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Mountain against the Sea

Essays on Palestinian Society and Culture

Salim Tamari (Author)

Available worldwide

Hardcover, 256 pages
ISBN: 9780520251298
November 2008
$85.00, £66.00
Other Formats Available:
This groundbreaking book on modern Palestinian culture goes beyond the usual focal point of the 1948 war to address the earlier, formative years. Drawing on previously unavailable biographies of Palestinians (including Palestinian Jews), Salim Tamari offers eleven vignettes of Palestine's cultural life in the momentous first half of the twentieth century. He brings to light the memoirs, diaries, letters, and other writings of six Jerusalem intellectuals whose lives spanned (and defined) the period of 1918-1948: a musician, a teacher, a former aristocrat, a doctor, a Bolshevik revolutionary, and a Jewish novelist. These essays present an integrated cultural history that illuminates a watershed in the modern social history of the Arab East, the formulation of the Arab Enlightenment.
List of Illustrations

1. Introduction: Palestine's Conflictual Modernity
2. The Mountain against the Sea? Cultural Wars of the Eastern Mediterranean
3. From Emma Bovary to Hasan al-Banna: Small Towns and Social Control
4. Bourgeois Nostalgia and the Abandoned City
5. A Musician's Lot: The Jawhariyyeh Memoirs as a Key to Jerusalem's Early Modernity
6. Lepers, Lunatics, and Saints: The Nativist Ethnography of Tawfiq Canaan and His Circle
7. Sultana and Khalil: The Origins of Romantic Love in Palestine
8. The Last Feudal Lord
9. Ishaq Shami and the Predicament of the Arab Jew in Palestine
10. The Enigmatic Bolshevik from the Holy City
11. The Vagabond Café and Jerusalem's Prince of Idleness

Salim Tamari is Professor of Sociology at Birzeit University, Palestine and Director of the Institute of Jerusalem Studies.
“Essay after essay is enriched with arresting descriptions, illuminating anecdotes and intriguing details. . . . An erudite and original contribution to the history of the Middle East and an inspiring and enjoyable piece of scholarship.”—Times Higher Ed Supp (Thes)
“A strong contribution to scholarship on Jerusalem in English.”—Middle East Journal
"Irreverent, erudite, captivating, and deeply informed, Mountain against the Sea is a must-read book by the leading essayist on the cultural history of Palestine and the Palestinians."—Beshara Doumani, author of Rediscovering Palestine

"The preeminent Palestinian historical sociologist, Salim Tamari, exhibits his masterful range and inquiring intelligence in this engrossing study of important aspects of the social, cultural, and intellectual history of Palestine and the Levant over the past century."—Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies, Columbia University

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