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Description - One Palestine, Complete by Tom Segev

Great Britain ruled Palestine from 1917 to 1948. The British presence replaced 500 years of Turkish control and led to the State of Israel, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1998. The British brought Palestine into the twentieth century. When they arrived the country lay in a Levantine nirvana; by the time they left it had become the arena for one of the century's major international conflicts. Among the personalities who shape this narrative are Lawrence of Arabia, Winston Churchill, the archaeologist Flinders Petrie, King Feisal, Chaim Weizmann and David Ben Gurion. One momentous consequence of these 30 years was that the Jewish population increased by a factor of ten.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780349112862
ISBN-10: 034911286X
Format: Paperback
(197mm x 127mm x 38mm)
Pages: 624
Imprint: Abacus
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 4-Oct-2001
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - One Palestine, Complete by Tom Segev

UK Kirkus Review » The British took control of Palestine from the Turks in 1917, and stayed until 1948. According to Segev, they derived no economic or strategic benefit from it, and there were early signs that they were getting themselves into an insoluble political problem. Both Arab and Jews wished for independence and assumed they would win it under British sponsorship; however, the two competing national movements advanced steadily towards confrontation, and outbreaks of violence were regular features of British rule. In this balanced account of the Mandate period, Segev, a leading Israeli historian, has used much previously untapped archival material, and in 519 pages of meticulously researched text (there are also detailed source notes), he has the space to convey richly varied detail. He quotes from the diaries of such diverse individuals as Count Ballobar, the influential Spanish consul of Jerusalem in World War One; the noted Palestinian educator and writer Khalil al-Sakaini; Chaim Weizman, the leader of the Zionist movement; and many British High Commissioners and officers, high-ranking and low. Part One is entitled 'Illusion' - the British illusion that it was possible to establish a 'national home' for the Jews without hurting the Arabs. 'From the start,' writes Segev, 'war between the two was inevitable.' There were riots in 1920, with many more to follow, rivalries and disagreements between the powerful Husseinis and Hashashibis, Ben-Gurion and Jabotinsky, High Commissioners and the Colonel Office. The closest comparison that was often made to the insoluble problem was Ireland. Part Two, 'Terror', details the escalation of atrocities and riots as the British authorities tried to limit Jewish immigration, and to react appropriately to increased Arab terrorism. Counter-terrorism became a strong force. One British minister wrote, 'You can't have a secure base on top of a wasps' nest'. In 1947 the Mandate was handed over to the UN. Segev clarifies the complex origins and developments of the two entrenched and passionate nationalisms, and the clarity is deeply depressing. The war for Palestine began even before its partition into two independent states. (Kirkus UK)


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Author Biography - Tom Segev

Tom Segev is the acclaimed author of THE SEVENTH MILLION and writes a weekly column for HA'ARETZ, Israel's most prestigious newspaper.

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