Weathered by Miracles: A History of Palestine from Bonaparte and Muhammad Ali to Ben-Gurion and the Mufti

Thomas A. Idinopulos, Author Ivan R. Dee Publisher $27.5 (299p) ISBN 978-1-56663-189-1
A benchmark resource for understanding the roots of the Arab-Israeli conflict, Idinopulos's concise, evenhanded history of the Holy Land deserves to be as popular as his well-received Jerusalem. Opening with Napoleon's invasion of Egypt and Palestine in 1798-99--an assault repulsed in 1801 by an Anglo-Turkish force--then moving on to Egyptian viceroy Muhammad Ali Pasha's 1831 conquest of Palestine and Syria, which set the stage for an influx of Westerners to the Middle East, Idinopulos's panoramic chronicle follows the clash of Christians, Jews and Muslims fighting over the same property, often in disregard of the other parties' agendas. Idinopulos closes his narrative with the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, focusing on several factors that laid the groundwork for today's crisis: the creation of an illiterate, landless Arab peasantry in the late 19th century; Arab Palestinians' refusal in the early 1920s to participate in a British-sponsored government of both Arabs and Jews; decades of British neglect and failure to provide quality education to Arabs. In the author's scathing analysis, the British manipulated the Zionist movement to serve their own imperialist objectives of gaining strategic advantage in the Middle East. Idinopulos is professor of religious studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Illustrations not seen by PW. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/04/1998
Release date: 07/01/1998
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 299 pages - 978-1-56663-269-0
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