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Palestine Collection [Paperback]

Joe Sacco
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 10 2001
Based on years of research and extended visits to the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the early 1990s (Sacco conducted over 100 interviews with Palestinians and Jews), the American Book Award-winning Palestine is the first major comics work of political nonfiction by Sacco, who has singlehandedly pioneered the genre of comics journalism to universal acclaim. Featuring a lengthy introduction by the outspoken political essayist and historian Edward Said (Peace and Its Discontents and The Question of Palestine), one of the world's most respected authorities on the Middle Eastern Conflict.

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Product Description


"Gripping ... a political and aesthetic work of extraordinary originality." -- Edward W. Said, from his introduction

Palestine deserves a place among the very best of documentary. -- The Journal of Palestinian Studies

I may as well get right to the point. Buy and read Joe Sacco's...Palestine. -- The Comics Journal #166, Frank Stack, February 1994

Reading [Palestine]...you're astounded by the wealth of human voices, the literally warts-and-all passion of every side of the conflict. -- Entertainment Weekly

Sacco has pioneered a journalistic form that manages to be both deeply informative and highly entertaining. -- Time Out New York, John Kearney, 6 December 2001

Sacco's Palestine brilliantly and poignantly captures the essence of life under a repressive and prolonged occupation. -- Nasseer H. Azuri, Professor of Political Science, The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

This mature work is important and has never been more timely. -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 19 December 2001

[A] compassionate, insightful primer on the lives of Israeli soldiers, Palestinian refugees and children in the Middle East. -- Salon.com, 28 September 2001

[Sacco's] obviously got the calling. His stuff is obviously well wrought, with dizzying pages and good rhythm. -- Art Spiegelman, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Maus

About the Author

Joe Sacco lives in Queens, New York. In April, he received a 2001 Guggenheim Fellowship to work on his next project.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual and convincing with only minor flaws May 19 2002
Joe Sacco's "Palestine" addresses, in my opinion, one of the most important issues within the conflict with Israel.
Palestinian terrorists are brutal, inhumane and ineffective. But, and this is a MAJOR but, what do you do about the plight of the Palestinian people? How can you defend what they experience day in and day out? Joe Sacco's drawings and writing offer us a glimpse of what these people have had to put up with.
I do have one major issue with this book.
Joe Sacco lets Palestinian/Muslim sexism off the hook. Yes, he tries to address the issue, but never seems to nail any central issue. In one series of panels he challenges a man about the veiling of women and how men should alter their behavior instead of the women. There's no response from the man he speaks to and Sacco drops the issue almost entirely. He does have several pages illustrating his discussions with women, but again, he throws softball questions and remarks.
There are a lot of books on the Middle East in print right now. Joe Sacco's book is, however, a rarity. I strongly recommend it simply because it's so unusual. Plus, it shows, in human terms, why there's so much rage on the Palestinian side.
For those who might be interested in this theme, I also strongly recommend "My Enemy, My Self" by Yoram Binur, a book written by an Israeli who goes undercover disguised as a Palestinian to see first hand what they experience.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more objective than on first impression April 3 2003
By Chutes
You have to read Palestine carefully, especially if you are either strongly sympathetic or hostile to Israel. It would be easy to see the book as condemning Israel. It is not, but since Sacco's intention was to get to know the community that we in the US don't know well, the Palestinians, the book shows mainly their experiences and interpretations of them. (It would have been a good idea to include a timeline of the historical events related to the Israel/Palestine tragedy, so that people who do not know the facts could put into perspective the versions of history that Sacco's Palestinian interviewees have.)
I emphasize that this is not the book to turn to in order to figure out whether to side with the Israelis or the Palestinians. It does not give that kind of information, and there are other books for that (Thomas Friedman's From Beirut to Jerusalem is a good one). For the most part there are no terrorists or major political figures interviewed and there is no survey of the historical background, the mistakes and crimes that have left both peoples in this mess. What I saw in this brilliant piece of comic journalism is an on the ground look at what is going on with people caught in the storm.
Palestine is about the human spirit, often humorous and courageous. It is also about the tragedy that is what happens when people suffer at each other's hands, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, as well as physically, and lose the ability to see the human face.
Victims turn into villains. The scenes of the settlers attacking the Arab villages at night reminded me chillingly of Kristalnacht. A 16 year old Palestinian terrorist-in-training is chilling as he describes his recruitment at 13, his loss of interest in anything but the violence, and the version of history that he believes in.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Journo in Palestine Nov. 25 2012
Time specific and yet relevant today. Expertly drawn scenes of muddy war torn life in Palestine. Cultural features are captured and moments of anguish are so well retold, they are felt by the reader. Worth reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I am not nearly knowledgeable enough to judge Sacco's grasp of the overall political situation in the Middle East; however, PALESTINE is not a book about overall situations. It's a series of vignettes and snapshots of individual lives in the occupied territories, and Sacco tells those stories very well. He is clearly sympathetic to the Palestinians, but even though he portrays them as victims, he also depicts their anger, their violence, their conflicts with each other . . . all the things that make them real people, and all the things that, frankly, can lead one into despair over the prospects for anything but war and conflict in the region for a long time to come.
Sacco is a skilled journalist, getting his interview subjects to talk about their lives and experiences in detail. As a comic artist, he brings those stories to life. His people often seem to have larger-than-life, exaggerated features -- all the better to convey emotion -- while he draws the world they live in in great detail. The contrast of the combination works very well.
Throughout the story, Sacco provides a running narration of his own thoughts as he moves from place to place chasing the story, while also filling in historical details where he feels it necessary. The narration gives an added dimension to the book, since it also becomes a story of Sacco's adjustments to conditions in the territories and his own mixed feelings about his ability to do anything about them -- feelings that readers will likely share when they finish reading this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Trip through Palestinian Eyes March 13 2002
By A Customer
What makes this work valuable is the focus on the views of the Palestinian without even attempting to explain the history and events that lead to their plight. Sacco just suspends the why's.
What we see is a dark, depressed and oppressed people who unfortunately harbour a growing hatred and resentment towards the Israelis. It does not leave you hopeful for a peaceful solution anytime soon.
It is biased, but does not pretend to be anything else. It is also enlightening. The comic style makes it an easy way to get a picture of the Palestinian Viewpoint; it turns a narrative into a picture.
For those of us in the west looking for another viewpoint it is worthwhile.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Joe Sacco's Palestine
Joe Sacco's Palestine works well as a graphic novel. The narrative is tight, the details in the artwork are meticulous, and the chapters flow into each other with a sense of... Read more
Published on Jan. 4 2011 by Scroozle
5.0 out of 5 stars Bring it on, Zionists!
It's high time for a "biased and un-academic" and "gloriously one-sided" story -- from the Palestinian side, that is. Read more
Published on March 28 2009 by delia ruhe
5.0 out of 5 stars Accurate and Heart-Rending Portrayal
Joe Sacco lived in Palestine for 3 months, living and conversing with Palestinians about the horrors of Israeli occupation. Read more
Published on June 22 2007 by Harrison Koehli
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular, heartrending, and honest
This book is simply amazing. I'm a second-year college student and it is required reading in my Comp Lit class. Read more
Published on May 29 2004 by Kiran Lodhie
1.0 out of 5 stars Palestinian propaganda as usual...
Typical lies the so-called "Palestinian people" perpetrate as usual. Waste of time & energy. Complete fiction.
Published on May 27 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars The Abu Ghraib training manual
If you want to find out where US troops got their gruesome torture methods for Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, it's all in Sacco's book, published in 2002 and based on a trip he took to... Read more
Published on May 16 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible writing, lack of facts with reputable sources =CRAP
This book was written by a man who supported deadly terrorist attacks against ISraeli and Jewish civilians. (... Read more
Published on May 12 2004 by John
5.0 out of 5 stars Creating a Humanity Bridge
Joe Sacco is one of those unsung heroes! He is the equivalent of a Mother Theresa. Seldom do we, anymore, find courageous and humane people who try to deliver a message on behalf... Read more
Published on April 23 2004 by Tish, Now-Pro-Palestine
2.0 out of 5 stars A biased and un-academic evaluation of the conflict
The 285 page comic book Palestine by Joe Sacco offers a highly subjective however artistic portrayal of the Palestinian Arab perspective of the conflict that mars the region of... Read more
Published on April 22 2004 by Anonymous Reviewer
5.0 out of 5 stars Palestine, by Joe Sacco
I had to read this book for a course I was taking in a Human Rights/Media course. I wasn't sure at first, never having enjoyed comic books and certainly nervous of the issue at... Read more
Published on April 21 2004
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