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1. cover
Title: War, institutions, and social change in the Middle East online access is available to everyone
Author: Heydemann, Steven
Published: University of California Press,  2000
Subjects: Politics | Middle Eastern Studies | Middle Eastern History | Postcolonial Studies | Cultural Anthropology
Publisher's Description: Few areas of the world have been as profoundly shaped by war as the Middle East in the twentieth century. Despite the prominence of war-making in this region, there has been surprisingly little research investigating the effects of war as a social and political process in the Middle East. To fill this gap, War, Institutions, and Social Change in the Middle East brings together an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars who explore the role of war preparation and war-making on the formation and transformation of states and societies in the contemporary Middle East. Their findings pose significant challenges to widely accepted assumptions and present new theoretical starting points for the study of war and the state in the contemporary developing world. Heydemann's collaborators include political scientists, historians, anthropologists, and sociologists from the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. Their essays are both theoretically sophisticated and empirically rich, covering topics such as the effects of World War II on state-market relations in Syria and Egypt, the role of war in the rise of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the political economy of Lebanese militias, and the effects of the 1967 war on state and social institutions in Israel. The volume originated as a research planning project of the Joint Committee on the Near and Middle East of the Social Science Research Council.   [brief]
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2. cover
Title: Political Islam: essays from Middle East report
Author: Beinin, Joel 1948-
Published: University of California Press,  1996
Subjects: Politics | Middle Eastern Studies | Middle Eastern History | Islam
Publisher's Description: The essays and case studies collected here - featuring some of the best material from Middle East Report over the past decade as well as much original material - challenge the facile generalizations about what Western media and political establishments usually call "Islamic fundamentalism." The authors demonstrate the complexity of these movements and offer complementary and contrasting interpretations of their origins and significance. The material included covers a broad range of themes - including democracy and civil society, gender relations and popular culture - as they have emerged in countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa.   [brief]
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3. cover
Title: Between memory and desire: the Middle East in a troubled age
Author: Humphreys, R. Stephen
Published: University of California Press,  1999
Subjects: Middle Eastern Studies | Politics | Islam | Middle Eastern History
Publisher's Description: Middle Easterners today are caught between memories of the past and frustrated hopes for the future. They struggle to find solutions to crises of economic stagnation, political gridlock, and cultural identity. In recent decades Islam has become central to this struggle, and almost every issue involves fierce, sometimes violent debates over the role of religion in public life. R. Stephen Humphreys's new book presents a much-needed and thoughtful analysis of Islam's place in today's Middle East. In clear, accessible language, he integrates the medieval and modern history of the region to show how the sacred and secular are tightly interwoven in its political and intellectual life. Humphreys discusses the conflicts over power and resources that engage Middle Eastern politicians and looks at the major ideologies that have shaped these conflicts. He focuses on the impact of Islam on public life and examines Muslim ways of thinking about the "secular" versus the "religious." What values does Islam put into play? What challenges does it pose to "ordinary" politics? What resources does it bring to the struggle for social justice? Humphreys recognizes the Western tendency to dismiss Middle Eastern politics as an incoherent tale of violence and fanaticism, and his book is especially valuable for its analysis of the deeper issues behind the headlines. These issues include the region's apparent inability to evolve democratic institutions, conflicts rooted in the peace settlements after World War I, and the unresolved debates over which cultural and moral values should drive Middle Eastern policy. Between Memory and Desire reminds us that Middle Easterners remember the past in specific ways: the shame of the colonial era; the disappointments since independence; and the glory of the Middle Ages, when Muslim achievements were respected throughout the world. Even if these memories are only partially true, in defining the past, they also define what the future ought to be.   [brief]
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4. cover
Title: Epic encounters: culture, media, and U.S. interests in the Middle East, 1945-2000
Author: McAlister, Melani 1962-
Published: University of California Press,  2001
Subjects: American Studies | United States History | Middle Eastern History | Popular Culture | Middle Eastern Studies | Ethnic Studies | Religion
Publisher's Description: In the last half of the twentieth century, cultural products--from films and news reports to museum exhibits and novels--profoundly shaped ideas about the relationship between Americans and the Middle East. In this innovative book, Melani McAlister explores the cultural history of political interests, arguing that U.S. encounters with the Middle East were influenced by both the presence of oil and the religious symbolism of the region. McAlister's richly textured study shows how culture functions as a social and historical force in shaping politics and identity. She skillfully weaves lively and accessible readings of popular culture with a rigorous analysis of U.S. foreign policy and the domestic politics of race. McAlister begins by situating the postwar development of U.S.-Middle East relations, including the rise of anticolonialism and the establishment of the state of Israel. Subsequent chapters consider specific events and cultural texts such as the epic film The Ten Commandments, the King Tut museum exhibit, writings from the Black arts movement, the U.S.-Iranian hostage crisis, and the 1990-1991 Gulf War. In each of these cases, McAlister demonstrates how representations of the Middle East have been a site of struggle over both the nature of U.S. foreign policy and the construction of race, religion, and gender within the United States. Truly interdisciplinary, this work will appeal to a wide audience as it illuminates the significant intersection of culture and politics that is at the heart of both nationalism and globalization.   [brief]
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5. cover
Title: Tribes and state formation in the Middle East
Author: Khoury, Philip S. (Philip Shukry) 1949-
Published: University of California Press,  1991
Subjects: History | Middle Eastern History | Middle Eastern Studies | Politics
Publisher's Description: Tribes and State Formation is the first effort to bring together the disciplines of history, anthropology, and political science around a major topic that none of these alone is adequately equipped to address. How and why did certain tribal societies metamorphose over time into states? Scholars concerned with general questions of theory and methodology and the interaction of anthropology and history, as well as political scientists and sociologists concerned with concepts of the state in the Middle East and other developing regions, will be well served by this innovative work.The articles by an array of distinguished scholars cover a wide range of topics: the relationship of ideology to tribal and state power, comparisons between different regional patterns of tribe-state interaction, historical case studies from North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and Iran extending to the contemporary period; theoretical and methodological inquiries, and systematic reviews of the literature on tribes and states. The articles argue against a unilinear approach to the study of tribes and state formation by emphasizing that states often existed alongside tribes and even created tribes for their own purposes. Some case studies emphasize the incompatibility of states and tribalism, while others illustrate the many areas in which tribes actually enhanced rather than impeded state formation.   [brief]
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6. cover
Title: Mass mediations: new approaches to popular culture in the Middle East and beyond online access is available to everyone
Author: Armbrust, Walter
Published: University of California Press,  2000
Subjects: Middle Eastern Studies | Anthropology | Cultural Anthropology | Media Studies | Music | Cinema and Performance Arts
Publisher's Description: Offering a stimulating diversity of perspectives, this collection examines how popular culture through mass media defines the scale and character of social interaction in the Middle East. The contributors approach popular culture broadly, with an interest in how it creates new scales of communication and new dimensions of identity that affect economics, politics, aesthetics, and performance. Reflected in these essays is the fact that mass media are as ubiquitous in Cairo and Karachi as in Los Angeles and Detroit. From Persian popular music in Beverly Hills to Egyptians' reaction to a recent film on Gamal Abdel Nasser; from postmodern Turkish novels to the music of an Israeli transsexual singer, the essays illustrate the multiple contexts of modern cultural production. The unfolding of modernity in colonial and postcolonial societies has been little analyzed until now. In addressing transnational aspects of Middle Eastern societies, the contributors also challenge conventional assumptions about the region and its relation to the West. The volume will have wide appeal both to Middle Eastern scholars and to readers interested in global and cultural studies.   [brief]
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7. cover
Title: Perceptions of Palestine: their influence on U.S. Middle East policy online access is available to everyone
Author: Christison, Kathleen 1941-
Published: University of California Press,  1999
Subjects: Politics | Middle Eastern History | Middle Eastern Studies
Publisher's Description: For most of the twentieth century, considered opinion in the United States regarding Palestine has favored the inherent right of Jews to exist in the Holy Land. That Palestinians, as a native population, could claim the same right has been largely ignored. Kathleen Christison's controversial new book shows how the endurance of such assumptions, along with America's singular focus on Israel and general ignorance of the Palestinian point of view, has impeded a resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Christison begins with the derogatory images of Arabs purveyed by Western travelers to the Middle East in the nineteenth century, including Mark Twain, who wrote that Palestine's inhabitants were "abject beggars by nature, instinct, and education." She demonstrates other elements that have influenced U.S. policymakers: American religious attitudes toward the Holy Land that legitimize the Jewish presence; sympathy for Jews derived from the Holocaust; a sense of cultural identity wherein Israelis are "like us" and Arabs distant aliens. She makes a forceful case that decades of negative portrayals of Palestinians have distorted U.S. policy, making it virtually impossible to promote resolutions based on equality and reciprocity between Palestinians and Israelis. Christison also challenges prevalent media images and emphasizes the importance of terminology: Two examples are the designation of who is a "terrorist" and the imposition of place names (which can pass judgment on ownership). Christison's thoughtful book raises a final disturbing question: If a broader frame of reference on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict had been employed, allowing a less warped public discourse, might not years of warfare have been avoided and steps toward peace achieved much earlier?   [brief]
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8. cover
Title: Inventing home: emigration, gender, and the middle class in Lebanon, 1870-1920 online access is available to everyone
Author: Khater, Akram Fouad 1960-
Published: University of California Press,  2001
Subjects: History | Middle Eastern History | Women's Studies | Sociology | Middle Eastern Studies
Publisher's Description: Between 1890 and 1920 over one-third of the peasants of Mount Lebanon left their villages and traveled to the Americas. This book traces the journeys of these villagers from the ranks of the peasantry into a middle class of their own making. Inventing Home delves into the stories of these travels, shedding much needed light on the impact of emigration and immigration in the development of modernity. It focuses on a critical period in the social history of Lebanon--the "long peace" between the uprising of 1860 and the beginning of the French mandate in 1920. The book explores in depth the phenomena of return emigration, the questioning and changing of gender roles, and the rise of the middle class. Exploring new areas in the history of Lebanon, Inventing Home asks how new notions of gender, family, and class were articulated and how a local "modernity" was invented in the process.Akram Khater maps the jagged and uncertain paths that the fellahin from Mount Lebanon carved through time and space in their attempt to control their future and their destinies. His study offers a significant contribution to the literature on the Middle East, as well as a new perspective on women and on gender issues in the context of developing modernity in the region.   [brief]
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9. cover
Title: The long peace: Ottoman Lebanon, 1861-1920 online access is available to everyone
Author: Akarlı, Engin Deniz
Published: University of California Press,  1993
Subjects: History | Politics | Middle Eastern History | Middle Eastern Studies
Publisher's Description: Long notorious as one of the most turbulent areas of the world, Lebanon nevertheless experienced an interlude of peace between its civil war of 1860 and the beginning of the French Mandate in 1920. Engin Akarli examines the sociopolitical changes resulting from the negotiations and shifting alliances characteristic of these crucial years.Using previously unexamined documents in Ottoman archives, Akarli challenges the prevailing view that attributes modernization in government to Western initiative while blaming stagnation on reactionary local forces. Instead, he argues, indigenous Lebanese experience in self-rule as well as reconciliation among different religious groups after 1860 laid the foundation for secular democracy. European intervention in Lebanese politics, however, hampered efforts to develop a correspondingly secular notion of Lebanese nationality.As ethnic and religious strife increases throughout much of eastern Europe and the Middle East, the Lebanese example has obvious relevance for our own time.   [brief]
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10. cover
Title: Republic of fear: the politics of modern Iraq
Author: Makiya, Kanan
Published: University of California Press,  1998
Subjects: Middle Eastern Studies | Politics | Middle Eastern History
Publisher's Description: In 1968 a coup d'état brought into power an extraordinary regime in Iraq, one that stood apart from other regimes in the Middle East. Between 1968 and 1980, this new regime, headed by the Arab Ba'th Socialist party, used ruthless repression and relentless organization to transform the way Iraqis think and react to political questions. In just twelve years, a party of a few thousand people grew to include nearly ten percent of the Iraqi population.This book describes the experience of Ba'thism from 1968 to 1980 and analyzes the kind of political authority it engendered, culminating in the personality cult around Saddam Hussein. Fear, the author argues, is at the heart of Ba'thi politics and has become the cement for a genuine authority, however bizarre.Examining Iraqi history in a search for clues to understanding contemporary political affairs, the author illustrates how the quality of Ba'thi pan-Arabism as an ideology, the centrality of the first experience of pan-Arabism in Iraq, and the interaction between the Ba'th and communist parties in Iraq from 1958 to 1968 were crucial in shaping the current regime.Saddam Hussein's decision to launch all-out war against Iran in September 1980 marks the end of the first phase of this re-shaping of modern Iraqi politics. The Iraq-Iran war is a momentous event in its own right, but for Iraq, the author argues, the war diverts dissent against the Ba'thi regime by focusing attention on the specter of an enemy beyond Iraq's borders, thus masking a hidden potential for even greater violence inside Iraq.   [brief]
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11. cover
Title: The origins of backwardness in Eastern Europe: economics and politics from the Middle Ages until the early twentieth century
Author: Chirot, Daniel
Published: University of California Press,  1989
Subjects: History | European History | Politics | Economics and Business
Publisher's Description: Reaching back centuries, this study makes a convincing case for very deep roots of current Eastern European backwardness. Its conclusions are suggestive for comparativists studying other parts of the world, and useful to those who want to understand contemporary Eastern Europe's past. Like the rest of the world except for that unique part of the West which has given us a false model of what was "normal," Eastern Europe developed slowly. The weight of established class relations, geography, lack of technological innovation, and wars kept the area from growing richer.In the nineteenth century the West exerted a powerful influence, but it was political more than economic. Nationalism and the creation of newly independent aspiring nation-states then began to shape national economies, often in unfavorable ways.One of this book's most important lessons is that while economics may limit the freedom of action of political players, it does not determine political outcomes. The authors offer no simple explanations but rather a theoretically complex synthesis that demonstrates the interaction of politics and economics.   [brief]
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12. cover
Title: Arabs and Young Turks: Ottomanism, Arabism, and Islamism in the Ottoman Empire, 1908-1918 online access is available to everyone
Author: Kayalı, Hasan
Published: University of California Press,  1997
Subjects: History | Middle Eastern History | Middle Eastern Studies | Politics
Publisher's Description: Arabs and Young Turks provides a detailed study of Arab politics in the late Ottoman Empire as viewed from the imperial capital in Istanbul. In an analytical narrative of the Young Turk period (1908-1918) historian Hasan Kayali discusses Arab concerns on the one hand and the policies of the Ottoman government toward the Arabs on the other. Kayali's novel use of documents from the Ottoman archives, as well as Arabic sources and Western and Central European documents, enables him to reassess conventional wisdom on this complex subject and to present an original appraisal of proto-nationalist ideologies as the longest-living Middle Eastern dynasty headed for collapse. He demonstrates the persistence and resilience of the supranational ideology of Islamism which overshadowed Arab and Turkish ethnic nationalism in this crucial transition period. Kayali's study reaches back to the nineteenth century and highlights both continuity and change in Arab-Turkish relations from the reign of Abdulhamid II to the constitutional period ushered in by the revolution of 1908. Arabs and Young Turks is essential for an understanding of contemporary issues such as Islamist politics and the continuing crises of nationalism in the Middle East.   [brief]
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13. cover
Title: Divided loyalties: nationalism and mass politics in Syria at the close of Empire
Author: Gelvin, James L 1951-
Published: University of California Press,  1999
Subjects: History | Middle Eastern Studies | Middle Eastern History | Politics
Publisher's Description: James L. Gelvin brings a new and distinctive perspective to the perennially fascinating topic of nationalism in the Arab Middle East. Unlike previous historians who have focused on the activities and ideas of a small group of elites, Gelvin details the role played by non-elites in nationalist politics during the early part of the twentieth century. Drawing from previously untapped sources, he documents the appearance of a new form of political organization - the popular committee - that sprang up in cities and villages throughout greater Syria in the immediate aftermath of the First World War. These committees empowered a new type of nationalist leadership, made nationalist politics a mass phenomenon for the first time, and articulated a view of nation and nationalism that continues to inform the politics of the region today.Gelvin does more than recount an episode in the history of nationalism in the Arab Middle East. His examination of leaflets, graffiti, speeches, rumors, and editorials offers fresh insights into the symbolic construction of national communities. His analysis of ceremonies - national celebrations, demonstrations, theater - contributes to our understanding of the emergence of mass politics. By situating his study within a broader historical context, Gelvin has written a book that will be of interest to all who wish to understand nationalism in the region and beyond.   [brief]
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14. cover
Title: A nation of empire: the Ottoman legacy of Turkish modernity online access is available to everyone
Author: Meeker, Michael E
Published: University of California Press,  2002
Subjects: Anthropology | Middle Eastern Studies | Cultural Anthropology | Middle Eastern History
Publisher's Description: This innovative study of modern Turkey is the result of many years of ethnographic fieldwork and archival research. Michael Meeker expertly combines anthropological and historical methods to examine the transition from the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic in a major region of the country, the eastern Black Sea coast. His most significant finding is that a state-oriented provincial oligarchy played a key role in successive programs of reform over the course of more than two hundred years of imperial and national history. As Meeker demonstrates, leading individuals backed by interpersonal networks determined the outcome of the modernizing process, first during the westernizing period of the Empire, then during the revolutionary period of the Republic.To understand how such a state-oriented provincial oligarchy was produced and reproduced along the eastern Black Sea coast, Meeker integrates a contemporary ethnographic study of public life in towns and villages with a historical study of official documents, consular reports, and travel narratives. A Nation of Empire provides anthropologists, historians, and students of Eastern Europe and the Middle East with a new understanding of the complexities and contradictions of modern Turkish experience.   [brief]
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15. cover
Title: Asceticism and society in crisis: John of Ephesus and the Lives of the Eastern saints online access is available to everyone
Author: Harvey, Susan Ashbrook
Published: University of California Press,  1990
Subjects: Classics | Classical Religions | Classical History
Publisher's Description: John of Ephesus traveled throughout the sixth-century Byzantine world in his role as monk, missionary, writer and church leader. In his major work, The Lives of the Eastern Saints , he recorded 58 portraits of monks and nuns he had known, using the literary conventions of hagiography in a strikingly personal way. War, bubonic plague, famine, collective hysteria, and religious persecution were a part of daily life and the background against which asceticism developed an acute meaning for a beleaguered populace. Taking the work of John of Ephesus as her guide, Harvey explores the relationship between asceticism and society in the sixth-century Byzantine East.Concerned above all with the responsibility of the ascetic to lay society, John's writing narrates his experiences in the villages of the Syrian Orient, the deserts of Egypt, and the imperial city of Constantinople. Harvey's work contributes to a new understanding of the social world of the late antique Byzantine East, skillfully examining the character of ascetic practices, the traumatic separation of "Monophysite" churches, the fluctuating roles of women in Syriac Christianity, and the general contribution of hagiography to the study of history.   [brief]
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16. cover
Title: Intimate enemies: Jews and Arabs in a shared land
Author: Benvenisti, Meron 1934-
Published: University of California Press,  1995
Subjects: Politics | Middle Eastern Studies | Jewish Studies | Middle Eastern History
Publisher's Description: As Israelis and Palestinians negotiate separation and division of their land, Meron Benvenisti, former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, maintains that any expectations for "peaceful partition" are doomed. In his brave and controversial new book, he raises the possibility of a confederation of Israel/Palestine, the only solution that he feels will bring lasting peace.The seven million people in the territory between Jordan and the Mediterranean are mutually dependent regarding employment, water, land use, ecology, transportation, and all other spheres of human activity. Each side, Benvenisti says, must accept the reality that two national entities are living within one geopolitical entity - their conflict is intercommunal and will not be resolved by population transfers or land partition.A geographer and historian by training, a man passionately rooted in his homeland, Benvenisti skillfully conveys the perspective of both Israeli and Palestinian communities. He recognizes the great political and ideological resistance to a confederation, but argues that there are Israeli Jews and Palestinians who can envision an undivided land, where attachment to a common homeland is stronger than militant tribalism and segregation in national ghettos. Acknowledging that equal coexistence between Israeli and Palestinian may yet be an impossible dream, he insists that such a dream deserves a place in the current negotiations."Meron Benvenisti is the Middle East expert to whom Middle East experts go for advice . . . the most oft-quoted and oft-damned analyst in Israel." - from the Foreword by Thomas L. Friedman   [brief]
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17. cover
Title: Afghanistan: the Soviet invasion and the Afghan response, 1979-1982 online access is available to everyone
Author: Kakar, M. Hasan
Published: University of California Press,  1997
Subjects: Middle Eastern Studies | Politics | History | Middle Eastern History
Publisher's Description: Few people are more respected or better positioned to speak on the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan than M. Hassan Kakar. A professor at Kabul University and scholar of Afghanistan affairs at the time of the 1978 coup d'état, Kakar vividly describes the events surrounding the Soviet invasion in 1979 and the encounter between the military superpower and the poorly armed Afghans. The events that followed are carefully detailed, with eyewitness accounts and authoritative documentation that provide an unparalleled view of this historical moment.Because of his prominence Kakar was at first treated with deference by the Marxist government and was not imprisoned, although he openly criticized the regime. When he was put behind bars the outcry from scholars all over the world possibly saved his life. In prison for five years, he continued collecting information, much of it from prominent Afghans of varying political persuasions who were themselves prisoners.Kakar brings firsthand knowledge and a historian's sensibility to his account of the invasion and its aftermath. This is both a personal document and a historical one - Kakar lived through the events he describes, and his concern for human rights rather than party politics infuses his writing. As Afghans and the rest of the world try to make sense of Afghanistan's recent past, Kakar's voice will be one of those most listened to.   [brief]
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18. cover
Title: States and women's rights: the making of postcolonial Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco
Author: Charrad, M. (Mounira)
Published: University of California Press,  2001
Subjects: Sociology | Politics | Middle Eastern Studies | Middle Eastern History | Women's Studies | Postcolonial Studies | Law
Publisher's Description: At a time when the situation of women in the Islamic world is of global interest, here is a study that unlocks the mystery of why women's fates vary so greatly from one country to another. Mounira M. Charrad analyzes the distinctive nature of Islamic legal codes by placing them in the larger context of state power in various societies. Charrad argues that many analysts miss what is going on in Islamic societies because they fail to recognize the logic of the kin-based model of social and political life, which she contrasts with the Western class-centered model. In a skillful synthesis, she shows how the logic of Islamic legal codes and kin-based political power affect the position of women. These provide the key to Charrad's empirical puzzle: why, after colonial rule, women in Tunisia gained broad legal rights (even in the absence of a feminist protest movement) while, despite similarities in culture and religion, women remained subordinated in post-independence Morocco and Algeria. Charrad's elegant theory, crisp writing, and solid scholarship make a unique contribution in developing a state-building paradigm to discuss women's rights.This book will interest readers in the fields of sociology, politics, law, women's studies, postcolonial studies, Middle Eastern studies, Middle Eastern history, French history, and Maghrib studies.   [brief]
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19. cover
Title: Nationalism and the genealogical imagination: oral history and textual authority in tribal Jordan
Author: Shryock, Andrew
Published: University of California Press,  1997
Subjects: Anthropology | Middle Eastern Studies | Middle Eastern History
Publisher's Description: This book explores the transition from oral to written history now taking place in tribal Jordan, a transition that reveals the many ways in which modernity, literate historicity, and national identity are developing in the contemporary Middle East. As traditional Bedouin storytellers and literate historians lead him through a world of hidden documents, contested photographs, and meticulously reconstructed pedigrees, Andrew Shryock describes how he becomes enmeshed in historical debates, ranging from the local to the national level.The world the Bedouin inhabit is rich in oral tradition and historical argument, in subtle reflections on the nature of truth and its relationship to poetics, textuality, and power. Skillfully blending anthropology and history, Shryock discusses the substance of tribal history through the eyes of its creators - those who sustain an older tradition of authoritative oral history and those who have experimented with the first written accounts. His focus throughout is on the development of a "genealogical nationalism" as well as on the tensions that arise between tribe and state.Rich in both personal revelation and cultural implications, this book poses a provocative challenge to traditional assumptions about the way history is written.   [brief]
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20. cover
Title: Heroes of the age: moral fault lines on the Afghan frontier online access is available to everyone
Author: Edwards, David B
Published: University of California Press,  1996
Subjects: Anthropology | Middle Eastern History | Middle Eastern Studies | Postcolonial Studies
Publisher's Description: Much of the political turmoil that has occurred in Afghanistan since the Marxist revolution of 1978 has been attributed to the dispute between Soviet-aligned Marxists and the religious extremists inspired by Egyptian and Pakistani brands of "fundamentalist" Islam. In a significant departure from this view, David B. Edwards contends that - though Marxism and radical Islam have undoubtedly played a significant role in the conflict - Afghanistan's troubles derive less from foreign forces and the ideological divisions between groups than they do from the moral incoherence of Afghanistan itself. Seeking the historical and cultural roots of the conflict, Edwards examines the lives of three significant figures of the late nineteenth century - a tribal khan, a Muslim saint, and a prince who became king of the newly created state. He explores the ambiguities and contradictions of these lives and the stories that surround them, arguing that conflicting values within an artificially-created state are at the root of Afghanistan's current instability.Building on this foundation, Edwards examines conflicting narratives of a tribal uprising against the British Raj that broke out in the summer of 1897. Through an analysis of both colonial and native accounts, Edwards investigates the saint's role in this conflict, his relationship to the Afghan state and the tribal groups that followed him, and the larger issue of how Islam traditionally functions as an encompassing framework of political association in frontier society.   [brief]
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