Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness / Edition 1

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Overview

This foundational text now features a new introduction by Rashid Khalidi reflecting on the significance of his work over the past decade and its relationship to the struggle for Palestinian nationhood. Khalidi also casts an eye to the future, noting the strength of Palestinian identity and social solidarity yet wondering whether current trends will lead to Palestinian statehood and independence.

Winner of the 1997 Albert Hourani Book Award, Middle East Studies Association

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Editorial Reviews

Edward Said
Khalidi's massive study of the construction of Palestinian national identity is a pathbreaking work of major importance. It is the first book to work from the premise that such an identity does in fact exist, and then proceeds to uncover its overlapping layers, historical phases, and tragic setbacks with a complete mastery of the relevant literature in Arabic, Hebrew and Western sources.
Foreign Affairs
A major contribution to historical Palestinian nationalism.
Booknews
Describes the origins and development of Palestinian nationalism, addressing both the ongoing questions and prevailing misconceptions. Khalidi (history, U. of Chicago) suggests that the growth of Palestinian nationalism was not merely a response to Zionism. He illuminates the sources of collective Palestinian identity from the late Ottoman Empire onward, examining factors such as religious beliefs, ethnic backgrounds, local loyalties, education, Palestinian scholars, the Arab press, and British colonization. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Kirkus Reviews
An impressively thoughtful, layered, and well documented study of key aspects of the evolution of modern Palestinian nationalism.

Those expecting either a comprehensive history of the modern Palestinian movement or a polemic against Zionism and Israel should look elsewhere. Khalidi, who teaches history and directs the Center for International Studies at the University of Chicago, and who was a member of the Palestinian delegation to the Mideast peace negotiations, focuses almost entirely on the late Ottoman and early Mandate period (1880s through 1920s). He sees Palestinian nationalism emerging far earlier than is generally thought—in the preWW I period, when absentee landlords in Beirut and elsewhere sold large tracts of Palestinian land to the Jewish Colonization Association. Yet while modern Palestinian history is inextricably intertwined with that of Zionism, Khalidi focuses as much on other constituents of modern Palestinian identity, which include "patriotic feelings, local loyalties, Arabism, religious sentiments, [and] higher levels of education and literacy." He demonstrates how the long-term influence of modernization, the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, and concomitant European incursion in the preWW I era, followed by the betrayal of promises made by both the British and French, contributed as much to Palestinian nationalism as the 1917 Balfour Declaration and Zionist immigration. The only flaw here is that Khalidi races through the last 70 years of the development of Palestinian identity. Even here, however, he offers a fascinating analysis of why Palestinian nationalism seemingly became "submerged" after the first Arab- Israeli War (194749) and until the PLO's founding in 1964.

At a time when the end of the hundred years' war between Zionism/Israel and the Palestinians appears on the horizon, this illuminating study will help readers gain a sophisticated understanding of how the Palestinians came to be who they are.

The Chronicle of Higher Education

One of the pre-eminent historians of Palestinian nationalism.

Library Journal

[Khalidi's] historiographic method is pathbreaking.

Foreign Affairs

A major contribution to historical Palestinian nationalism.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231105156
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 3/22/1997
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Rashid Khalidi is Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University. He is also the author of Under Siege: P. L.O. Decisionmaking During the 1982 War, The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood, and Sowing Crisis: The Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East, and coeditor of The Origins of Arab Nationalism.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Contrasting Narratives of Palestinian IdentityCultural Life and Identity in Late Ottoman Palestine: The Place of JerusalemCompeting and Overlapping Loyalties in Ottoman JerusalemElements of Identity I: Peasant Resistance to Zionist SettlementElements of Identity II: The Debate on Zionism in the Arabic PressThe Formation of Palestinian Identity: The Critical Years, 1917-1923The "Disappearance" and Reemergence of Palestinian Identity

Columbia University Press

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