The Palestinian People: A History
By Baruch Kimmerling et al.
Harvard University Press, 2003, 608 pp.
This is an expanded edition of Palestinians: The Making of a People, which appeared in 1993. That book told the story of a people who, in their long confrontation with Zionism and Israel, became a nation. It covered 1834 to 1993 -- the year of the Oslo accords, which seemed to augur an Israeli-Palestinian settlement. This new edition, adding just over a hundred pages, traces the descent from Oslo to the violence that has raged since September 2000. One chapter, on "what went right" with the Oslo process, offers a needed reminder of the substantial trajectory toward peace that Oslo set in motion. The following chapter, on "what went wrong," shows how Oslo's promise was undermined not so much by the actions of any one side as by the incremental missteps or misdeeds of both in almost equal measure. A fine general history of the Palestinians now usefully updated with a history of the decade after Oslo.