Balfour in the Dock is a contemporary work looking at a 750-page magnum opus on Palestine by outstanding British journalist J M N Jeffries (1880-1960). His book Palestine: The Reality is a masterpiece with the depth and breadth to have become the canonical work on the history of Palestine if not for the bombing of a publishing house in London during the 1940 Blitz. The fire that ensued destroyed most of the copies of the book, of which only 20 original copies are known to exist. It has now been re-published by Skyscraper.
Palestine: The Reality was Jeffries’ third significant book and was the culmination of 12 years’ work as a foreign correspondent for the Daily Mail. It is believed that he tried unsuccessfully to republish the book himself. Fortunately for us, the new edition was issued to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration in November 2017. Furthermore, the main themes of the masterpiece have been made accessible in a shorter volume by Colin Andersen, Balfour in the Dock.
Andersen introduces readers to Jeffries, describing him as “one of the most brilliant investigative journalists in the interwar period.” His historical significance is reclaimed by Andersen, who lets us know that the famed foreign correspondent was the first person to translate into Arabic the text of the supressed British pledge to the Arabs, whose independence was promised in the form of letters exchanged between Hussein Bin Ali, Sharif of Makkah, and British High Commissioner Sir Henry McMahon.
This book has been shortlisted for the Palestine Book Awards 2018, please click here to read the full review on the Palestine book awards site