In this deeply researched political biography, Ilan Pappé traces the rise of the Husayni family of Jerusalem, who dominated Palestinian history from the early 1700s until the second half of the twentieth century. Viewing this sweeping saga through the prism of one family, the book sheds new light on crucial events—the invasion of Palestine by Napoleon, the decline of the Ottoman Empire, World War I, western colonialism, and the advent of Zionism—and provides an unforgettable picture of the Palestinian tragedy in its entirety. The Rise and Fall of a Palestinian Dynasty is the history of Palestinian politics before national movements and political parties: at the height of the Husaynis’ influence, positions in Jerusalem and Palestine could only be obtained through the family’s power base. In telling the story of one family, the book highlights the continuity between periods customarily divided into pre-modern and modern, pre-Zionist and Zionist, illuminating history as it was actually lived.
Ilan Pappé holds the Chair in History at the University of Exeter and is Co-Director of the Exeter Centre for Ethno-Political Studies. He is well known for his revisionist interpretation of Israel’s history and is the author of a number of influential books on the Middle East including A History of Modern Palestine, The Modern Middle East and The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.
“A unique and enlightening chronicle of an influential family and the people whose lives they profoundly affected. “—Publishers Weekly
“A fine book that is informed by the best scholarship and written with directness and celerity.”—Weldon C. Matthews Journal Of World History
“An interesting narrative on the rise of the Husayni family to local leadership in Jerusalem during the 18th and 19th centuries.”—Meir Litvak, Tel Aviv University Bustan: The Middle East Book Review
“Does not disappoint. . . . A balanced analysis based on solid research. . . . This study is an important contribution to our understanding of the structural weaknesses of Palestinian society in its confrontation with Zionism.”—Janice J. Terry, Eastern Michigan University The Historian
"Ilan Pappé is Israel's bravest, most principled, most incisive historian." —John Pilger, author of Freedom Next Time: Resisting the Empire