Electrical Palestine: Capital and Technology from Empire to Nation (Paperback)

Electrical Palestine: Capital and Technology from Empire to Nation By Fredrik Meiton Cover Image
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Electricity is an integral part of everyday life—so integral that we rarely think of it as political. In Electrical Palestine, Fredrik Meiton illustrates how political power, just like electrical power, moves through physical materials whose properties govern its flow. At the dawn of the Arab-Israeli conflict, both kinds of power were circulated through the electric grid that was built by the Zionist engineer Pinhas Rutenberg in the period of British rule from 1917 to 1948. Drawing on new sources in Arabic, Hebrew, and several European languages, Electrical Palestine charts a story of rapid and uneven development that was greatly influenced by the electric grid and set the stage for the conflict between Arabs and Jews. Electrification, Meiton shows, was a critical element of Zionist state building. The outcome in 1948, therefore, of Jewish statehood and Palestinian statelessness was the result of a logic that was profoundly conditioned by the power system, a logic that has continued to shape the area until today.

About the Author

Fredrik Meiton is Assistant Professor of History at the University of New Hampshire. 

Praise For…

"The dispossession of Palestinians is...discussed as a result of capitalist and technological development which in turn shaped societal dynamics and contributed to the first manifestations of inequality between Jewish settlers and the indigenous Palestinians."
— Middle East Monitor

"Fredrik Meiton’s meticulous history of electrification in the British Mandate of Palestine, and its vast implications for Israel and the Palestinians, provides an important intervention in the history of the region by illuminating the role of technology in shaping the political reality."
— The Middle East Journal

"Meiton has written an elegant and original history of mandatory Palestine."
— Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"Meiton makes a major contribution to exposing the inherent political nature of infrastructure and approaching perennial ethnic opposition via an STS framework."

— Technology and Culture
Product Details
ISBN: 9780520295896
ISBN-10: 0520295897
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: January 8th, 2019
Pages: 312
Language: English