This rich and magisterial work traces Palestine
's millennia-old heritage, uncovering cultures and societies of astounding depth and complexity that stretch back to the very beginnings of recorded history.
Starting with the earliest references in Egyptian and Assyrian texts, Nur Masalha explores how Palestine
and its Palestinian identity have evolved over thousands of years, from the Bronze Age to the present day. Drawing on a rich body of sources and the latest archaeological evidence, Masalha shows how Palestine
's multicultural past has been distorted and mythologised by Biblical lore and the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
In the process, Masalha reveals that the concept of Palestine
, contrary to accepted belief, is not a modern invention or one constructed in opposition to Israel, but rooted firmly in ancient past. Palestine
represents the authoritative account of the country's history. 'Masalha has now admirably unearthed this forgotten Palestine
. He settles securely and authoritatively into a narrative that commands respect and is not impaired by the passion behind it ... Masalha's confidence that all will not be extinguished offers hope in the face of a still-uncertain future. He has written his history to encourage the survivors and to enlighten those who sympathise with them. He strives to keep alight the flame of Palestinian culture that, despite every attempt to snuff it out, still burns brightly in the poetry of Mahmoud Darwish and in the world he never left behind.'
New York Times Review of Books
'A sharp, powerfully understated denunciation of Israel's founding mythology. Masalha's narratives provide ballast and backstory to the contemporary claims of the dispossessed.'
'The attention to detail, as well as the rigorous explanation is impeccable. Every reading, or re-reading, of this book, will provoke new contemplation.'
Middle Eastern Monitor
'Nur Masalha has produced an impressive work that challenges those who are trying to erase the Palestinians from history.'
'Masalha has done an extraordinary job, collating evidence from an abundance of rich sources, to give us a stunning narrative substantiating these identities.'
'The most comprehensive English language history of Palestine
to date. This book is a painstakingly researched and well-documented deconstruction of the myths too many Zionists and their western apologists have convinced the world to be factual history.'
'It is the first true history of Palestine