. Por lo tanto, quizá también podría considerarse un libro de historia, aunque en este queda más claro como se ha obtenido la información.

Por cierto, la forma de presentar su trabajo periodístico-histórico es mediante viñetas, con lo que el autor consigue transmitir una interpretación que no se lograría exclu
Jan 12, 2010 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, non-fiction
Maybe Joe Sacco's best book... there's some devastating quiet moments, such as when the son of a wanted Palestinian is up at two AM because he wants to see his father whenever he can. In two panels you see the love and sadness and weariness in his expression, putting a very human face on a conflict that is often more about numbers, ideologies and dogma.
Apr 30, 2010 Schuyler rated it it was amazing
This book primarily focuses on one event in November of 1956, in a town in the Gaza Strip called Rafah. In this particular event, hundreds of young, unarmed men, mostly of military age, were rounded up in a local school yard by the Israeli army. Most were severely beaten on the head as they entered the yard. They were questioned. Held all day, they were made to sit in their own piss. Some rubbed sand in their wounds to stop the bleeding. Suspected soldiers were imprisoned or killed on the spot. ...more
Mar 26, 2012 Antoine rated it it was amazing
Joe Sacco strikes again ! L’auteur de Palestine est de retour dans les territoires occupés. Ce terrible conflit sans fin et sans espoir, fait de drames quotidiens, est devenu quasiment banal pour ses habitants et, plus largement, pour les audiences du monde. Quand la violence aveugle répond à la violence aveugle, même les borgnes peinent à voir pour voir ce qui se passe autour d’eux. Joe Sacco, lui, a les deux yeux bien ouverts et la plume acérée. 386 pages de témoignages, de récits, de vies ...more
Metin Yılmaz
Bir mükemmel çizgi tarih daha Joe Sacco'dan. Uyarmalıyım yer yer sinirleriniz dayanmayacak, içiniz burkulacak. Ama yapacak hiç bir şeyinizin olmadığını görünce çok daha fazlasını yaşayacaksınız içinizde. Tüm dünyanın seyirci kaldığı, amerikanın, ingilterenin ve isreal terörist ülkenin yaptığı katliamların sadece küçük bir kısmını göreceksiniz. Sürekli bize soykırım yapıldı diye dolaşan bir ırkın masum insanları nasıl katlettiklerini, gerçek soykırımı nasıl yaptıklarını göreceksiniz. Yalanlarla ...more
Oct 15, 2015 Karyl rated it it was amazing
I am no scholar on the Middle East and its conflicts, but when I was a young child, I always wondered how a country could be carved out for a people from a nation that was already there, and that it was expected that the people already there would simply capitulate and allow the new settlers in without any issue. I mean, haven't we Americans learned anything from the way we treated the Native Americans? Granted, the Jews/Israelis do have ties to that area, something we immigrants didn't have ...more
Daniel Simmons
Mar 24, 2015 Daniel Simmons rated it really liked it
First: I loved this book. (Though perhaps "love" is not really an appropriate word to describe one's feelings about an excavation, in graphic novel form, of some long-forgotten moments of apparent genocide.) Second: it's hard for me to review this as a work of nonfiction journalism. Yes, Sacco does his best to carefully and ethically navigate the line between hearsay and hard fact, and there are several moments in this text where he explicitly points out the blurriness and unreliability of ...more
Jan 10, 2014 Dale rated it liked it
I found Sacco's other work Palestine to be much more revealing, balanced and just better

I was thrilled to find Joe Sacco had written another graphic novel because I found Sacco's work Palestine: The Special Edition to be a revealing and balanced work that took me into one of those places that everyone has heard of but really knows nothing about.

Footnotes in Gaza focuses on a "footnote" in the 1956 Suez War in which Israel, England and France attacked Egypt and Gaza was overwhelmed by the Isr
Feb 27, 2014 Zioluc rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fumetto, reportage
Joe Sacco fa giornalismo a fumetti e i suoi lavori più noti riguardano Palestina ed ex Jugoslavia. Racconta la propria esperienza in prima persona, disegnando se stesso che parla con i civili coinvolti in tragedie più grandi di loro, senza nascondere le proprie simpatie e occasionali meschinità.

Qui vediamo la sua inchiesta su un episodio avvenuto a Rafah (striscia di Gaza) nel 1956, quando l'esercito israeliano strappò la zona nella lotta con l'Egitto, e nel radunare i civili in cerca di milizia
Jake Forbes
Mar 15, 2010 Jake Forbes rated it it was amazing
This was a tough book to get through and really hard to rate. Sacco's first comics reportage on Palestine was a truly eye-opening -- absolutely one of the best comics works I'd ever read. Whereas Palestine is a patchwork portrait of 90s Palestine as experienced by the artist, Footnotes in Gaza focuses on one incident in one city that took place 50 years ago. Sacco skillfully weaves together eye-witness accounts to recreate the atrocities in Rafah in 1956, which he intersperses with his journey ...more
Mar 30, 2013 Malapata rated it liked it
Shelves: comic
Joe Sacco regresa a la Palestina ocupada para investigar unas matanzas sucedidas en 1956. Al tiempo que progresa en su investigación nos sirve de testigo de las condiciones de vida, los miedos y las privaciones de la población de Gaza.

Un libro duro, terrible, necesario. Sacco da voz a los que no la tienen, a la masa de población ignorada por los medios de comunicación occidentales.

Pero, si esto es así, ¿por qué le he dado sólo 3 estrellas? Me encanta el estilo de Sacco, y su "Palestina" y "Goraz
Feb 15, 2014 Manish rated it really liked it
In 1956, hundreds of Palestinians were rounded up by Isreali forces, beaten up brutally and fired into indiscriminately in a small town called Rafah in the Gaza strip. With barely a footnote devoted to the event in a UN report, Sacco embarks in 2002-03 on a quest to uncover the actual happenings. This book is a record of his experiences and the eventual piecing together of the truth of the event.

Apart from solving the jig saw puzzle through numerous (mostly conflicting) testimonies, the book is
Laura Engelken
Mar 21, 2010 Laura Engelken rated it really liked it
Joe Sacco utilizes his practice of "visual journalism" to detail his investigation of the 1956 massacre of Arab Palestinians in Rafah. In doing so he chronicles current life in the Gaza Strip as he reviews historical documents and speaks with survivors. Sacco's intention is clearly to give voice to the Palestinian people who have been systematically terrorized and murdered by Israeli government forces.

Sacco's graphic novel was an engaging and infuriating introduction to the recent history of Is
Dec 30, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it
A heavy but level headed journalistic investigation into two specific atrocities, overlooked to the point of being considered "footnotes", in a place where atrocities seem to indistinguishably blend into one another over the decades. A basic understanding of the Arab-Israeli conflict is probably helpful in understanding the historical context of the events in the book, but what's really on display is the intense array of emotions of the individuals caught up in these events as well as the ...more
Jun 10, 2010 Sonic rated it it was amazing
Wow. A Beautiful book! A tragic piece of history told with warmth and humor, tastefully restrained and yet quite powerful. Subjectively journalistic, and yet approaches objectivity with its thoroughness and depth of perspectives. Sacco's voice in both word and line conveys a humble sincerity that makes him so wonderfully unique. His drawings are exquisite though the subject matter at times is almost painful to witness. Be that as it may, his books are a pleasure to read, whether your interest is ...more
Steve Wilson
Apr 19, 2013 Steve Wilson rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I was hoping for something more current (about the Palestininan/Israeli situation). I purchased this for my Social Studies class, as we were covering the Middle East. The illustrations are so evocative, I felt myself feeling a bit sick at some of the incidents that are displayed. There have been horrendous atrocities committed (perhaps by both sides?) during this ongoing conflict. If anything, I would recommend this book for someone who wants a gritty picture of the history of the Gaza Strip.
Usama Albastaki
لو أنك ممن ينظر إلى القضية الفلسطينية بوجوب تبني السلام أو أنك ممن يظن أن معاناة الشعب الفلسطيني هو أهون من معاناة أي شعب آخر في الوقت الحالي أو خلال التاريخ، فعليك بقراءة هذا الكتاب.
بالنسبة لي أحداثه مرعبه تكشف توحش العدو وفعله ما يريد من أجل إحكام سيطرته، هذا الكتاب لم يكتبه فلسطيني أو عربي، هذا الكتاب كتبه امريكي من أصل مالطي، ذهب واستقر لحين في المنطقة وكتب ما شاهده أو أحس به أو سمعه من شهود عيان ..
كتاب يستحق القراءة والإقتناء ، لكن للأسف أحداثه حزينه تدفعك للإكتئاب والشعور بالخزي.
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Comic Book Club: * Footnotes in Gaza 1 4 Aug 17, 2015 07:53AM  
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Joe Sacco was born in Malta on October 2, 1960. At the age of one, he moved with his family to Australia, where he spent his childhood until 1972, when they moved to Los Angeles. He began his journalism career working on the Sunset High School newspaper in Beaverton, Oregon. While journalism was his primary focus, this was also the period of time in which he developed his penchant for humor and ...more
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