100 books like Perceptions of Palestine

By Kathleen Christison,

Here are 100 books that Perceptions of Palestine fans have personally recommended if you like Perceptions of Palestine. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of American Missionaries and the Middle East: Foundational Encounters

Randall Fowler Author Of More Than a Doctrine: The Eisenhower Era in the Middle East

From my list on American (mis)adventures in the Middle East.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a Communication professor at Fresno Pacific University and former Fulbright grantee to Jordan. Growing up in west Texas I was always fascinated with other countries. I encountered Arabic in college, and I quickly fell in love with a language and society that reminded me so much of my home—in fact, the word “haboob” is used by Texas farmers and Bedouin herders alike to describe a violent dust storm. While I was teaching English in Amman, I realized how much I enjoy learning how different cultures come to understand one another. My driving passion is to explore the centuries-long rhetorical history tying Americans and Middle Easterners together in mutual webs of (mis)representation, and this topic has never been more relevant than today.

Randall's book list on American (mis)adventures in the Middle East

Randall Fowler Why did Randall love this book?

This edited volume features some of the world’s leading scholars on the experiences of American missionaries in lands ruled by the Ottoman Empire during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Covering the efforts of Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Mormons, and more, this book illuminates the messy interplay of religion, science, politics, and nationalism in the interactions between these missionaries and the native inhabitants they encountered. It dispels common myths that shroud this topic and shines a light on understudied issues such as the challenges of textual translation in cross-cultural contexts, the role of gender in evangelism, and competing visions of social change at work in education.

By Mehmet Ali Dogan (editor), Heather J. Sharkey (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked American Missionaries and the Middle East as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, American missionary encounters in the Middle East set foundations for later U.S.-Middle Eastern relations. Missionaries presented examples of American culture to Middle Eastern peoples, just as they interpreted the Middle East for Americans back home. These engagements prompt larger questions about the consequences of American Christian cultural projection into the wider world. This volume focuses on regions that were once part of the Ottoman Empire in western Asia, the Balkans, and North Africa. Contributors explain the distinctly American dimensions of these missionary encounters, the cultural influences they exerted on the region, and their…


Book cover of America's Great Game: The CIA's Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East

Randall Fowler Author Of More Than a Doctrine: The Eisenhower Era in the Middle East

From my list on American (mis)adventures in the Middle East.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a Communication professor at Fresno Pacific University and former Fulbright grantee to Jordan. Growing up in west Texas I was always fascinated with other countries. I encountered Arabic in college, and I quickly fell in love with a language and society that reminded me so much of my home—in fact, the word “haboob” is used by Texas farmers and Bedouin herders alike to describe a violent dust storm. While I was teaching English in Amman, I realized how much I enjoy learning how different cultures come to understand one another. My driving passion is to explore the centuries-long rhetorical history tying Americans and Middle Easterners together in mutual webs of (mis)representation, and this topic has never been more relevant than today.

Randall's book list on American (mis)adventures in the Middle East

Randall Fowler Why did Randall love this book?

A deeply interesting dive into the world of espionage and the early days of the CIA, this accessible book by Hugh Wilford provides an excellent entry point into the exciting movements, people, and ideologies that crosscut the Middle East in the years after World War II. Focusing especially on personalities like Kim Roosevelt and Miles Copeland, this book shows why many Arabs even today suspect the CIA may be behind far more than it lets on. For American audiences, this book will provide an intriguing journey into a world that is unfamiliar to most and fascinating to all, illuminating the role U.S. spy agencies played in creating the modern Middle East.

By Hugh Wilford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked America's Great Game as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the 9/11 attacks to waterboarding to drone strikes, relations between the United States and the Middle East seem caught in a downward spiral. And all too often, the Central Intelligence Agency has made the situation worse. But this crisis was not a historical inevitability,far from it. Indeed, the earliest generation of CIA operatives was actually the region's staunchest western ally.In America's Great Game , celebrated intelligence historian Hugh Wilford reveals the surprising history of the CIA's pro-Arab operations in the 1940s and 50s by tracing the work of the agency's three most influential,and colourful,officers in the Middle East. Kermit…


Book cover of The Oil Kings: How the U.S., Iran, and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East

Randall Fowler Author Of More Than a Doctrine: The Eisenhower Era in the Middle East

From my list on American (mis)adventures in the Middle East.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a Communication professor at Fresno Pacific University and former Fulbright grantee to Jordan. Growing up in west Texas I was always fascinated with other countries. I encountered Arabic in college, and I quickly fell in love with a language and society that reminded me so much of my home—in fact, the word “haboob” is used by Texas farmers and Bedouin herders alike to describe a violent dust storm. While I was teaching English in Amman, I realized how much I enjoy learning how different cultures come to understand one another. My driving passion is to explore the centuries-long rhetorical history tying Americans and Middle Easterners together in mutual webs of (mis)representation, and this topic has never been more relevant than today.

Randall's book list on American (mis)adventures in the Middle East

Randall Fowler Why did Randall love this book?

A highly readable tome, Cooper’s account of how the oil politics of the 1970s revolutionized U.S. foreign policy and the Persian Gulf is a must-read for anyone who wants to know more about the political landscape of the Middle East. Cooper traces the personal interactions among the Shah of Iran, Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, Gerald Ford, and the House of Saud in the midst of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, the consequent oil embargo, the formation of OPEC, and the early stirrings of revolution in Iran. Perhaps most helpful, this book dispels many misperceptions about Iran under the Shah while also showing how the United States played an integral role in weakening his regime prior to the 1979 revolution.

By Andrew Scott Cooper,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Oil Kings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Relying on a rich cache of previously classified notes, transcripts, cables, policy briefs, and memoranda, Andrew Cooper explains how oil drove, even corrupted, American foreign policy during a time when Cold War imperatives still applied,”* and tells why in the 1970s the U.S. switched its Middle East allegiance from the Shah of Iran to the Saudi royal family.

While America struggles with a recess ion, oil prices soar, revolution rocks the Middle East, European nations risk defaulting on their loans, and the world teeters on the brink of a possible global financial crisis. This is not a description of the…


Book cover of In the Name of Terrorism: Presidents on Political Violence in the Post-World War II Era

Randall Fowler Author Of More Than a Doctrine: The Eisenhower Era in the Middle East

From my list on American (mis)adventures in the Middle East.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a Communication professor at Fresno Pacific University and former Fulbright grantee to Jordan. Growing up in west Texas I was always fascinated with other countries. I encountered Arabic in college, and I quickly fell in love with a language and society that reminded me so much of my home—in fact, the word “haboob” is used by Texas farmers and Bedouin herders alike to describe a violent dust storm. While I was teaching English in Amman, I realized how much I enjoy learning how different cultures come to understand one another. My driving passion is to explore the centuries-long rhetorical history tying Americans and Middle Easterners together in mutual webs of (mis)representation, and this topic has never been more relevant than today.

Randall's book list on American (mis)adventures in the Middle East

Randall Fowler Why did Randall love this book?

While not a book about the Middle East per se, Winkler’s In the Name of Terrorism traces the rise of terrorism as a concern in U.S. politics and charts the narratives, frames, metaphors, and rhetoric used by presidents to make sense of terrorism to the American people. Focusing specifically on the evolution of “terrorism” as a concept in the leadup to the 9/11 attacks, this book provides vital background for those who wish to understand, as George W. Bush put it, why “they” hate “us.” A wide-ranging volume that effectively bridges the Cold War and the War on Terror, readers will better appreciate the importance of the president’s language choices after finishing this captivating book.

By Carol K. Winkler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Name of Terrorism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Traces the shifts in presidential discourse on terrorism since World War II.


Book cover of The Question of Palestine

Ilan Pappé Author Of Ten Myths About Israel

From my list on understanding modern Palestine.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ilan Pappé is a professor with the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter. He was formerly a senior lecturer in political science at the University of Haifa. He is the author of The Ethnic Cleansing of PalestineThe Modern Middle EastA History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples, and Britain and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

Ilan's book list on understanding modern Palestine

Ilan Pappé Why did Ilan love this book?

This was the first book to bring in one place the Palestinian narrative after years of denying it and allowing only the Israeli/Zionist narrative to dominate both the public and the scholarly domains in the West. Said's elegant prose contributed made that history accessible to a large audience of readers.

By Edward W. Said,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Question of Palestine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This original and deeply provocative book was the first to make Palestine the subject of a serious debate--one that remains as critical as ever. With the rigorous scholarship he brought to his influential Orientalism and an exile's passion (he is Palestinian by birth), Edward W. Said traces the fatal collision between two peoples in the Middle East and its repercussions in the lives of both the occupier and the occupied--as well as in the conscience of the West. He has updated this landmark work to portray the changed status of Palestine and its people in light of such developments as…


Book cover of The Israel/Palestine Reader

Michael Reimer Author Of The First Zionist Congress: An Annotated Translation of the Proceedings

From my list on history of modern Israel Arab-Israeli conflict.

Why am I passionate about this?

I completed my Ph.D. in history at Georgetown University in 1989 and have taught courses on the modern Middle East at the American University in Cairo since 1990. Since the early 2000s, I’ve been teaching a popular course on the history of Zionism. In developing the curriculum for my students, I searched for an English translation of the proceedings of the First Zionist Congress, held in Basel in 1897, a crucial moment in Jewish/Zionist history. When I discovered no such translation existed, I decided to do one myself. It was fascinating work, and the translation was published in 2019.

Michael's book list on history of modern Israel Arab-Israeli conflict

Michael Reimer Why did Michael love this book?

I was excited to discover Dowty’s anthology because I appreciated his translation/publication of certain Hebrew texts from two early Zionists, i.e., Ahad Ha’am and Yitzhak Epstein. As indicated by the title, this volume, while representing Jewish and Arab voices going back to the 1800s, foregrounds the contradictory viewpoints of, specifically, Israelis and Palestinians and brings the story of the conflict of these two ethnonational groups down to about 2015.

Since my students are mostly political science majors, they are aware that a major debate at present is whether Israel/Palestine should be one state or two. The last section of the Dowty book contains texts that advocate for a "one-state solution" vs. others that propose a "two-state solution."

By Alan Dowty (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Israel/Palestine Reader as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Introduction to any complex international conflict is enriched when the voices of the adversaries are heard. The Israel/Palestine Reader is an innovative collection, focused on the human dimension of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian confrontation. Its vivid and illuminating readings present the voices of the diverse parties through personal testimonies and analyses. Key leaders, literary figures, prominent analysts, and simply close observers of different phases of this protracted conflict are all represented-in their own words.

From Mark Twain to Theodor Herzl, Gamal Abdul Nasser, Golda Meir, Anwar Sadat, Ezer Weizman, Ehud Barak, Marwan Barghouti, Mahmoud Abbas, Benjamin Netanyahu, John Kerry, and dozens…


Book cover of Like Birds in a Cage: Christian Zionism’s Collusion in Israel’s Oppression of the Palestinian People

Gary M. Burge Author Of Whose Land? Whose Promise? What Christians Are Not Being Told about Israel and the Palestinians

From my list on helping Christians understand Israel and Palestine.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a professor of New Testament theology who has served in a variety of Christian settings in higher education. My introduction to the world of the Middle East came in the 1970s when I spent a year in Beirut, Lebanon, at the American University. Here I studied Arabic, Islam, and regional politics—and unexpectedly had a front-row seat during the Lebanese civil war. After I completed a PhD in theology and began my career, I returned to the region many times. It was my frequent trips to Israel/Palestine that caught my attention. I’ve led countless student trips to this region and participated in theology conferences. But it's the puzzle of Israel-Palestine that always draws me back.

Gary's book list on helping Christians understand Israel and Palestine

Gary M. Burge Why did Gary love this book?

Crump was a Christian theologian (Calvin University) for many years whose passion for justice took him to Israel/Palestine on numerous occasions.

He not only studied the issues surrounding this conflict, but he immersed himself, living in a refugee camp during some of Israel’s most severe periods of occupation.

But behind America’s support for Israel is often a less-understood set of doctrines called Christian Zionism. This book is the premier explanation of this movement and is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand why the American church sends millions of dollars to Israel every year.

By David M. Crump,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Like Birds in a Cage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Christians collude in crimes against humanity, they betray their citizenship in the kingdom of God, demonstrating that Christ's Lordship does not rule over every area of their lives. The popular ideology known as Christian Zionism is a prime enabler of such widespread discipleship--failure in western Christianity. As the state of Israel continues to violate international law with colonial settlement in lands captured by warfare, legalized racial discrimination, and the creation of what many have called "the world's largest open-air prison" in Gaza, Christian Zionists continue their unqualified support for Zionist Israel. Though Israel advertises itself as "the only democracy…


Book cover of Land, Labor and the Origins of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, 1882-1914

Ian Lustick Author Of Paradigm Lost: From Two-State Solution to One-State Reality

From my list on origins of Israeli policies toward Palestinians.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began studying the Israeli-Palestinian relationship as an idealistic Brandeis University student living in Jerusalem in 1969, when I directly encountered the Palestinian problem and the realities of the occupation. Trained at Berkeley to be a political scientist I devoted my life to finding a path to a two-state solution. In 2010 I reached the tragic conclusion that the “point of no return” toward Israeli absorption of the occupied territories had indeed been passed. Bored with the ideas that my old way of thinking was producing, I forced myself to think, as Hannah Arendt advised, “without a bannister.” Paradigm Lost is the result.

Ian's book list on origins of Israeli policies toward Palestinians

Ian Lustick Why did Ian love this book?

Gershon Shafir’s book on the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a crucial text for all those seeking to reconstruct a history of Israel, the Zionist movement, and the encounter between Jews and Arabs in Palestine. He did the unprecedented act of actually reading and studying virtually all the diaries and journals kept, over decades, by the small but extraordinarily dedicated and articulate group of early Zionist settlers. Contrary to official myths about a visionary Zionist blueprint for building the institutions we associate with Israel, Shafir shows that the kibbutz, the Jewish National Fund, the principle of Jewish labor, and, ultimately, the idea of the kind of “Jewish state” that actually emerged, were not the cause of the confrontation with the Arabs, but a product of it. 

This brings Palestinian Arabs into the story of Zionism in the best and most responsible way—by showing how real people, confronting desperate personal…

By Gershon Shafir,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Land, Labor and the Origins of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, 1882-1914 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gershon Shafir challenges the heroic myths about the foundation of the State of Israel by investigating the struggle to control land and labor during the early Zionist enterprise. He argues that it was not the imported Zionist ideas that were responsible for the character of the Israeli state, but the particular conditions of the local conflict between the European "settlers" and the Palestinian Arab population.


Book cover of What It Means to be Palestinian: Stories of Palestinian Peoplehood

Zahera Harb Author Of Reporting the Middle East: The Practice of News in the Twenty-First Century

From my list on the Middle East from a Lebanese journalist.

Why am I passionate about this?

Arriving in the UK to pursue my PhD after a career in Journalism in my native country Lebanon, a few days before September 11, 2001, set me on a journey to put right the way my region and its people are represented in British and international media. The Middle East, the Arab region, Islam, and Muslims became the focal point of coverage for many years that followed. Most of that coverage had been tainted with negative stereotypes that do not speak true to who we are and what we stand for. Achieving fair representation and portrayal of ethnic and religious minorities have become one of my life passions.  

Zahera's book list on the Middle East from a Lebanese journalist

Zahera Harb Why did Zahera love this book?

As a journalist I have often reported on the Palestinian refugees in my home country Lebanon. I visited the refugee camps and spoke to its residents, and every time I leave the place with stories of what they have behind when they had to flee the historic land of Palestine in 1948 and later in 1967. The old keys and deeds to their homes that had been passed on from one generation to another, stay witness to their conviction of their right to return. This book is about those people and their narratives. It is about Palestinians’ collective memory of loss, that has been kept alive mostly through the spoken word. This book is a narrative documenting those narratives. It captures the essence of what it means to be Palestinian. 

By Dina Matar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What It Means to be Palestinian as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"What It Means to be Palestinian" is a narrative of narratives, a collection of personal stories, remembered feelings and reconstructed experiences by different Palestinians whose lives were changed and shaped by history. Their stories are told chronologically through particular phases of the Palestinian national struggle, providing a composite autobiography of Palestine as a landscape and as a people. The book begins with the 1936 revolt against British rule in Palestine and ends in 1993, with the Oslo peace agreement that changed the nature and form of the national struggle. It is based on in-depth interviews and conversations with Palestinians, male…


Book cover of Palestine: A Four Thousand Year History

David Stansfield Author Of The Making of a Suicide Bomber

From my list on understanding the Middle East.

Why am I passionate about this?

From a young age, I have been obsessed with the Arabic language and culture. In 1959, I studied this language at Durham University, graduating Summa Cum Laude – including living with a Palestinian family in Jerusalem for a number of months. Then moving on to further studies in Arabic at Cambridge University, graduating with a First Class Honors degree. Over the next decades, I have made many trips to the Middle East, working on a number of projects, including stints in North Africa, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jerusalem, Kuwait, and the Persian Gulf. Most recently, I served as the Arabic consultant on the Netflix TV series House of Cards.

David's book list on understanding the Middle East

David Stansfield Why did David love this book?

The Palestinian writer, Nur Masalha, traces Palestine's thousands of years old heritage, uncovering cultures and societies of extraordinary depth and complexity that stretch back to the very beginnings of recorded history. Starting with the earliest references in Egyptian and Assyrian texts, Nur Masalha explores how Palestine and its Palestinian identity have evolved over thousands of years, from the Bronze Age to the present day. Drawing on a rich body of sources and the latest archaeological evidence, Masalha shows how Palestine’s multicultural past has been distorted and mythologised by Biblical lore and the Israel–Palestinian conflict. 

By Nur Masalha,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Palestine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This rich and magisterial work traces Palestine's millennia-old heritage, uncovering cultures and societies of astounding depth and complexity that stretch back to the very beginnings of recorded history.

Starting with the earliest references in Egyptian and Assyrian texts, Nur Masalha explores how Palestine and its Palestinian identity have evolved over thousands of years, from the Bronze Age to the present day. Drawing on a rich body of sources and the latest archaeological evidence, Masalha shows how Palestine's multicultural past has been distorted and mythologised by Biblical lore and the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

In the process, Masalha reveals that the concept of…


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