Palestine by Joe Sacco Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

Palestine

Prior to Safe Area Gorazde: The War In Eastern Bosnia 1992-1995—Joe Sacco’s breakthrough novel of graphic journalism—the acclaimed author was best known for Palestine, a two-volume graphic novel that won an American Book Award in 1996.

Fantagraphics Books is pleased to present the first single-volume collection of this landmark of journalism and the art form of comics.

Based


Fantagraphics Books is pleased to present the first single-volume collection of this landmark of journalism and the art form of comics.

Based on several months of research and an extended visit to the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the early 1990s (where he conducted over 100 interviews with Palestinians and Jews), Palestine was the first major comics work of political and historical nonfiction by Sacco, whose name has since become synonymous with this graphic form of New Journalism. Like Safe Area Gorazde, Palestine has been favorably compared to Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus for its ability to brilliantly navigate such socially and politically sensitive subject matter within the confines of the comic book medium.

Sacco has often been called the first comic book journalist, and he is certainly the best. This edition of Palestine also features an introduction from renowned author, critic, and historian Edward Said (Peace and Its Discontents and The Question of Palestine), one of the world’s most respected authorities on the Middle Eastern conflict.


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    Jan Philipzig

    Old-School Journalism

    Over the past few decades, journalism has lost much of its credibility and almost all of its punch. Shallow, commercially-minded infotainment dominates, feeding us the “blue pill” (in Matrix terms) that makes us forget all those unpleasant realities out there. Why would media conglomerates fund costly in-depth research when a fluffy little human interest story not only feels better but is also much better for the bottom line? Mmmm, the blissful ignorance of media myths and i

    Over the past few decades, journalism has lost much of its credibility and almost all of its punch. Shallow, commercially-minded infotainment dominates, feeding us the “blue pill” (in Matrix terms) that makes us forget all those unpleasant realities out there. Why would media conglomerates fund costly in-depth research when a fluffy little human interest story not only feels better but is also much better for the bottom line? Mmmm, the blissful ignorance of media myths and illusions…

    Thankfully, Joe Sacco flushes those blue pills down the toilet and takes journalism back to its roots. He goes into the field, interviews people, takes risks, writes down what he hears, draws what he sees, and ultimately delivers this illustrated journal of his observations in Palestine.

    Much like Noam Chomsky, Sacco puts the spotlight on the Palestinian perspective that usually remains hidden in our commercialized media environment. Unlike Chomsky, however, he is more interested in the personal experiences of the people he interviews than in the global political context of their situation – an approach that comes with major blind spots (the crucial and highly problematic role of the U.S. in the conflict is largely ignored, for example) but nevertheless manages to add another dimension to our understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As we learn more about the harsh realities of daily life in Palestine, the “terrorist” label that various politicians and media outlets have attached to Palestinians in general feels increasingly ludicrous.

    Apart from the unflinching, devastating look at life in Palestine, the portrayal of Sacco himself is another key ingredient of this book. The author does not portray himself as the selflessly heroic or brilliantly detached observer, but as someone with his own personal motivations and weaknesses, someone the reader can relate to. This honesty ensures that Palestine is not only an important and educational read, but also a lively and very engaging one. Highly recommended!
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    Miina

    Mar 28, 2008

    rated it
    liked it

     · 
    review of another edition

    I had a hard time getting through this graphic novel. It was a tough read due to the subject matter. I also wasn’t fond of the art on a personal level.
    I did immensely appreciate Joe Sacco’s motivation for writing this graphic novel. In an interview with Al Jazeera, Joe Sacco said:
    “I grew up thinking of Palestinians as terrorists, and it took a lot of time, and reading the right things, to understand the power dynamic in the Middle East was not what I had thought it was… And basically, it upset

    There are two ways in which Palestinians are portrayed – as terrorist and as victim.

    There may be truth in certain situations for both descriptions, but Palestinians are also people going to school, who have families, have lives, invite you into their home, and think about their food.”
    ————————————————-

    Living in the U.S. with its strong ties to Israel, your average person (i.e. Me) will usually just get the Israeli sympathetic viewpoint from the media. The author wanted to get the other side of the story, the side that is grossly under-represented (you might even say misrepresented) in the American media. He wanted to see and hear, first hand, the Palestinian story.

    My God, what a depressing story.

    What I came away with from the novel were the following memorable highlights:
    1) Palestinians drink A LOT of tea.
    2) If you’re a young, Palestinian male then it’s practically guaranteed that you’ve gone to jail. If you haven’t, there is something wrong with you.
    3) The Israeli jails are set up in such a way that its Palestinian prisoners are intentionally dehumanized. This was quite a powerful panel in the novel. A former inhabitant of one of the jails points out how the prisoners are not given proper eating utensils, bathrooms, showers or basically any other living necessity therby forcing the Palestinians to live like animals just to survive their prison term. Couple that reality with the fact that the Israeli soldiers in charge of guarding the jails (military service is compulsory in Israel)are often young impressionable kids witnessing large groups of Palestinians together for the first time and the whole prison set up takes on a very sordid and manipulative overtone of nationalist proportions.
    4) There was the depressing revelation that there are Israelis who honestly believe that Palestinians “have it better under occupation” than before. *sigh* That’s like believing under-paid workers in third world sweat shops are doing all right “because at least now, they have a job and are making SOME kind of money rather than none at all.” (If you currently believe that bullshit, please read “No Logo” by Naomi Klein so that you get an opposing viewpoint and can subsequently make a more well-rounded and informed opinion.)
    5) In another couple of powerful panels, Joe Sacco remarks to himself in wonder that he doesn’t even know what it would be like to WANT to have the kind of faith that would compel young women to want to cover their heads all the time. That struck me, because, well, I don’t know what that would be like either.
    6) Much like the U.S. agricultural industry, it seems that the Israeli economy also relies on the availability of cheap Palestinian labor.
    7) There was a poignant and possibly unintentional symbolism involved during the panel sequence in which a Palestinian patriarch describes to Joe how he was forced by the Israeli army to chop down his grove of olive trees. The trees, the patriarch said, were like “his sons”. He wept as the axe bit into the flesh of the trees. In one cruel afternoon, his family’s livlihood was destroyed.

    Overall, I liked the novel and the author’s intent. Like I said, I didn’t much like the art but it was fitting to the novel’s content and tone.


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    Oriana

    Jun 03, 2010

    rated it
    really liked it

    book two for Jugs & Capes, my all-girl graphic novel book club!

    Whew. This is a really, really devastating book. Part of the problem (and obviously part of the point) is that it is relentlessly awful, with story after story after story of death, destruction, skirmishes with soldiers, dead sons, dead husbands, maimed daughters, displacement, oppression, poverty, and pain.

    It’s so painful, horribly, that I actually started to get a little jaded; or that’s not what I mean exactly, but the storie

    Whew. This is a really, really devastating book. Part of the problem (and obviously part of the point) is that it is relentlessly awful, with story after story after story of death, destruction, skirmishes with soldiers, dead sons, dead husbands, maimed daughters, displacement, oppression, poverty, and pain.

    It’s so painful, horribly, that I actually started to get a little jaded; or that’s not what I mean exactly, but the stories after awhile sort of lost their power to shock, to devastate. I understand this was originally published as many small issues, so perhaps if I’d read each story as a standalone, with in-between time to fully process each before moving on to the next, they would each have continued to wield as much sorrow as they were meant to. I don’t know.

    I feel like I should say something intelligent about the art, since this is after all a graphic novel, but I’m still finding my sea legs, as it were, on the books with pix. So here’s a try: Sacco has an incredibly chaotic style, which really helped to create an immersive feeling. That said, though, there’s practically just as much text as pictures, and at times I wondered why he chose to tell this story as a graphic novel, rather than just straight prose. There were plenty of illustrations that were particularly affecting, and times when the images did enhance the story it was paired with, but for the most part I think this could have been text-only without losing a whole lot.

    I talked a lot about this book with my Zionist-leaning mother, and it was pretty difficult. Like so many impossibly polarizing issues, it’s tough to even find the language with which to locate a middle ground.

    She would say, “The Gazans have no electricity because they dig up the pipes to use as weapons against the Israelis.” And I would say, “Well, according to this book, the Gazans have no electricity because the Israelis cut it off all the time, at random, just to keep them unstable.”

    And she would say, “Why do the Palestinians keep asking Israel to give them jobs? Why can’t they just make their own industry?” And I would say, “How can they do that? Israel controls the water, the power, the supplies, the land, the permits, the transportation, and everything else. From what could they possibly make industry?”

    And she would say, “Israelis are ready to discuss peace, but most Palestinians won’t even acknowledge Israel’s right to exist.” And I would say, “This has been going on for decades. Imagine if you were a teenager in Gaza and all you had ever known was relentless humiliation, oppression, and poverty? How would you feel about your oppressors? Would you be in any hurry to negotiate anything?”

    And then we would have to change the subject, because where could we go?
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