The Iron Cage
The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood
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A timely and compelling examination of the Palestinian dilemma, named one of the 100 best books of the year by Publishers Weekly
In Resurrecting Empire, Rashid Khalidi dissected the failures of colonial policy over the entire span of the modern history of the Middle East, predicted the meltdown in Iraq that we are now witnessing with increasing horror, and offered viable alternatives for achieving peace in the region. His newest book, The Iron Cage, hones in on Palestinian politics and history. Once again Khalidi draws on a wealth of experience and scholarship to elucidate the current conflict, using history to provide a clear-eyed view of the situation today.
The story of the Palestinian search to establish a state begins in the era of British control over Palestine and stretches between the two world wars, when colonial control of the region became increasingly unpopular and power began to shift toward the United States. In this crucial period, and in the years immediately following World War II, Palestinian leaders were unable to achieve the long-cherished goal of establishing an independent state--a critical failure that throws a bright light on the efforts of the Palestinians to create a state in the many decades since 1948. By frankly discussing the reasons behind this failure, Khalidi offers a much-needed perspective for anyone concerned about peace in the Middle East.
"Rashid Khalidi is a historian's historian. The Iron Cage is his most accomplished effort to date . . . Magisterial in scope, meticulous in its attention to detail, and decidedly dispassionate in its analysis, The Iron Cage is destined to be a benchmark of its genre."
--Joel Schalit, Tikkun
"Atheart a historical essay, an effort to decide why the Palestinians . . . have failed to achieve an independent state." --Steven Erlanger, New York Times
"Khalidi, tackling 'historical amnesia, ' brilliantly analyses the structural handicap which hobbled the Palestinians throughout 30 years of British rule . . . Khalidi restores the Palestinians to something more than victims, acknowledging that for all their disadvantages, they have played their role and can (and must) still do so to determine their own fate." --Ian Black, Guardian
"Khalidi uses history to provide a clear-eyed view of the region and assess the prospects for peace. He strives successfully for even-handedness."
--Anthony Lewis, author of Gideon's Trumpet and Make No Law
." . . we have to open a dialogue with Hamas--not to embrace it, but to lay out a gradual pathway that will bring it into relations with Israel. As Rashid Khalidi, Columbia University's Palestinian expert and author of The Iron Cage points out: 'If we let the Palestinian Authority be destroyed, and then we keep Hamas isolated'--even though it won a democratic election that we sponsored--'we will end up with the hard boys, the gangs you see today on the streets of Gaza, who respond to no authority at all.'"
--New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman
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