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A nuanced history, through the eyes of the people involved, of one of the most controversial political movements in the world.
The Palestinian elections of 2006 changed modern Middle Eastern history–as well as changing the perception of the Israel/Palestine conflict around the world. How, Westerners asked, could a secular people elect a radical Islamist group, one that openly advocated violence against the Israeli government and its people, to lead them?
Italian journalist Paola Caridi’s Hamas: From Resistance to Government addresses this question, covering the entire history of Hamas from its 1948 origins in Islamic resistance groups through the critical 2006 elections and the 2011 revolutions that rocked the Arab world. Caridi breaks with the tradition of sensationalist journalism to instead tell the story of a movement, caught between the desire to resist its oppressor--using violence, where necessary--and the need to provide support for a refugee people as the sole effective government of a war-torn region. In so doing, she performs, with intelligence, dexterity, and heart, the central function of history: to look at a people’s actions through that people’s eyes and to reveal the complexities behind the controversy in explaining one of the key players in the central crisis of the Middle East today.
“The historical account does not content itself with providing the most subtle details concerning the origins, organizational structure, and ideology of [Hamas], but digs under the surface in order to offer to the readers a realistic and scientific analysis of the movement in all its manifold dimensions. The result is a very readable book which represents the much-needed critical synthesis of the literature about Hamas.”-International Spectator