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Palestine: A Four Thousand Year History

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Palestine: A Four Thousand Year History

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Palestine: A Four Thousand Year History

by by Nur Masalha 

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.


“Nur Masalha has produced an impressive work that challenges those who are trying to erase the Palestinians from history.” ―International Socialism

“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

“A sharp, powerfully understated denunciation of Israel's founding mythology. Masalha's narratives provide ballast and backstory to the contemporary claims of the dispossessed.” ―
Publishers' Weekly

“Masalha has done an extraordinary job, collating evidence from an abundance of rich sources, to give us a stunning narrative substantiating these identities.” ―
Socialist Review

“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.” ―

“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 significant contribution to the restoration of the history of ancient Palestine, written by a prolific indigenous historian of international repute. Brilliantly explicating the relationship between history and colonial ideology in Palestine, with this book Masalha puts Palestinian history back on track.” ―
Hamdan Taha, archaeologist and former Deputy Minister for Tourism and Antiquities, Palestine

“An amazing book, long overdue. A 
tour de force which demystifies the distortions and fabrications around Palestine and the people living in it.” ―Ilan Pappé, author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

“This erudite, comprehensive study of Palestine explodes many myths. Essential reading for a proper understanding of the efforts to deny the deep historical rootedness of this name, and of its indigenous people.” ―
Rashid Khalidi, Columbia University

About the Author

Professor Nur Masalha is a Palestinian academic and historian and former Director of the Centre for Religion and History at St. Mary's University, London. He is currently a Member of the Centre for Palestine Studies, SOAS, University of London. He is the Editor of “Journal of Holy Land and Palestine Studies,” published by Edinburgh University Press. He is also the author and editor of numerous books on Palestine, including, Palestine: A Four Thousand Year History (2018); An Oral History of the Palestinian Nakba (with Nahla Abdo, 2018); Theologies of Liberation in Palestine-Israel: Indigenous, Contextual, and Postcolonial Perspectives (2014); The Zionist Bible: Biblical Precedent, Colonialism and the Erasure of Memory (2013); The Palestine Nakba: Decolonising History, Narrating the Subaltern, Reclaiming Memory (2012); The Bible and Zionism (2007); The Politics of Denial: Israel and the Palestinian Refugee Problem (2003): Imperial Israel and the Palestinians: The Politics of Expansion (2000); A Land Without a People (1997); Expulsion of the Palestinians: The Concept of 'Transfer' in Zionist Political Thought, 1882-1948 (1992). Professor Masalha also currently serves as a judge on the panel for the Palestine Book Award (London)

Publisher: I.B. Tauris, 2023
Paperback, 464 pages
ISBN: 978-0755649426


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