Book Description

Release date: October 1, 2001  | ISBN-10: 0805065873   |

“One Palestine, Complete” explores the tumultuous period before the creation of the state of Israel. This was the time of the British Mandate, when Britain’s promise to both Jews and Arabs that they would inherit the land, set in motion the conflict that haunts the region to this day.

 Drawing on untapped archival materials, Tom Segev reconstructs an era (1917 to 1948) of limitless possibilities and tragic missteps. He introduces an array unforgettable characters, tracks the steady advance of Jews and Arabs toward confrontation, and puts forth a radical new argument: that the British, far from being pro-Arab, consistently favored the Zionist position, out of the mistaken–and anti-Semitic–belief that Jews turned the wheels of history. Rich in historical detail, sensitive to all perspectives, One Palestine, Complete brilliantly depicts the decline of an empire, the birth of one nation, and the tragedy of another.


This is a history book written by an Israeli historian, author and journalist. He is associated with Israel’s so-called New Historians, a group challenging many of the country’s traditional narratives. It’s impossible for an author to stay objective because a person’s identity colors just about everything they encounter. Segev knows that and does his best.

“One Palestine, Complete” seems objective, fair and well balanced. It’s very well researched and well written. Segev is a historian and he found loads of material about Palestine when it was ruled by turkey, conquered by the Germans, conquered in turn by the British and now mostly under the control if Israel.

It’s a crooked line from the time of the Romans when Jesus was crucified up to the beginning of the State of Israel. Segev discovered lots of fascinating information in his reference sources and he weaves a great narrative in the book. This could be a movie but probably it would dissatisfy almost everyone. Israel has plenty of unsolvable problems in it’s past. One Palestine lays them out and the reader can review the facts  and the conclusions. the judgment of the reader will not know how to solve the Israel – Muslim problem just from this book.

In large measure the book is not offered as a solution. It shows many events and many outcomes. It’s easy for the reader to pass judgment on the events but the essential conflict is beyond the book. Indeed, it’s beyond the world at the moment.

Read the book. It’s really good.


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