Hamas: From Resistance to Government
The Palestinian elections of 2006 changed modern Middle East 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? How could ordinary Palestinians support the violent resistance their newly-elected government had dedicated itself to? How could a "failure of democracy" on this level be explained?
Italian journalist Paola Caridi's Hamas: From Resistance to Government addresses the question, breaking with the tradition of sensationalist journalism about the elections to instead tell the story of a movement, caught between the desire to resist its oppressor and the need to provide support for a refugee people, suddenly thrust into the role of the sole effective government of a war-torn region. Caridi, informed by years of on-the-ground research and interviews from the residents of Gaza themselves, covers the history of Gaza from its "golden age" as a port city in the fifth century A.D. through the formal birth and slow militarization of Hamas, continuing through Operation Cast Lead, the shocking Wikileaks disclosures, and the Cairo Revolution into the present day. In so doing, Caridi's Hamas performs, with intelligence, dexterity, and heart, the central function of history: to look at a people's actions through that people's eyes, to reveal the strange complexities behind the controversy, and to explain one of the key players in the search for the road to peace and justice that runs through the central crisis of the Middle East today.
Read an excerpt on Issuu here
"An intriguing study of Hamas' tortuous movement from 'pebbles to power … from terrorist attacks to ministries.'" –Kirkus Reviews
"Caridi's English-language debut is timely and informative" – Publisher's Weekly
"Paola Caridi's book is a real treat: it starts not with the controversy but with the movement itself, working from the ground up. interviewing those inside and outside the movement, and poring through written sources. The book explores Hamas's origins, evolution, and choices. Those who are already familiar with Hamas will find new information presented in a careful and judicious manner; those who know less about Hamas will find an accessible and rewarding account of the movement." —Nathan J. Brown, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University