The secret behind bestseller on Palestinian history

Sometimes it's really important not to judge a book by its cover.

June 21, 2017 09:37
1 minute read.
A history of the Palestinian people

A history of the Palestinian people. (photo credit: screenshot)


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Israeli publicist and editor Assaf A. Voll's book, "A History of the Palestinian People: From Ancient Times to the Modern Era," just ranked the respectable second spot on Amazon's list of best-selling books in the category of 'Israel and Palestine History' and has become a huge Internet sensation, but not for the reasons you would imagine.

The lengthy paperback, which can be purchased via Amazon for $7.99, is described on the site as "a fruit of many years of research," and is proclaimed to be "the most comprehensive and extensive review of some 3,000 years of Palestinian history, with emphasis on the Palestinian people's unique contribution to the world and to humanity."

The catch? This lauded historical account that is also available in Arabic and in Hebrew and was penned by the Israeli writer offers no real insight, let alone content. Yes, that's right- "History of the Palestinian People" is a book whose every single page (and there are 120 of them) is a blank.

As Amazon offers no disclaimer on the site to explain that the novel is not the deeply-researched account it appears to be, it remains unclear if the book's multiple buyers were duped by the promising title or were in on Voll's sardonic joke.

Voll himself reacted to the success of his book by saying that "it feels great, but now I feel bad for Grossman." Voll was jokingly referring to acclaimed Israeli writer David Grossman, who was awarded the prestigious Man Booker Prize last week for his recent work "A Horse Walks Into a Bar," a moving and amusing tale about a man who wanders into a dive bar one night to perform a standup routine and ends up divulging a traumatic childhood moment that changed him forever.

While Grossman is far from being out-shadowed by the success of the misleading "A History of the Palestinian People," the viral gimmick has piqued the interest of many in what could be seen as a joke that went too far or actually a thought-provoking critique about the bias and intrigue revolving the Arab-Israeli conflict.

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