The Biggest Prison on Earth

Pages: 304
Subject: History
Imprint: Oneworld

The Biggest Prison on Earth

A History of the Occupied Territories

Ilan Pappe

A powerful, groundbreaking history of the Occupied Territories from one of Israel's most influential historians

9781851685875 (22 Jun 2017)
RRP £20.00 / US$30.00
9781786073419 (2 May 2019)
RRP £12.99 / US$19.95

The Book


Shortlisted for the Palestine Book Awards 2017

A powerful, groundbreaking history of the Occupied Territories from one of Israel's most influential historians

From the author of the bestselling study of the 1948 War of Independence comes an incisive look at the Occupied Territories, picking up the story where The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine left off.

In this comprehensive exploration of one of the world's most prolonged and tragic conflicts, Pappe uses recently declassified archival material to analyse the motivations and strategies of the generals and politicians - and the decision-making process itself - that laid the foundation of the occupation. From a survey of the legal and bureaucratic infrastructures that were put in place to control the population of over one million Palestinians, to the security mechanisms that vigorously enforced that control, Pappe paints a picture of what is to all intents and purposes the world's largest ‘open prison'.

Additional Information

Subject History
Pages 304
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

ILAN PAPPE is Professor of History at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the College of Social Sciences and International Studies and Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies at the University of Exeter, and the author of over a dozen books including the bestselling The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. In 2017, Pappe was awarded the Middle East Monitor's Lifetime Achievement Award at the Palestine Book Awards.


‘Ilan Pappe is Israel's bravest, most principled, most incisive historian.'

- John Pilger

‘[Pappe] boldly and persuasively argues for understanding the occupied territories as the world's "largest ever mega-prison”... Pappe's conclusions won't be welcome in all quarters but this detailed history is rigorously supported by primary sources.'

- Publishers Weekly

‘A diagnostic survey of Israel's long-planned occupation of the Palestinian's land... A grim, hard-hitting look at the nuts and bolts of Israeli occupation.'

- Kirkus

‘Will undoubtedly raise a lot of hackles in his home state.'

- Irish Times

‘What is new in The Biggest Prison on Earth is Pappe's detailed accounting of exactly what the Israeli planners were contemplating in 1963; namely, "the largest ever mega-prison for a million and a half people."'

- Electronic Intifada

‘Pappe's book is critical for understanding the present situation and looking forward to possible solutions.'

- CHOICE reviews

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