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Title: Land of progress: Palestine in the age of colonial development, 1905-1948
Authors: Hughes, M
Keywords: Book review;Palestine;Age of colonial development;1905–1948;Palestinian history;Haifa
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Middle East Institute
Citation: Middle East Journal, 69(1): 155 - 157 (3): (2015)
Abstract: Instinctively, one reads the title of the book under review as Land of Promise rather than Land of Progress, with Palestine as the twice-promised country fought over politically and militarily by Palestinians and Jewish settlers. Jacob Norris’s readable, scholarly and fascinating account of Palestine in the Late Ottoman and British Mandate periods is a different take on the question of Palestine. Norris understands the Jews and Arabs in the late Ottoman and Mandate periods through the lens of colonial development: specifically, the deepwater port complex in Haifa built in the 1930s — wonderful littoral, liminal space in which to explore change — and the desiccated potential of the Dead Sea potash mineral extraction works. (The Jewish-run Rutenberg Palestine Electric Company could have been another case study, one that Norris touches on.) This is not economic history; rather, it is political history (or even political economy) understood through economic infrastructural development as the British fused Palestine’s economic potential with ideas of colonial progress to sustain empire, using the Jews of Palestine as their pioneers, and embodied in the Mandate system of government. The Zionists were to be the vanguard in a new age of technological modernity for the British Empire in which economic progress rather than (or as well as) religion and political conflict would shape the landscape of Palestine (and then Israel).
ISSN: 0026-3141
Appears in Collections:Dept of Politics, History and Law Research Papers

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