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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Showing 11-20 of 38 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on December 25, 2001
This comic book made the plight of the Palestinian people real to me in a way no other book, or even documentary film, ever has. What makes the comic format so well suited for this story is that unlike other formats such as documentary film or prose, Sacco is able to graphically illustrate the stories that his interview subjects tell him, so we get to see, for example, what its like inside Ansar III prison, or at an Israeli "interrogation" of a Palestinian stone-thrower. He is a gifted illustrator-- his mastery of displaying subtle human emotions through facial expression is breathtaking.
This book series will probably be criticized for being "one sided," and it definitely is (not one bad thing happens to an Israeli in the book.) Yet, as the narrator replies when an Israeli woman in the comic says, "You should hear our side of the story,".... "I've heard nothing but the Israeli side most of my life." Here is a gripping view from the other side of the line.
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on November 28, 2001
This new one volume edition of Joe Sacco's Palestine comics evokes my first trip to the occupied Palestinian territories in 1989 a couple of years before Sacco's first visit from 1991-1992. His book faithfully represents the contradictions and striking images of the conflict, and being a graphic novel/comic book renders them visually and powerfully.
I couldn't think of a better medium to explain the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to someone than this book, which stands out as an honest account of one man's attempt to make sense of it all, as well as a work of art in its own right.
Powerfully-told stories are laced with well-researched facts, all couched in Sacco's humanity and disbelief at the people he meets and the events he sees. Particularly chilling is the account of a Palestinian father's torture experience. The book covers a wide variety of other topics, including refugees, Israeli attitudes, life inside prison, and more, introducing these issues (along with the atmosphere of a visit to Palestine) through Sacco's walk through the West Bank and Gaza, talking to people there.
The second half of Sacco's book opens up more of the conflict, this time in the setting of Gaza, but should be considered as indivisible from the first half, as the two halves represent the complete collection of "Palestine" comics originally published as individual magazines, then as a two volume edition.
The visual imagery is almost photographically faithful to the actual landscapes and cityscapes of Palestine, and accounts such as Sacco's taxi ride to Nablus will elicit delighted cries of recognition and wry laughter from those who have visited the country.
This book is a 'must have' that you will definitely not be disappointed with if you're buying them for yourself, and should be considered a necessary part of your standard tools to explain the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict to others. In the absense of a Palestinian "Cry Freedom", this is the next best thing.
Nigel Parry
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on December 21, 2001
Joe Sacco brilliantly gives voices and faces to the masses of 'invisible' Palestinians and in sharing their stories Sacco has created an incredibly personal and emotionally powerful historical document of an endangered people. Sacco gives humanity and dignity to the overlooked victims, as well as providing historical and political context to their struggle. Joe Sacco also brilliantly interweaves himself into the comic frames, as he is not just looking in from the outside but revealing from the inside, adding further strength to his work.
By far, this is the best treatment of the Middle East conflict that I have read and I guarantee you will not be able to put it down until you get to the last page and then you'll want to start all over again! A keeper to be shared with as many as possible.
I commend the publishers for their courageous efforts.
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on March 22, 2002
Joe Sacco's "Palestine" provides the western world with a powerful account of the Palestinian perspective of their conflict with Israel. Sacco's path takes him through much of the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem and parts of Israel. He tells the stories of the people he meets and through them paints a picture of the brutality and injustice they endure under the apartheid policies of Israel. With the media coverage of the conflict being what it is, the accessibility of the graphic novel format makes "Palestine" a singularly important work. By communicating the truth, perhaps a lasting solution to this conflict can be found.
Although the journalistic content of "Palestine" is its primary value, it also stands on its own aesthetically. Sacco also writes well and the narrative flows smoothly from one part of his journey to another.
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on July 17, 2002
Sacco never preaches, he just reports. And the reporting gave me all sorts of insight into what our media never seems to touch: the lives of ordinary Palestinians, day-to-day. It is astounding. And Sacco is not an apologist for terrorism; in fact he doesn't even discuss Palestinian terrorists. He just talks about what he saw: regular people. Sometimes intelligent and noble, sometimes small-minded and misguided. Just like people everywhere else. But when you think that SO many Palestinians have lived under these contitions their whole lives- have never travelled, and every Jew they have ever met has been a settler or a soldier- you start to understand why this is a no-win situation for anyone.
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on August 2, 2015
Sacco captures the reality of the experience without censoring antagonistic views on either side. Nonetheless, in the end, the reality of events speak for themselves.
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on February 18, 2003
This is an eye opener! Joe Sacco has done a brilliant job in showing what the "other side" of the story is about. In America, all we hear are negatives about Palestinians, and never about why they do the things they are "accused" of. This book is brilliant in opening our eyes to the horrors behind the "curtain" and has great visual images depicting horrific scenes. One doesn't say to believe everything you read, but this is an enjoyable book to read!
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Joe Sacco lived in Palestine for 3 months, living and conversing with Palestinians about the horrors of Israeli occupation. He shows visually what Human Rights reports can only give in statistics: the shame and inhumanity of arbitrary checkpoints, the immense grief of losing a son or daughter to blatant Israelis aggression and Chauvinism, the deadening effect of a life fully controlled by a racist occupying force in one's own country, and the stoic resolve with which innocent Palestinians (women, children, men) are tortured by Israeli Shin Bet.

Israeli apologists and closet bigots will ironically (and predictably) call this book "propaganda" and "lies". Unfortunately for them, truth does not conform to the subjective imaginings of a flawed and hypocritical ideology. Zionism is founded on the exploitation and suffering of the Palestinians, and no amount of prevarication, sophistry, and lies can change this fact.

Sacco's artwork is unique and eye-catching, meticulous and quirky. The images are worth the price alone. A must-read.
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on January 21, 2002
Totally eye-opening. Read it, it will change your opinion on whats going on over there almost immediately. It is very similar to Maus, if you've ever read that. You probably have. I think everyone and their mother has read Maus at some point.
Sacco is truely one of the greats. May he continue to travel the world and bring us these stories.
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on May 29, 2004
This book is simply amazing. I'm a second-year college student and it is required reading in my Comp Lit class. It shows you the side of an issue mainstream media doesn't want you to see, and those who refuse to see the side of Palestinians will, even after reading this book, deny the truth. Joe Sacco is brilliant, as his evidence is first hand, his writing realistic, and drawings eye-opening. For anyone who is sick of seeing the issue of Palestine from the view of money hungry media people, this is the book to get. You'll cry. I guarantee, because Sacco will show you the truth as you aren't supposed to see it.
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