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Palestine: A Four Thousand Year History

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  120 ratings  ·  18 reviews
For centuries, the land of Palestine has been fought over by competing faiths, nations and empires. Today, even the name itself has become a battleground for conflicting Israeli and Palestinian visions of the country's past. Israelis treat the very notion of 'Palestine' as a modern invention, while rooting their own nation's history in the ancient Kingdom of Israel. But, a ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 15th 2018 by Zed Books Ltd
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A.G. Stranger
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It was heart-warming to know that Tunisians and Palestinians are related to the Phoenician population. And also roughly the same length of time spanned by their history. Tunisia(3000years),Palastine (4000years). And of course, this is a must read book to understand the on-going palestinian-Israeli conflict
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Masalha attempts a lot with this book, and many of his positions are unlikely to be accepted by other scholars considered perhaps more neutral and less sensational in style. For instance, the use of the word ‘Palestine’ in all its iterations, is unlikely to be accepted as term most commonly used name rather than the ‘Canaan’ up until classical antiquity (when it then became most often referred to as Syria-Palestine), let alone accepted as a well-established cultural or ethnic identifier that enc ...more
Martin Empson
"Masalha clearly demonstrates the way that the history of Palestine, a history where Jews, Arabs, Christians and others lived together peacefully for long periods of time, has been ignored, erased and destroyed in the interests of the modern Israeli state. This is detailed history that restores the forgotten past in the interests of a more just future for everyone, from all backgrounds and religions, in the Middle East."

Full review on the blog:
Mauricio Amar
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mena
This is the best history of Palestine. A must read if you want to understand not only what's problem with zionism but also the enormous value of this tiny land in human history. ...more
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Should be mandatory reading for all Americans, especially the "religious" folks. ...more
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If anyone says Palestine doesn’t exist, gift that person this book.
Jan 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: palestine, favorites
I've been reading this book for the past few weeks, and I could not put it down. The most rich and insanely detailed history about Palestine that I will forever keep referring back to. ...more
Jun 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Palestine is in the region on the Mediterranean Sea between Egypt and Lebanon. Over its long history, Palestine has been a melting pot of different religions, languages and ethnicities. The Palestinian Arab of today have a mixed ancestry of Greek, Philistine, Israelite, Arab, Roman and other ethnicities that inhabited there over the years.

Zionism, the European colonial project that seeks to claim Palestine as its territory has interrupted the continual existence of Palestinian people by depopul
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful book, and invaluable resource that I will surely utilize often.
Omar Abu samra
المشكلة الحقيقة في الاسلوب، أما المضمون فهو ليس بالشيء الجديد، بل الكثير منها كان مختصراً ومكرراً، أنصح بقراءة مفصلة عن كل حقبة مرّت بها فلسطين وهذا الكتاب يوثق ٤٠٠٠ آلاف عاماً على عجل دون تأني، الكتاب مضغوط جداً والترجمة غير موفقة. وأسلوب مصالحة جاء مملاً ورتيباً.
Rowena Abdul Razak
An important history of Palestine. It restores the long history of Palestinians (Muslims, Christians & Jews) in the land of Palestine from ancient times to the present. Book ends with the tragic and systematic erasure of Arab-Palestinian heritage by the Israeli state.
Safwat Safi
Oct 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
فكرة الكتاب في غاية الأهمية، وهي من الأفكار التي يجب العمل عليها بشكل مكثف: وضع تاريخ فلسطيني مستقل عن التاريخ التوراتي الذي استمدت منه كل الأعمال التي كُتبت عن تاريخ وجغرافيا فلسطين.

بدأت قراءة الكتاب بنسخته العربية المترجمة، لكني سرعان ما تخليت عن الفكرة وانتقلت إلى النسخة الإنجليزية، لسببين: أولهما أن الترجمة قائمة على ترجمة عبارة بعبارة مما يسبب التشويش على القارئ في استيعاب فكرة الجملة أو الفقرة، وثانيهما عدم توخي الدقة في ترجمة المصطلحات، وربما قد لايكون ذلك خطأ المترجم لكنه يشوش المعلومات
Apr 06, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went back and forth between 3 or 4 stars on this one.  One of my pet peeves is when (nonfiction) books don't live up to their titles and this one should be renamed: A Four Thousand Year History of the Name Palestine.  Completely obsessed with toponyms, there wasn't much room left for the history part.  The first half of the book is basically a looooong answer to the supposition that Palestine/Palestinians are a modern Western invention that didn't exist historically.

So why the 4 stars?  The fo
Jan 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
The research that went in to this book was astronomical, I found it incredibly comprehensive. On occasion I did struggle to follow the logical sequence of events or understand the the reason behind some arguments/facts. Less of a storytelling historical narrative and more of an academic style.

Side note: The book was edited poorly. Lots of gramatical errors that reduced the flow
Coltrane Bodbyl-Mast
Jan 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
An excellent overview of the history of Palestine that provides a new comprehensive narrative of it, from the Bronze Age to settler colonialism, my only criticisms come in some of the writing style, but otherwise I’d absolutely recommend it.
Mar 25, 2019 rated it liked it
I read the Blinkist abridgement.
Chintushig Tumenbayar
Одоогийн Палестин улсын түүхэн хөгжил хэрхэн явж ирсэн. Өнөөг хүрэх хугацаанд хэрхэн одоогийн байгаа энэ нөхцөлд орсон талаарх дэлгэрэнгүй мэдээлээ өглөө.
Bianca A.
This is one of those historical books that not only has a very biased author to begin with, but also takes a biased side by not making any appeal to facts and proof.
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Professor Nur Masalha is a Palestinian historian and formerly Director of the Centre for Religion and History at St. Mary's University, Twickenham. He is Editor of “Journal of Holy Land and Palestine Studies”:, published by Edinburgh University Press. He is the author of many books on Palestine-Israel. His current work focuses on religion and politics in th ...more

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