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Rediscovering Palestine

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Overview

Drawing on previously unused primary sources, this book paints an intimate and vivid portrait of Palestinian society on the eve of modernity. Through the voices of merchants, peasants, and Ottoman officials, Beshara Doumani offers a major revision of standard interpretations of Ottoman history by investigating the ways in which urban-rural dynamics in a provincial setting appropriated and gave meaning to the larger forces of Ottoman rule and European economic expansion. He traces the relationship between culture, politics, and economic change by looking at how merchant families constructed trade networks and cultivated political power, and by showing how peasants defined their identity and formulated their notions of justice and political authority.

Original and accessible, this study challenges nationalist constructions of history and provides a context for understanding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It is also the first comprehensive work on the Nablus region, Palestine's trade, manufacturing, and agricultural heartland, and a bastion of local autonomy. Doumani rediscovers Palestine by writing the inhabitants of this ancient land into history.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Revising both nationalist and orientalist discourses on the character of economic and political life in Ottoman Palestine, gives voice to its peasants and merchants through private family papers, Islamic court archives, and local council records. Focusing on Nablus, the manufacturing and agricultural heartland that has also frequently been a political hotbed, examines the social relations embedded in the production and circulation of cotton, textiles, olive oil, and soap. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520203709
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 10/12/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Beshara Doumani is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Table of Contents

List of Maps, Plates, and Tables
Preface
List of Abbreviations
Note on Translation and Transliteration
Introduction: Palestine and the Ottoman Interior 1
1 The Meanings of Autonomy 16
2 Family, Culture, and Trade 54
3 Cotton, Textiles, and the Politics of Trade 95
4 The Political Economy of Olive Oil 131
5 Soap, Class, and State 182
Conclusion 233
Appendix 1. Weights and Measures 247
Appendix 2. Court Records, Judges, and Private Family Papers 249
Appendix 3. Soap Factories and the Process of Production 252
Glossary 259
Notes 261
Select Bibliography 309
Index 327
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