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1. cover
Title: Tortured confessions: prisons and public recantations in modern Iran online access is available to everyone
Author: Abrahamian, Ervand 1940-
Published: University of California Press,  1999
Subjects: History | Middle Eastern History | Politics | Middle Eastern Studies
Publisher's Description: The role of torture in recent Iranian politics is the subject of Ervand Abrahamian's important and disturbing book. Although Iran officially banned torture in the early twentieth century, Abrahamian provides documentation of its use under the Shahs and of the widespread utilization of torture and public confession under the Islamic Republican governments. His study is based on an extensive body of material, including Amnesty International reports, prison literature, and victims' accounts that together give the book a chilling immediacy.According to human rights organizations, Iran has been at the forefront of countries using systematic physical torture in recent years, especially for political prisoners. Is the government's goal to ensure social discipline? To obtain information? Neither seem likely, because torture is kept secret and victims are brutalized until something other than information is obtained: a public confession and ideological recantation. For the victim, whose honor, reputation, and self-respect are destroyed, the act is a form of suicide.In Iran a subject's "voluntary confession" reaches a huge audience via television. The accessibility of television and use of videotape have made such confessions a primary propaganda tool, says Abrahamian, and because torture is hidden from the public, the victim's confession appears to be self-motivated, increasing its value to the authorities.Abrahamian compares Iran's public recantations to campaigns in Maoist China, Stalinist Russia, and the religious inquisitions of early modern Europe, citing the eerie resemblance in format, language, and imagery. Designed to win the hearts and minds of the masses, such public confessions - now enhanced by technology - continue as a means to legitimize those in power and to demonize "the enemy."   [brief]
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2. cover
Title: Khomeinism: essays on the Islamic Republic online access is available to everyone
Author: Abrahamian, Ervand 1940-
Published: University of California Press,  1993
Subjects: History | Politics | Middle Eastern History | Middle Eastern Studies
Publisher's Description: "Fanatic," "dogmatic," "fundamentalist" - these are the words most often used in the West to describe the Ayatollah Khomeini. The essays in this book challenge that view, arguing that Khomeini and his Islamic movement should be seen as a form of Third World political populism - a radical but pragmatic middle-class movement that strives to enter, rather than reject, the modern age.Ervand Abrahamian, while critical of Khomeini, asks us to look directly at the Ayatollah's own works and to understand what they meant to his principal audience - his followers in Iran. Abrahamian analyzes political tracts dating back to 1943, along with Khomeini's theological writings and his many public statements in the form of speeches, interviews, proclamations and fatwas (judicial decrees). What emerges, according to Abrahamian, is a militant, sometimes contradictory, political ideology that focuses not on issues of scripture and theology but on the immediate political, social, and economic grievances of workers and the middle class.These essays reveal how the Islamic Republic has systematically manipulated history through televised "recantations," newspapers, school textbooks, and even postage stamps. All are designed to bolster the clergy's reputation as champions of the downtrodden and as defenders against foreign powers. Abrahamian also discusses the paranoia that permeates the political spectrum in Iran, contending that such deep distrust is symptomatic of populist regimes everywhere.   [brief]
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3. cover
Title: Pivot of the universe: Nasir al-Din Shah Qajar and the Iranian Monarchy, 1831-1896
Author: Amanat, Abbas
Published: University of California Press,  1997
Subjects: History | Middle Eastern History | Middle Eastern Studies | Autobiographies and Biographies
Publisher's Description: When he was assassinated in 1896, Nasir al-Din Shah had occupied the Peacock throne for nearly half a century. A colorful, complex figure, he is frequently portrayed as indolent and indulgent. Yet he was in many ways an effective ruler who displayed remarkable resilience in the face of dilemmas and vulnerabilities shared by most monarchs of the Islamic world in the nineteenth century. The Pivot of the Universe is the first biography of this fascinating monarch. In it Amanat traces Nasir al-Din Shah's transformation from an insecure crown prince, and later an erratic boy-king, to a ruler with substantial control over his government and foreign policy. He provides a vivid picture of the political culture that determined Nasir al-Din Shah's behavior and, ultimately, his conception of government: the mode of succession in an urbanizing nomadic dynasty, the complicated relationships of the harem and his family, and the fatherly role of his guardian-ministers.Based on extensive research into public and private papers, illustrated with drawings and photographs from the period, this book offers a fresh interpretation both of the significance of Nasir al-Din Shah and the way in which the Iranian monarchy, the centerpiece of an ancient political order, withstood and adjusted to the challenges of modern times.   [brief]
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4. cover
Title: The Prophet's pulpit: Islamic preaching in contemporary Egypt
Author: Gaffney, Patrick D 1947-
Published: University of California Press,  1994
Subjects: Anthropology | Cultural Anthropology | Middle Eastern Studies | Islam
Publisher's Description: Muslim preaching has been central in forming public opinion, building grassroots organizations, and developing leadership cadres for the wider Islamist agenda. Based on in-depth field research in Egypt, Patrick Gaffney focuses on the preacher and the sermon as the single most important medium for propounding the message of Islam. He draws on social history, political commentary, and theological sources to reveal the subtle connections between religious rhetoric and political dissent.Many of the sermons discussed were given during the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, and Gaffney attempts to describe this militant movement and to compare it with official Islam. Finally, Gaffney presents examples of the sermons, so readers can better understand the full range of contemporary Islamic expression.   [brief]
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5. cover
Title: In the house of the law: gender and Islamic law in Ottoman Syria and Palestine
Author: Tucker, Judith E
Published: University of California Press,  1998
Subjects: History | Middle Eastern History | Law | Islam | Women's Studies | Middle Eastern Studies | Islam
Publisher's Description: In an rewarding new study, Tucker explores the way in which Islamic legal thinkers understood Islam as it related to women and gender roles. In seventeenth and eighteenth century Syria and Palestine, Muslim legal thinkers gave considerable attention to women's roles in society, and Tucker shows how fatwa s, or legal opinions, greatly influenced these roles. She challenges prevailing views on Islam and gender, revealing Islamic law to have been more fluid and flexible than previously thought. Although the legal system had a consistent patriarchal orientation, it was modulated by sensitivities to the practical needs of women, men, and children. In her comprehensive overview of a field long neglected by scholars, Tucker deepens our understanding of how societies, including our own, construct gender roles.   [brief]
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6. cover
Title: Morality tales: law and gender in the Ottoman court of Aintab
Author: Peirce, Leslie P
Published: University of California Press,  2003
Subjects: History | Middle Eastern Studies | Middle Eastern History | Gender Studies
Publisher's Description: In this skillful analysis, Leslie Peirce delves into the life of a sixteenth-century Middle Eastern community, bringing to light the ways that women and men used their local law court to solve personal, family, and community problems. Examining one year's proceedings of the court of Aintab, an Anatolian city that had recently been conquered by the Ottoman sultanate, Peirce argues that local residents responded to new opportunities and new constraints by negotiating flexible legal practices. Their actions and the different compromises they reached in court influenced how society viewed gender and also created a dialogue with the ruling regime over mutual rights and obligations. Locating its discussion of gender and legal issues in the context of the changing administrative practices and shifting power relations of the period, Morality Tales argues that it was only in local interpretation that legal rules acquired vitality and meaning.   [brief]
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7. cover
Title: Islam, politics, and social movements
Author: Burke, Edmund 1940-
Published: University of California Press,  1990
Subjects: History | Middle Eastern History | Middle Eastern Studies | Politics
Publisher's Description: Taken together the essays in this work not only provide new research essential to the study of Islamic societies and Muslim peoples, but also set a new standard for the concrete study of local situations and illuminate the forces shaping the history of modern Muslim societies.This collection is unique in its sophisticated interpretation of the social protest and political resistance movements in Muslim countries during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The contributors take two principal approaches to the study of their subject. Utilizing "new cultural history," they explore how particular movements have deployed the cultural and religious resources of Islam to mobilize and legitimize insurgent political action. Others rely on "new social history" to study the economic, political, and social contexts in which movements of anti-colonial resistance and revolution have developed. This work brings together contributions from specialists on Islamic North Africa, Egypt, the Arab fertile crescent, Iran and India.   [brief]
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8. cover
Title: Nomad: a year in the life of a Qashqa'i tribesman in Iran
Author: Beck, Lois 1944-
Published: University of California Press,  1991
Subjects: Anthropology | Cultural Anthropology | Middle Eastern Studies | Middle Eastern History
Publisher's Description: Borzu Qermezi was the headman and political leader of a group of nomadic pastoralists who were part of the Qashqa'i confederacy of southwest Iran. Proud, complex, strong-willed, witty, and cunning, Borzu successfully led his people on their annual migrations for many years. He regulated their travel; mediated conflicts; intervened in (and sometimes exacerbated) tense situations between his people and other nomads; and dealt with the government police agency. Structuring the account around the four seasons, Lois Beck recounts the day-to-day activities of Borzu during the year she spent traveling with his people. She describes the rigors of nomadic life and the consequences of decisions made in haste.During 1970 to 1971, Borzu and his people were faced with many difficulties. When the expected winter rains did not fall, pastures and crops shriveled. Unable to sell their starving livestock for any profit, Borzu's people saw their debts to urban merchants and moneylenders increase. At the same time, Iran exercised more bureaucratic control over the Qashqa'i by applying new policies over migratory schedules and the allocation of scarce pastures, and by introducing non-Qashqa'i agriculturalists and livestock investors as legitimate land users. All these measures threatened the nomad's way of life and eventually undermined the role of headmen such as Borzu. Lois Beck details the vicissitudes endured by Borzu's people and the strategies he devised to cope with them.Blending ethnographic and historical material, this book contains information unavailable for other tribal and nomadic pastoral groups in the Middle East and central Asia. Through Beck's deft analysis, we come to understand why nomadic pastoralism was once an important part of this vast region, and why tribal society has endured.   [brief]
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9. cover
Title: The challenge of fundamentalism: political Islam and the new world disorder
Author: Tibi, Bassam
Published: University of California Press,  1998
Subjects: Religion | Middle Eastern Studies | Middle Eastern History | Islam
Publisher's Description: Long before the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Islamic fundamentalism was exerting a significant influence in nearly every corner of the world. Bassam Tibi, a widely recognized expert on Islam and Arab culture, offers an important and disquieting analysis of this particular synthesis of religion and politics. A Muslim and descendant of a famous Damascene Islamic scholar family, Tibi sees Islamic fundamentalism as the result of Islam's confrontation with modernity and not only--as it is widely believed--economic adversity. The movement is unprecedented in Islamic history and parallels the inability of Islamic nation-states to integrate into the new world secular order. For this updated edition, Tibi has written a new preface and lengthy introduction addressing Islamic fundamentalism in light of and since September 11.   [brief]
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10. cover
Title: Roots of North Indian Shīʿism in Iran and Iraq: religion and state in Awadh, 1722-1859 online access is available to everyone
Author: Cole, Juan Ricardo
Published: University of California Press,  1989
Subjects: Asian Studies
Publisher's Description: In this pioneering study of the Twelver Shi'i branch of Islam prevalent in Iraq and Iran, J. R. I. Cole traces the influence of Shi'i rule on the development of religious communalism and conflict in the North Indian State of Awadh (Oudh). He also examines the relationship of the Shi'i clergy to the state and the clerical reaction to British imperialism and capitalism.Based on research in rare manuscripts and in archives, the book reveals that the Shi'i clergy advocated policies that caused resentment among Sunnis and Hindus, thereby promoting religious communalism and setting the stage for modern communal conflict. The Shi'i learned men took government posts in support of Awadh's Shi'i nawabs and shahs; Awadh state support, in turn, helped transform Shi'ism from a persecuted "sect" to a dominant, if still minority, religious establishment.Sociologically, the book draws attention to the specific role of the state in defining "sect" and "church." It also argues the importance of class divisions within the Shi'i community, showing that the dominant clerical ideology was often not accepted by the laboring strata. Cole's study supports the view that Muslim communalism in Northern India had genuine historical roots and was not simply an elite strategy of modern Muslim politicians. Contrary to the arguments of some writers and to the image projected by Iran's current ayatullahs, he claims that most Shi'i clergy did not play a role of opposition to the state.   [brief]
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11. cover
Title: Displaying the Orient: architecture of Islam at nineteenth-century world's fairs online access is available to everyone
Author: Çelik, Zeynep
Published: University of California Press,  1992
Subjects: Architecture | European History | Cultural Anthropology | Middle Eastern History
Publisher's Description: Gathering architectural pieces from all over the world, the Paris Universal Exposition of 1867 introduced to fairgoers the notion of an imaginary journey, a new tourism en place . Through this and similar expositions, the world's cultures were imported to European and American cities as artifacts and presented to nineteenth-century men and women as the world in microcosm, giving a quick and seemingly realistic impression of distant places.Çelik examines the display of Islamic cultures at nineteenth-century world's fairs, focusing on the exposition architecture. She asserts that certain sociopolitical and cultural trends now crucial to our understanding of historical transformations in both the West and the world of Islam were mirrored in the fair's architecture. Furthermore, dominant attitudes toward cross-cultural exchanges were revealed repeatedly in Westerners' responses to these pavilions, in Western architects' interpretations of Islamic stylistic traditions, and in the pavilions' impact in such urban centers.Although the world's fairs claimed to be platforms for peaceful cultural communication, they displayed the world according to a hierarchy based on power relations. Çelik's delineation of this hierarchy in the exposition buildings enables us to understand both the adversarial relations between the West and the Middle East, and the issue of cultural self-definition for Muslim societies of the nineteenth century.   [brief]
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12. cover
Title: The calligraphic state: textual domination and history in a Muslim society online access is available to everyone
Author: Messick, Brinkley Morris
Published: University of California Press,  1992
Subjects: Anthropology | Middle Eastern History | Cultural Anthropology | Middle Eastern Studies
Publisher's Description: In this innovative combination of anthropology, history, and postmodern theory, Brinkley Messick examines the changing relation of writing and authority in a Muslim society from the late nineteenth century to the present. The creation and interpretation of texts, from sacred scriptures to administrative and legal contracts, are among the fundamental ways that authority is established and maintained in a complex state. Yet few scholars have explored this process and the ways in which it changes, especially outside the Western world.Messick brings together intensive ethnography and textual analysis from a wealth of material: Islamic jurisprudence, Yemeni histories, local documents. In exploring the structure and transformation of literacy, law, and statecraft in Yemen, he raises important issues that are of comparative significance for understanding political life in other Muslim and nonwestern states as well.   [brief]
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13. 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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14. cover
Title: The vanguard of the Islamic revolution: the Jamaʿat-i Islami of Pakistan online access is available to everyone
Author: Nasr, Seyyed Vali Reza 1960-
Published: University of California Press,  1994
Subjects: Politics | Asian History | South Asia | Islam
Publisher's Description: In this groundbreaking study, Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr examines the origins, historical development, and political strategies of one of the oldest and most influential Islamic revival movements, the Jama'at-i Islami of Pakistan. He focuses on the inherent tension between the movement's idealized vision of the nation as a holy community based in Islamic law and its political agenda of socioeconomic change for Pakistani society.Nasr's work goes beyond the exploration of a single party to examine the diverse sociopolitical roots of contemporary Islamic revivalism, challenging many of the standard interpretations about political expressions of Islam.   [brief]
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15. cover
Title: Agent-centered morality: an Aristotelian alternative to Kantian internalism online access is available to everyone
Author: Harris, George W
Published: University of California Press,  1999
Subjects: Philosophy
Publisher's Description: What kinds of persons do we aspire to be, and how do our aspirations fit with our ideas of rationality? In Agent-Centered Morality , George Harris argues that most of us aspire to a certain sort of integrity: We wish to be respectful of and sympathetic to others, and to be loving parents, friends, and members of our communities. Against a prevailing Kantian consensus, Harris offers an Aristotelian view of the problems presented by practical reason, problems of integrating all our concerns into a coherent, meaningful life in a way that preserves our integrity. The task of solving these problems is "the integration test."Systematically addressing the work of major Kantian thinkers, Harris shows that even the most advanced contemporary versions of the Kantian view fail to integrate all of the values that correspond to what we call a moral life. By demonstrating how the meaning of life and practical reason are internally related, he constructs from Aristotle's thought a conceptual scheme that successfully integrates all the characteristics that make a life meaningful, without jeopardizing the place of any. Harris's elucidation of this approach is a major contribution to debates on human agency, practical reason, and morality.   [brief]
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16. cover
Title: Nietzsche, genealogy, morality: essays on Nietzsche's Genealogy of morals
Author: Schacht, Richard 1941-
Published: University of California Press,  1994
Subjects: Philosophy | German Studies | European History | European Literature
Publisher's Description: Written at the height of the philosopher's intellectual powers, Friedrich Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morals has become one of the key texts of recent Western philosophy. Its essayistic style affords a unique opportunity to observe many of Nietzsche's persisting concerns coming together in an illuminating constellation. A profound influence on psychoanalysis, antihistoricism, and poststructuralism and an abiding challenge to ethical theory, Nietzsche's book addresses many of the major philosophical problems and possibilities of modernity.In this unique collection focusing on the Genealogy , twenty-five notable philosophers offer diverse discussions of the book's central themes and concepts. They explore such notions as ressentiment , asceticism, "slave" and "master" moralities, and what Nietzsche calls "genealogy" and its relation to other forms of inquiry in his work. The book presents a cross section of contemporary Nietzsche scholarship and philosophical investigation that is certain to interest philosophers, intellectual and cultural historians, and anyone concerned with one of the master thinkers of the modern age.   [brief]
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17. cover
Title: Gender and morality in Anglo-American culture, 1650-1800
Author: Bloch, Ruth H 1949-
Published: University of California Press,  2003
Subjects: History | Christianity | Women's Studies | Intellectual History
Publisher's Description: Ruth Bloch's stellar essays on the origins of Anglo-American conceptions of gender and morality are brought together in this valuable book, which collects six of her most influential pieces in one place for the first time and includes two new essays. The volume illuminates the overarching theme of her work by addressing a basic historical question: Why did the attitudes toward gender and family relations that we now consider traditional values emerge when they did? Bloch looks deeply into eighteenth-century culture to answer this question, highlighting long-term developments in religion, intellectual history, law, and literature, showing that the eighteenth century was a time of profound transformation for women's roles as wives and mothers, for ideas about sexuality, and for notions of female moral authority. She engages topics from British moral philosophy to colonial laws regarding courtship, and from the popularity of the sentimental novel to the psychology of religious revivalism. Lucid, provocative, and wide-ranging, these eight essays bring a revisionist challenge to both women's studies and cultural studies as they ask us to reconsider the origins of the system of gender relations that has dominated American culture for two hundred years.   [brief]
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18. cover
Title: The power of the gun: the emergence of modern Chinese warlordism online access is available to everyone
Author: McCord, Edward Allen
Published: University of California Press,  1993
Subjects: History | Politics | Asian History | China
Publisher's Description: This detailed study offers a new interpretation of the emergence of warlordism in early twentieth-century China. Focusing on the provinces of Hunan and Hubei, Edward McCord shows how the repeated use of the military to settle disputes over the structure and allocation of political power in the early Republic ultimately thwarted the consolidation of civil authority. Warlordism flourished as military commanders took advantage of the growing militarization of politics to establish their dominance over early Republican government.McCord's study brings into sharp focus the social and political context of warlordism and is an essential bridge completing the narrative of events between two revolutionary eras. With the role of the military in modern Chinese politics receiving renewed attention today, this work is especially timely.   [brief]
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19. cover
20. cover
Title: Ethics in an epidemic: AIDS, morality, and culture online access is available to everyone
Author: Murphy, Timothy F 1955-
Published: University of California Press,  1994
Subjects: Philosophy | Sociology | Ethics | Medicine | Social Problems
Publisher's Description: AIDS strikes most heavily at those already marginalized by conventional society. With no immediate prospect of vaccination or cure, how can liberty, dignity, and reasoned hope be preserved in the shadow of an epidemic? In this humane and graceful book, philosopher Timothy Murphy offers insight into our attempts - popular and academic, American and non-American, scientific and political - to make moral sense of pain.Murphy addresses the complex moral questions raised by AIDS for health-care workers, politicians, policy makers, and even people with AIDS themselves. He ranges widely, analyzing contrasting visions of the origin and the future of the epidemic, the moral and political functions of obituaries, the uncertain value of celebrity involvement in anti-AIDS education, the functional uses of AIDS in the discourse of presidential campaigns, the exclusionary function of HIV testing for immigrants, the priority given to AIDS on the national health agenda, and the hypnotic publicity given to "innocent" victims.Murphy's discussions of the many social and political confusions about AIDS are unified by his attempt to articulate the moral assumptions framing our interpretations of the epidemic. By understanding those assumptions, we will be in a better position to resist self-serving and invidious moralizing, reckless political response, and social censure of the sick and the dying.   [brief]
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