Catalogue


Armed struggle and the search for state : the Palestinian national movement, 1949-1993 /
Yezid Sayigh.
imprint
Oxford : Clarendon Press ; Washington : Institute for Palestine Studies, 1997.
description
xxiv, 953 p.
ISBN
0198292651
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Oxford : Clarendon Press ; Washington : Institute for Palestine Studies, 1997.
isbn
0198292651
catalogue key
1647878
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [843]-912) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1998-12:
This is the best book on the Palestinian nationalist movements from al-Nabka (the catastrophe), their 1948 defeat by Jewish nationalists, to the Declaration of Principles (DOP) signed in 1993, in which the PLO accepted political jurisdiction over Jericho and Gaza. It is based on rich and original sources and accompanied by an unprecedented number of oral interviews with most of the major figures of the nationalist movements. The three major organizations are discussed, but the emphasis is on Fateh and the PLO, both dominated by Yasir Arafat. Sayih's revisionist thesis is that the armed struggle of the Palestinians, primarily against Israel but against Arab countries as well, was the major factor that contributed to the creation of nation- and state-building institutions. He argues that the PLO was able to maintain control of the Palestinian national movements because it stressed nationalism over radical leftist ideologies. As a result, it was able to create a "state" in diaspora. The dilemma is that the Palestinians abandoned the armed struggle when they signed the DOP in 1993. Sayigh argues that the acceptance of political jurisdiction over only three percent of the West Bank and Gaza with no further extension of sovereignty will jeopardize the further development of state-building institutions. The continued expansion of Israel suggests this eventuality. All major libraries and anyone interested in the Arab-Israeli conflict will want to read this book. R. W. Olson; University of Kentucky
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A younger Palestinian scholar, Yezid Sayigh, shows by contrast that the political narrative can be reconstructed. Sayigh's monumental new history of the Palestinian national movement, Armed Struggle and the Search for State does this in all its bewilderingly intricate detail."--Independent Saturday Magazine "...an achievement which will be with us long after hundreds of books on the subject are forgotten."--The Spectator
"A younger Palestinian scholar, Yezid Sayigh, shows by contrast that the political narrative can be reconstructed. Sayigh's monumental new history of the Palestinian national movement, Armed Struggle and the Search for State does this in all its bewilderingly intricate detail."-- Independent Saturday Magazine "...an achievement which will be with us long after hundreds of books on the subject are forgotten."-- The Spectator
"A younger Palestinian scholar, Yezid Sayigh, shows by contrast that the political narrative can be reconstructed. Sayigh's monumental new history of the Palestinian national movement,Armed Struggle and the Search for Statedoes this in all its bewilderingly intricate detail."--Independent SaturdayMagazine "...an achievement which will be with us long after hundreds of books on the subject are forgotten."--The Spectator
'[CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS TLS QUOTE - TO RUN ON FROM ABOVE] The major contribution of the book is that it presents a mass of new material and an extraordinarily detailed and coherent account of the history of the PNM from 1949 to 1993 ... This is warts and all history at its best ... Abalanced testament to the Palestinian struggle, the book is also a measured but ultimately devastating critique of the Palestinian leadership and Yasser Arafat in particular ... Perhaps the leadership will ignore the lessons of history, but at least others now have the opportunity to learn fromthem.'Paul Taylor, Times Literary Supplement
...definitive study of the armed struggle. - The Economist. 16/5/1998
exceptionally detailed account of internal Palestinian decision making in the face of a generally hostile and unforgiving external environment./ ... it is comprehensive, drawing on an impressive range of primary sources, and unlikely to be surpassed./ Roland Dannreuther, lecturer inInternational Relations, University of Edinburgh, THES, 04/06/99
It is probably true that only a Palestinian with extraordinary access and skills could write an intimate and comprehensive history of the PNM since 1949. Yezid Sayigh is perhaps uniquely qualified for the task. Sayigh put more than fifteen years work and a blend of empathy, experience,scholarship and dispassionate analysis into this book - a monumental achievement, superseding all previous work on the subject. The major contribution of the book is that it presents a mass of new material and an extraordinarily detailed an coherent account of the history of the PNM from 1949 to1993. - Paul Lalor. Times Literary Supplement. 24 April 1998.
'Monumental new history of the Palestinian national movement.'Independent Magazine 24.1.98
'Sayigh put more than fifteen years work and a blend of empathy, experience, scholarship and dispassionate analysis into this book ... a monumental achievement, superseding all previous work on the subject ... Covering a complete era in Palestinian history and drawing on the best material inEnglish, it is based primarily on an unprecedented array of documentary and oral sources in Arabic, including Yasser Arafat's personal archive and more than 400 interviews with high- and low-level activists. Even the most sensitive subjects are aired and examined. [MORE CONTINUED BELOW - WOULD NOTALL FIT INTO SAME REVIEW QUOTE LINE]'Paul Taylor, Times Literary Supplement
the book is a valuable reference source in itself, with over a quarter of its pages devoted to notes, a bibliography and index. Sayigh has made a major contribution to the understanding of Palestinian politics and strategy since Israel became a state. - AM Journal of Peace Research. July1998.
'The scope of Sayigh's work is staggering: 692 pages of text and 217 pages of footnotes. Had I not known it, I would have guessed that it had taken more than ten years to research and write. As such it is a scholarly book which should prove of immense value to other writers, journalists andserious readers. It is not one for cocktail-party gossip or the superficial interest of Middle East groupies ... Above all, it is in proffering precise and unemotional judgement that Sayigh excells ... an achievement which will be with us long after hundreds of books on the subject are forgotten.'The Spectator
'This book is likely to be the last word on the topic of Palestinian armed struggle, both because there is little to say beyond Yezid Sayigh's extensive chronicle and analysis, and because it examines a phase of Palestinian history that has definitively ended ... This work is monumental forreasons which go far beyond its hefty size, because of the intensive research involved ... Few authors could have brought to this task the necessary expertise and personal experience, combined with a critical faculty and apparently inexhaustible patience ... all serious students of the subject willappreciate this book's comprehensive analysis of the Palestinian national movement.'Rashid Khalidi, Middle East Journal, Vol 53, No 4, Autumn 1999
''...this is a monumental work of scholarship, erudite, original, comprehensive, beautifully written and produced. It is a magnificent book on a huge schale... and will certainly be the definitive work on this subject for many years to come.''Kuwait
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 1998
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Summaries
Long Description
Built upon an unprecedented amount of access to PLO archives, official publications, and the internal documents of various guerrilla groups, as well as over four hundred interviews conducted by the author with the rank-and-file of the PLO, this groundbreaking book affords a definitive account of the Palestinian National Movement. Covering thoroughly the forty-five years between the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 to the PLO-Israel accord of 1993, this study sheds much new light on the history of the Middle East in the latter half of the twentieth century.
Long Description
This masterly new work spans an entire epoch in the history of the contemporary Palestinian national movement, from the establishment of Israel in mandate Palestine in 1948, to the PLO-Israel accord of 1993. Contrary to the conventional view that national liberation movements proceed with state-building only after attaining independence, the case of the PLO shows that state-building may shape political institutionalization throughout the previous struggle, even in the absence of an autonomous territorial, economic, and social base. That is the central argument of this insightful study, which traces the political, ideological, and organizational evolution of the PLO and its constituent guerrilla groups. Taking the much-vaunted 'armed struggle' as its connecting theme, it shows how conflict was used to mobilize the mass constituency, assert particular discourses of revolution and nationalism, construct statist institutions, and establish the legitimacy of a new political class and bureaucratic elite. The book draws extensively on PLO archives, official publications and internal documents of the various guerilla groups, and over 400 interviews conducted by the author with the PLO rank-and-file. Its span, primary sources, and conceptual framework make this the definitive work on the subject.
Main Description
This masterly new work spans an entire epoch in the history of the contemporary Palestinian national movement, from the establishment of Israel in mandate Palestine in 1948, to the PLO-Israel accord of 1993. Contrary to the conventional view that national liberation movements proceed withstate-building only after attaining independence, the case of the PLO shows that state-building may shape political institutionalization throughout the previous struggle, even in the absence of an autonomous territorial, economic, and social base. That is the central argument of this insightfulstudy, which traces the political, ideological, and organizational evolution of the PLO and its constituent guerrilla groups. Taking the much-vaunted 'armed struggle' as its connecting theme, it shows how conflict was used to mobilize the mass constituency, assert particular discourses ofrevolution and nationalism, construct statist institutions, and establish the legitimacy of a new political class and bureaucratic elite. The book draws extensively on PLO archives, official publications and internal documents of the various guerilla groups, and over 400 interviews conducted by theauthor with the PLO rank-and-file. Its span, primary sources, and conceptual framework make this the definitive work on the subject.
Table of Contents
Introduction: A Historial Framework
Searching for Palestine, 1949-1966
Why Palestinian Nationalism? The Social, Economic, and Political Context after 1948
Palestinians in Arab Uniform
Rebirth of the Palestinian National Movement
The Watershed
Challenges of the Armed Struggle
Years of Revolution, 1967-1972
Transforming Defeat into Opportunity
Carving Out the Guerilla Sanctuary
Guerilla War in Theory and Practice
The Making of the Palestinian Political System
Dual Power
End of a Myth
Interregnum
The State-in-Exile, 1973-1982
At the Crossroads
The Lebanese Crisis
The Struggle for Lebanon
Ambition Frustrated, Sanctuary Preserved
A Ceasefire, Not a Truce
Rearguard Action
The `Fakhani Republic'
Extending the State-in-Exile or Capturing It?
No Lull before the Storm
The Lebanon War
Squaring the Circle: Statehood into Autonomy, 1983-1993
Assaulting the State-in-Exile from Within
Struggle Within, Struggle Without
Intifada to the Rescue
The Road to Oslo
Conclusion
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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