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Hidden Histories: Palestine And The Eastern Mediterranean [Paperback]

Basem L. Ra'ad

Price: CDN$ 39.11 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Aug. 15 2010 074532830X 978-0745328300
For thousands of years, Palestine and the East Mediterranean have been subject to constant colonial interference which has denied the indigenous population an independent, authentic historical narrative. Basem L. Ra’ad uncovers this history and begins the process of reconnecting it to contemporary peoples. Perceptions of the region have been influenced by the operation of "Western civilization" and by many other inherited cultural-religious preconceptions. The region itself has been disenfranchised and prevented from developing its own comprehensive cultural history. Ra’ad's findings are an important step towards reconstructing an alternative history, one which dispels many of the myths and traps relating to religions, languages, peoples and sites. This highly original work is an essential text for students of Middle Eastern history, politics and culture.

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“A thoughtful, engaging, and original book, it is perhaps the first corrective history of Palestine, its people, its region, and its culture” -- Naseer Aruri, Chancellor Professor (Emeritus) of Political Science, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
"Hidden Histories is a brilliant tour de force of recovery, decolonization, re-vision, and inclusivity"-- Hilton Obenzinger, Stanford University  
"Those who seek any understanding of a most misunderstood region should read carefully Ra'ad's meticulous retracing of its overwrought human record" -- Djelal Kadir, Pennsylvania State University
"A study in deep time, wide space.... an anthropology of the present" -- Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Columbia University
“Ra’ad carries his impressive erudition lightly. He even has a chapter on the ‘Cats of Jerusalem.’ He introduces his Epilogue with, ‘This is not my last chapter. It is the beginning of another book.’ Let us hope so, and as soon as possible, please.” – Jane Adas, The Link

About the Author

Basem L. Ra’ad is a Professor at Al-Quds University, Jerusalem. Born in Jerusalem, he received his education in Jordan, Lebanon, the U.S. and Canada, earning a Ph.D. at the University of Toronto in 1978. He has been an editor and community organizer, and taught in various countries, including Canada, Bahrain and Lebanon.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Since Time Immemorial, the Real Story Dec 26 2011
By Ronald Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Basam L. Ra'ad's new book is a companion volume to Shlomo Sand's: "The Invention of the Jewish People". It turns out that the Palestinians, now exiled or living on their land under duress, are descended from the people of that land from ancient times: ah, Canaanites. The corollary story is another tragic story; of Jews descended from Jewish proselytes of the Ukraine, Western Turkey, Eastern Europe, or North Africa - reviving a modern version of a little-spoken ancient hebrew language, for the purpose of claiming the locus of origin of the Torah Judaism that preceded Talmudic Judaism. Basam Ra'ad neatly summarizes the falsehoods of the bible-as-history, that are relevant to this particular debunking.

To me, it seems a great loss to bury the Jewish histories of large-scale religious conversion and the true stories of origins in other ancient lands and tribal migrations. That would be true history, much more interesting than the improbable, received mythology. The derivative Christian religions kept select old books from Judaism and indeed used the old stories to support the seizure of lands of other unworthy "Canaanites", but in that process the colonizers kept a sense of being merely symbolic "Israelites", recognizing the while that they came from specific nations in Europe. In Palestine, we have a land seizure based upon the bible, but at pains not to identify the natives as even make-believe, "Canaanites".
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Judeo-Christian Mythologies Just Keep Piling Up June 13 2014
By Cameron Powers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
So many myths are taken as common beliefs by the Judeo-Christian public. This author shows us some alternative interpretations. Did Jesus really exist? Did Moses really exist? Was there ever really a Jewish exodus from Egypt? If Jesus existed was he Jewish? Were there historical realities associated with Solomon and David? Was Hebrew an important and distinct language back in the days before the time of Christ? Definitive answers to these are hard to come by. We don't know many things for certain as cultures hand down mythologies from one to the next as centuries roll by. After reading this book the open-minded reader will be tempted to discard many commonly held beliefs. What to replace them with? Perhaps wisdom is a place where we believe in less and less... Finally we can simply say: there are so many things that I don't believe it that this has become a mental habit. And this is not the same thing as being a "skeptic." But back to the histories presented in this book: especially for those of us who have lived in Arab-speaking indigenous parts of the Middle East we can better understand that the troves of ancient wisdom carried by the Arabic language is indeed vast and frequently overlooked by Westerners who have been taught to avoid deep contact with cultures which have evolved in the Islamic world. Big subject. I highly recommend this book for an eye-opener. Thanks go to Basem Ra'ad!

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