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Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  218 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Since the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, Palestinians have spread out across the region - in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, as well as the occupied territories of Israel itself. Beginning with World War I, and across the geographical borders of their diaspora, this volume explores the evolution of a Palestinian national identity that developed in spite of, a ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 29th 1997 by Columbia University Press (first published 1997)
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This is certainly a precise and well-done history. Whenever any informative document comes to me from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I'm immediately suspicious of the author's motives. But Khalidi is very up front about his position.

The history certainly provides a comprehensive account of Palestinian identity, and that's what it set out to do. It thoroughly debunks the bullshit notion that Palestinians don't exist, or that their identity is less authentic than the Jewish identity within the
Justin Michael James Dell
Khalidi's purpose here is to argue that Palestinians indeed have a national identity. Ostensibly, this contention runs contrary to the commonplace saying that "Palestinian" is an essentially made-up designation, a merely negative Arab self-identification vis-a-vis Zionism, the "Other" without which no Palestinian identity would be possible. However, Khalidi concedes the point that this conventional wisdom is grounded in a kernel of truth. But that then proves too much, as he would turn the presu ...more
Chelsea Szendi
For someone from outside of the field, this offered me a good overview of not only the history and development of a Palestinian identity, but also of how contemporary (well... a decade ago) discussions on the topic relate to that history. In particular, I liked Khalidi's analysis of Pan-Arabism, and how it lingered (lingers!) in Western discourse beyond its actual force as a political agenda in the Middle East.

There is a central tension in the book that I felt went unresolved, however. Khalidi o
Meir Brooks
I came into this book as a potential "choir"-- I have always had a lot of respect for Khalidi, and have never really understood and much less sympathized with the idea that Palestinians are "not really a people" or that they need to justify their existence in some way.

Which is why it's odd that I come away from this book somewhat less convinced of Khalidi's point than at the outset.

The point of the books is very specific: elements of "Palestinian [national] Identity" can be traced back to the
Oct 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very good examination of the development of Palestinian identity, focusing first on the Ottoman period of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries and then the early years of the British Mandate. I especially appreciate Khalidi's research in the Palestinian and wider Syrian press of the period. As I started the book I was a little wary. Some reviews suggested that Khalidi focused too much on Palestinian identity as "independent" or as a "positive" and overlooked its dialectical nature as it rela ...more
Carl Finch
Nov 20, 2018 rated it liked it
I found some parts of this book to be extremely interesting, but then some parts to be extremely repetitive and boring. I’d say 6 or 7 out of 10.
Jean Kelly
Mar 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
A very informative book about how the Palestinian national identity was formed thorough time. He has a depth of knowledge about the history of the period from pre WWI on. I also found him giving a balanced picture of all sides of the issues of the time - US, Russia, British, French, Israel,Saudi, Jordanian, Lebanon and other Middle East countries - though he clearly feels strongly about the outcome to date of the struggle.
Bradley Farless
Feb 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
This guy repeats himself too much. I could have read just the last two chapters. They include everything else in the previous chapters. The first three chapters read like an introduction, an introduction to an introduction, and another introduction. The chapter on the newspapers was way too drawn out and repetitive and the important points were summarized in the later chapters as well.
technically, um, still haven't read it yet! ...more
Jo`` Khalaf
Jun 07, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Proves how Palestinians have always existed even though some Israelis would have you believe otherwise.
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Rashid Khalidi is the author of seven books about the Middle East, including Palestinian Identity, Brokers of Deceit, Resurrecting Empire, The Iron Cage, and Sowing Crisis. His writing on Middle Eastern history and politics has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and many journals. For his work on the Middle East, Professor Khalidi has received fellows ...more

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