Perusing JPS’s fifty years of documenting Palestinian history, this essay reminds us that history is both “what happened” as well as “the narration of what happened.” Anchoring his selection in that perspective, Alex Winder identifies Charles Anderson’s “State Formation from Below and the Great Revolt in Palestine” (2017) as a JPS “hidden gem,” and Tarif Khalidi’s “Palestinian Historiography: 1900–1948” (1981) as a “greatest hit.” Relying on primary sources by participants in the rebellion and highlighting the history of the revolt, Anderson shifts the focus of traditional accounts of the revolt from the mostly ineffective role of Palestinian notables and elites to the successes of the rebels. In a similar vein, Khalidi’s article paints a picture of a rich and vibrant Palestinian intellectual life in the first half of the twentieth century that reverses the conventional view of the colonized as reactive and of the colonizer as the primary agent of history.
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