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Men of Capital: Scarcity and Economy in Mandate Palestine

October 26, 2016 at 9:00 am

  • Book Author(s): Sherene Seikaly
  • Published Date: November 2015
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804796613

Men of Capital is one of those rare books that attempts to write about how Palestine was before the creation of the State of Israel from a unique and original perspective.

Author Sherene Seikaly draws upon archival sources as well as little known Palestinian business periodicals such as the Iqtisadiyat Al-Arabiya, translated as the Arabic Economic Journal by its publishers at the time. Through such primary sources, Seikaly argues that the accumulation of wealth and capital was of central importance to new concepts such as “the ideal social man”.

Ordinarily, and as Seikaly acknowledges throughout, the narrative of most studies examining historical Palestine are often focused on idealising the Palestinian people through examinations of pivotal events. For example, on the effect of the now infamous Balfour Declaration of 1917, Seikaly writes that the British colonial authorities “rendered the majority of Palestinians who lived on the land nameless; it defined them by what they were not.”

This book has been shortlisted for the Palestine Book awards 2016, please click here to read the full review on the Palestine book awards site.