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The Road to Martyrs' Square: A Journey Into the World of the Suicide Bomber

by and

The Road to Martyrs' Square: A Journey Into the World of the Suicide Bomber Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Combining in equal measure the critical and the compassionate, the tragic and the absurd, this memoir chronicles two interlocking, often clashing journeys — an exploration of the cult of martyrdom in the underground media of the intifada, on the one hand, and on the other, the struggle for friendship across seemingly impossible divides.

The authors lived for six months with a Palestinian refugee family in the Gaza Strip at the beginning of the intifada, and then for the next six years, collected graffiti, videotapes, audiocassettes, posters, and other street media in over one hundred towns in the West Bank and Gaza. Their book is based on these primary materials (with 66 illustrations included) as well as dozens of interviews with leaders and followers, including a rare interview with a Hamas suicide bomber whose bomb failed to explode on an Israeli bus in Jerusalem. Dispensing with the cliches and platitudes surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the book provides access to materials hitherto unavailable and presents in a new and compelling voice the master scripts of the intifada and the rise of the suicide bomber. Disseminated by nationalists and Islamists alike, these materials make it clear that the suicide bomber is not just an Islamist phenomenon but rather a widely shared fantasy that skips across religious and political divides. Indeed, the fantasy of the suicide bomber, the authors suggest, is global in scope.

Here is an important and timely work that will challenge the way we think about the intifada, suicide bombers, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Review:

"With the beginning of the first intifada in 1987, American scholars Oliver and Steinberg spent six years living in Gaza, collecting interviews and Palestinian political ephemera, much of it related to the multifaceted organization known as Hamas, which first carried out suicide bombings during that time. The pair characterize Hamas's ideology as schizophrenic; the book they have produced feels intentionally disorienting. Part one episodically traces Hamas's development through a political biography of its leader, Sheikh Yasin (who was killed by an Israeli missile last March). Oliver and Steinberg offer a tremendous amount of anecdotal texture, giving a chilling sense of what it was like to live in Gaza as it was engulfed by an Islamism that professes 'not only not to be afraid of death, but to love it passionately.' Part two offers an unprecedentedly extensive set of photos, translations and interpretations of Hamas graffiti; this section is horrifying and fascinating. Part three offers the most sustained and detailed views, in English, inside the preparation and deployment of suicide bombers, featuring extended exchanges with cell members and the families of the bombers themselves. Knowledgeable, colloquial, relatively nonpartisan and deeply skeptical and smart, this book offers an intensive look at one of the major forces in Palestinian society, one that is as unsettling as it is penetrating. (Jan.) " Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Anne Marie Oliver and Paul Steinberg have produced an engrossing documentary account — psychologically and culturally rich, and often also poetical — of how despair, religion, and politics conspired to create Palestinians who regard death, and apocalyptic destruction, as redemptive." Yaron Ezrahi, author of Rubber Bullets: Power and Conscience in Modern Israel

Review:

"Though it is highly informative, their narrative reads with an eloquence and immediacy that will captivate anyone concerned about world affairs, radical politics, and the potent mix of religion and activism in the contemporary Middle East." Mark Juergensmeyer, author of Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence

Review:

"This important book shows that support for suicide bombing in Palestine goes far beyond a tiny fringe and compels us to ask how such violent behavior can become acceptable and supported by a society at large." Robert Pape, author of Dying to Win: The Logic of Suicide Terrorism

Review:

"Of much interest to students of the Middle East, and of the psychology of cults." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"This book is a remarkable blend of personal memoir and deep immersion in all facets of the world they are witnessing, describing, and documenting. It is a presentation that allows the reader space for in-depth psychological and political analysis." Roberta J. Apfel and Bennett Simon, editors of Minefields in Their Hearts: The Mental Health of Children in War and Communal Violence

Review:

"[A] deeply engaging firsthand account of the culture and mentality of Hamas....Although most of the narrated events took place in the early 1990s, this unusual book has great value in explaining Islamic terrorism and the nature of conflict in the Occupied Territories. Highly recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"[A] strange, seductive hybrid — a work of sociology-memoir...captured in sparse prose refreshingly free of academese. Oliver and Steinberg have an almost Proustian ability to capture the essence of a situation through describing a simple sense experience or visual image....The book is at its best when — along with its intellectual analysis — it also conveys the surreal, phantasmagoric nature of ordinary Palestinian life." Johann Hari, columnist for the Independent

Synopsis:

Combining in equal measure the critical and the compassionate, the tragic and the absurd, this memoir is an intense, street-level tour of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Over 80 halftones.

Synopsis:

A close-up account of suicide bombers and their motivation. The authors lived for 6 months with a Palestinian refugee family in the Gaza strip at the beginning of the intifada. They use this experience as well as interviews with leaders, followers and a Hamas suicide bomber.

Synopsis:

Don't expect to find here the usual clichés about suicide bombers and what drives them. In this unique study, Anne Marie Oliver and Paul Steinberg render the story of two intertwining, often clashing journeys. The authors lived for six months with a Palestinian refugee family in Gaza at the beginning of the intifada, and offer a gritty, poetic portrait of the time. They also provide an unrivalled documentary of the underground media they collected during the course of six years in the area. Although they could not have surmised as much at the beginning, they soon found themselves led through these media into the world of the suicide bomber. Their early study, notably, anticipated the spread of suicide missions years in advance.

Dispensing with the platitudes and dogma that typify discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the authors show that the suicide bomber is a complex, contradictory construction, and can be explained neither in terms of cold efficacy nor sheer evil. Theirs is the only book on the subject to illustrate the ecstatic, intoxicating aspects of suicide missions, and provide extensive access to materials that have remained largely unseen in the West despite the fact that they have served as indispensable tools in the construction and propagation of the suicide bomber. The book contains 86 illustrations drawn from the authors' archive as well as numerous conversations with leaders and followers of Hamas, including a rare interview with a suicide bomber whose bomb failed to explode on an Israeli bus in Jerusalem.

Here is an important and timely work that will challenge the way we think about the intifada, suicide bombers, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

About the Author

Anne Marie Oliver and Paul F. Steinberg are writers based in Portland, Oregon. They are Research Scholars in Global and International Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara and former Visiting Scholars at the Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195116007
Subtitle:
A Journey into the World of the Suicide Bomber
Author:
Anne Marie Oliver and Paul Steinberg
Author:
Oliver, Anne Marie
Author:
Steinberg, Paul F.
Author:
null, Paul F.
Author:
null, Anne Marie
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Subject:
Middle East - Israel
Subject:
Religion
Subject:
Terrorism
Subject:
West Bank
Subject:
Islam - General
Subject:
Political Freedom & Security - Terrorism
Subject:
Theology | Islam
Subject:
Religion and Theology | Islam
Subject:
Religion & Theology | Islam
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20050201
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
85 halftones and line illus.
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9.42x6.38x.94 in. 1.27 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
History and Social Science » Middle East » Palestine
History and Social Science » Military » Terrorism Mercenaries and Guerrillas
History and Social Science » World History » Middle East
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Science and Mathematics » Agriculture » Tropical Agriculture

The Road to Martyrs' Square: A Journey Into the World of the Suicide Bomber Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$2.49 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780195116007 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "With the beginning of the first intifada in 1987, American scholars Oliver and Steinberg spent six years living in Gaza, collecting interviews and Palestinian political ephemera, much of it related to the multifaceted organization known as Hamas, which first carried out suicide bombings during that time. The pair characterize Hamas's ideology as schizophrenic; the book they have produced feels intentionally disorienting. Part one episodically traces Hamas's development through a political biography of its leader, Sheikh Yasin (who was killed by an Israeli missile last March). Oliver and Steinberg offer a tremendous amount of anecdotal texture, giving a chilling sense of what it was like to live in Gaza as it was engulfed by an Islamism that professes 'not only not to be afraid of death, but to love it passionately.' Part two offers an unprecedentedly extensive set of photos, translations and interpretations of Hamas graffiti; this section is horrifying and fascinating. Part three offers the most sustained and detailed views, in English, inside the preparation and deployment of suicide bombers, featuring extended exchanges with cell members and the families of the bombers themselves. Knowledgeable, colloquial, relatively nonpartisan and deeply skeptical and smart, this book offers an intensive look at one of the major forces in Palestinian society, one that is as unsettling as it is penetrating. (Jan.) " Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Anne Marie Oliver and Paul Steinberg have produced an engrossing documentary account — psychologically and culturally rich, and often also poetical — of how despair, religion, and politics conspired to create Palestinians who regard death, and apocalyptic destruction, as redemptive."
"Review" by , "Though it is highly informative, their narrative reads with an eloquence and immediacy that will captivate anyone concerned about world affairs, radical politics, and the potent mix of religion and activism in the contemporary Middle East."
"Review" by , "This important book shows that support for suicide bombing in Palestine goes far beyond a tiny fringe and compels us to ask how such violent behavior can become acceptable and supported by a society at large."
"Review" by , "Of much interest to students of the Middle East, and of the psychology of cults."
"Review" by , "This book is a remarkable blend of personal memoir and deep immersion in all facets of the world they are witnessing, describing, and documenting. It is a presentation that allows the reader space for in-depth psychological and political analysis." Roberta J. Apfel and Bennett Simon, editors of Minefields in Their Hearts: The Mental Health of Children in War and Communal Violence
"Review" by , "[A] deeply engaging firsthand account of the culture and mentality of Hamas....Although most of the narrated events took place in the early 1990s, this unusual book has great value in explaining Islamic terrorism and the nature of conflict in the Occupied Territories. Highly recommended."
"Review" by , "[A] strange, seductive hybrid — a work of sociology-memoir...captured in sparse prose refreshingly free of academese. Oliver and Steinberg have an almost Proustian ability to capture the essence of a situation through describing a simple sense experience or visual image....The book is at its best when — along with its intellectual analysis — it also conveys the surreal, phantasmagoric nature of ordinary Palestinian life."
"Synopsis" by , Combining in equal measure the critical and the compassionate, the tragic and the absurd, this memoir is an intense, street-level tour of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Over 80 halftones.
"Synopsis" by , A close-up account of suicide bombers and their motivation. The authors lived for 6 months with a Palestinian refugee family in the Gaza strip at the beginning of the intifada. They use this experience as well as interviews with leaders, followers and a Hamas suicide bomber.

"Synopsis" by , Don't expect to find here the usual clichés about suicide bombers and what drives them. In this unique study, Anne Marie Oliver and Paul Steinberg render the story of two intertwining, often clashing journeys. The authors lived for six months with a Palestinian refugee family in Gaza at the beginning of the intifada, and offer a gritty, poetic portrait of the time. They also provide an unrivalled documentary of the underground media they collected during the course of six years in the area. Although they could not have surmised as much at the beginning, they soon found themselves led through these media into the world of the suicide bomber. Their early study, notably, anticipated the spread of suicide missions years in advance.

Dispensing with the platitudes and dogma that typify discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the authors show that the suicide bomber is a complex, contradictory construction, and can be explained neither in terms of cold efficacy nor sheer evil. Theirs is the only book on the subject to illustrate the ecstatic, intoxicating aspects of suicide missions, and provide extensive access to materials that have remained largely unseen in the West despite the fact that they have served as indispensable tools in the construction and propagation of the suicide bomber. The book contains 86 illustrations drawn from the authors' archive as well as numerous conversations with leaders and followers of Hamas, including a rare interview with a suicide bomber whose bomb failed to explode on an Israeli bus in Jerusalem.

Here is an important and timely work that will challenge the way we think about the intifada, suicide bombers, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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