PERSONAL: Female. Education: Earned Ph.D.
ADDRESSES: Office—Département de Sociologie, Université de Bordeaux 2, 3, place de la Victoire, 33000 Bordeaux, France. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Princeton University Press, 41 William St., Princeton, NJ 08540-5237. E-mail—[email protected]
MEMBER: CADIS, Centre d'Etudes de Relations Internationals, Institut Universitaire de France.
Gaza, la violence de la paix, Presses de Science Po (Paris, France), 1998.
Générations intifada, Hachette (Paris, France), 2002, translation by Anthony Roberts published as Growing up Palestinian: Israeli Occupation and the Intifada Generation, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: An assistant professor at France's University of Bordeaux II and the Institut d'Études Politiques in Paris, Laetitia Bucaille has focused her research on the problems in the Middle East, in particular the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She has spent over a decade in the region and lived in Gaza from 1994 to 1997. Her first book, Gaza, la violence de la paix, examines the origins of the Intifada in Gaza between 1987 and 1991. Also included in her analysis is a focus on the factions in that movement as represented by the original members and those who later joined after returning from Tunis, and on how the 1993 Oslo Accords affected the Palestinians.
Her 2002 title, Générations intifada, was translated into English in 2004 as Growing up Palestinian: Israeli Occupation and the Intifada Generation. In this book she reports on the Intifada movement from the inside, following the lives of three young men caught up in its ranks. Using their stories, Bucaille is able to tell the entire history of the past twenty years of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The three, Sami, Najy, and Bassam, grew up in the Palestinian refugee camps and felt the continual tug between creating a normal life and participating in the Intifada uprising. In the end, violence won out over training for and finding a regular job. Bucaille shows that the brutalization suffered in their youths determined the futures of this trio of young men and, by extension, an entire generation of Palestinians. One of the three was killed in 2001; the other two were arrested in 2002.
Reviewing Growing up Palestinian in the Christian Century, Jane Adas found that the "problematic part of Bucaille's book is her social and political analysis, a risky endeavor in an area where events tend to overtake conclusions." Adas felt that despite the updates provided for the English edition of the book, "another update may be needed." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly wrote that Bucaille "faces a daunting task" in her book: "humanizing the Palestinian fighters who are involved in almost-daily violence against Israel—and to her credit, she mostly succeeds." For this same contributor, readers interested in the conflict would "be hard-pressed to find a better book." Similarly, Booklist critic Hazel Rochman felt that the book was a "must for all those concerned with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict." For Rochman, the "great value of this contemporary history is that it brings you close-up to the Palestinian people," and the resulting text is "neither simplistic nor sentimental."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 15, 2004, Hazel Rochman, review of Growing up Palestinian: Israeli Occupation and the Intifada Generation, p. 1259.
Christian Century, September 21, 2003, Jane Adas, review of Growing up Palestinian, p. 44.
Middle East Journal, winter, 2001, review of Gaza, la violence de la paix, p. 163.
Publishers Weekly, April 12, 2004, review of Growing up Palestinian, p. 48.
CADIS Web site, http://www.ehess.fr/ (December 13, 2004), "Laetitia Bucaille."
CERI Web site, http://www.ceri.sciencespo.fr/ (February 3, 2005), "Laetitia Bucaille."
France 5, http://www.france5.fr/ (December 13, 2004), "Laetitia Bucaille."
Princeton University Press Web site, http://www.pupress.princeton.edu/ (December 13, 2004).