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About the Author

Includes the names: Gudrun Krämer, Gudrun Krämer

Works by Gudrun Kramer

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Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Kramer, Gudrun
Gender
female
Birthplace
Hesse, Germany

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Reviews

It was like reading a statistics report. Not my cup of tea.
 
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Foghorn-Leghorn | 1 other review | Jun 5, 2016 |
It will come as a surprise to some that we can even talk of a history of Palestine before the state of Israel—after all, much of mainstream media/popular discourse seems constructed atop an unexamined assumption that the territories had little developed culture or meaningful history before Jewish settlement.

"Too often," writes Gudrun Kramer, at the outset of her fifth chapter, "the history of late Ottoman Palestine is seen (and told) as a mere prelude to Arab-Jewish conflict in the twentieth century... for Palestine, 1882 can only be taken as a turning point if history is written from its outcome—the foundation of the State of Israel. It makes no sense if the aim is to write a history of the Palestinian economy and society at large."

An excellent aim, but has she fully accomplished this? At least one reviewer has pointed out that the first two centuries of Ottoman rule really get no coverage at all here, whie the second two are allocated four chapters out of thirteen. The same reviewer points out that, while Kramer is by no means a denier of the nakba (lit. "catastrophe", the 1948 expulsion of the Palestinians), the single most defining event of modern Palestine is given only thirteen pages, and doesn't seriously consider Arabic-language sources, even though many of these have been vindicated as accurate after decades of suppression and denial.

I would still recommend this book as a worthwhile starting point for understanding Palestinian history. The book presents the best available population and land-use statistics for various periods, which itself will come as a revelation to some. There are also a series of potential surprises in the unfolding story of the British role—the views of British politicians and civil servants on Palestine and Zionism were anything but uniform, and Kramer's account captures that well.

This is a worthwhile first take on this subject, but it is by no means the last word.
… (more)
½
 
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jrcovey | 1 other review | Jul 29, 2015 |

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Works
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Members
166
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Rating
½ 3.4
Reviews
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ISBNs
33
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