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Lightning through the Clouds

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Table of Contents

  • List of Figures
  • List of Abbreviations
  • Note on Transliterations
  • Maps
  • Prologue
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1. The Guide
  • Chapter 2. The City of a Thousand Minarets
  • Chapter 3. The Soldier Shaykh
  • Chapter 4. Exile to Haifa
  • Chapter 5. Workers and Villagers
  • Chapter 6. The Tip of the Thread
  • Chapter 7. Nahalal, 1932
  • Chapter 8. With the Qurʾan as a Passport
  • Chapter 9. Memorial
  • Conclusion
  • Epilogue
  • Acknowledgments
  • Appendix. Ikhwan al-Qassam
  • A Note on Sources
  • Notes
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • Index

About the Author

Mark Sanagan is a historian of the modern Middle East, a senior fellow at the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History at the University of Toronto, and a manuscript editor for the Dictionary of Canadian Biography.


"[A] masterful study of [‘Izz al-Din al-Qassam]...The judicious analysis and research found in Lightning through the Clouds allows us to cast aside the myth and lore surrounding this iconic figure and uncover the many complex historical forces that shaped his life. Lightning through the Clouds is not only a welcome contribution to Palestinian studies but a valuable addition to the larger field of modern Middle Eastern history."
*Journal of Palestine Studies*

A welcome scholarly publication...Sanagan’s choice of narrating the social history of ʿIzz Al-Din Al-Qassam as the representative of resistance in the modern Middle East offers a valuable contribution to both the biography of the iconic hero and the historiography of Mandate Palestine during its middle period. The study would benefit scholars and students of history, religious studies, and Middle East and cultural studies.
*Arab Studies Quarterly*

This biography of [‘Izz al-Din] al-Qassam places him not only in the context of his social and political settings, but also allows us to see him within a wider movement in which his charisma and community connections made him not a single, dominating figure, but first amongst equals...Sanagan has thus succeeded in writing a rare book, one that combines the compelling narrative thrust of a biography with a breadth of view that tells the reader something genuinely new about the development of Palestine and Levantine anti-colonial politics over the first third of the twentieth century.
*Contemporary Levant*

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