In An Aesthetic Occupation Daniel Bertrand Monk unearths the history of the unquestioned political immediacy of “sacred” architecture in the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. Monk combines groundbreaking archival research with theoretical insights to examine in particular the Mandate era—the period in the first half of the twentieth century when Britain held sovereignty over Palestine. While examining the relation between monuments and mass violence in this context, he documents Palestinian, Zionist, and British attempts to advance competing arguments concerning architecture’s utility to politics. Succumbing neither to the view that monuments are autonomous figures onto which political meaning has been projected, nor to the obverse claim that in Jerusalem shrines are immediate manifestations of the political, Monk traces the reciprocal history of both these positions as well as describes how opponents in the conflict debated and theorized their own participation in its self-representation. Analyzing controversies over the authenticity of holy sites, the restorations of the Dome of the Rock, and the discourse of accusation following the Buraq, or Wailing Wall, riots of 1929, Monk discloses for the first time that, as combatants looked to architecture and invoked the transparency of their own historical situation, they simultaneously advanced—and normalized—the conflict’s inability to account for itself. This balanced and unique study will appeal to anyone interested in Israel or Zionism, the Palestinians, the Middle East conflict, Jerusalem, or its monuments. Scholars of architecture, political theory, and religion, as well as cultural and critical studies will also be informed by its arguments.
Rugged, remote, riven by tribal rivalries and religious violence, Afghanistan seems to many a forsaken country frozen in time. Robert Crews presents a bold challenge to this misperception. During their long history, Afghans have engaged and connected with a wider world, occupying a pivotal position in the Cold War and the decades that followed.
Afghanistan in the Cinema
Mark Graham University of Illinois Press, 2010 Library of Congress PN1995.9.A35G73 2010 | Dewey Decimal 791.43658581
In this timely critical introduction to the representation of Afghanistan in film, Mark Graham examines the often surprising combination of propaganda and poetry in films made in Hollywood and the East. Through the lenses of postcolonial theory and historical reassessment, Graham analyzes what these films say about Afghanistan, Islam, and the West and argues that they are integral tools for forming discourse on Afghanistan, a means for understanding and avoiding past mistakes, and symbols of the country's shaky but promising future. Thoughtfully addressing many of the misperceptions about Afghanistan perpetuated in the West, Afghanistan in the Cinema incorporates incisive analysis of the market factors, funding sources, and political agendas that have shaped the films.
The book considers a range of films, beginning with the 1970s epics The Man Who Would Become King and The Horsemen and following the shifts in representation of the Muslim world during the Russian War in films such as The Beast and Rambo III. Graham then moves on to Taliban-era films such as Kandahar, Osama, and Ellipsis, the first Afghan film directed by a woman. Lastly, the book discusses imperialist nostalgia in films such as Charlie Wilson's War and destabilizing visions represented in contemporary works such as The Kite Runner.
Faiz Ahmed Harvard University Press, 2017 Library of Congress KNF68.A366 2017 | Dewey Decimal 349.581
Debunking conventional narratives, Faiz Ahmed presents a vibrant account of the first Muslim-majority country to gain independence, codify its own laws, and ratify a constitution after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Afghanistan, he shows, attracted thinkers eager to craft a modern state within the interpretive traditions of Islamic law and ethics.
Naguib Mahfouz, the Arab world’s only Nobel literature laureate, is best known internationally for his short stories and novels, including The Cairo Trilogy. But in Egypt he was equally familiar to newspaper readers for the column he wrote for many years in the leading daily Al-Ahram, in which he reflected on issues of the day from domestic and international events, politics, and economics to historic anniversaries, inspirational personalities, and questions of cultural freedom. This volume brings together the 285 articles he wrote between January 1989 and the near-fatal knife attack in October 1994.
In carefully crafted short texts, his social conscience is revealed as he highlights political shortcomings, economic injustice, and corruption in Egypt and the wider Arab world. His philosophical sensitivity comes to the fore as he contemplates the meaning of a historic events, contributions of an influential people, and what is required to lead a good life. The collapse of the Soviet Union, the Oslo peace accords, the spread of terrorism, the Cairo earthquake, the passing of Louis Awad, Yusuf Idris, Yahya Hakki, the third term of Hosni Mubarak, climate change, and more come under Naguib Mahfouz’s fine scrutiny. For any fan of Mahfouz’s fiction, this collection opens a window on a different side of his intellect, and it offers insights from one of the region’s greatest modern minds.
The Age of Beloveds offers a rich introduction to early modern Ottoman culture through a study of its beautiful lyric love poetry. At the same time, it suggests provocative cross-cultural parallels in the sociology and spirituality of love in Europe—from Istanbul to London—during the long sixteenth century. Walter G. Andrews and Mehmet Kalpakli provide a generous sampling of translations of Ottoman poems, many of which have never appeared in English, along with informative and inspired close readings. The authors explain that the flourishing of Ottoman power and culture during the “Turkish Renaissance” manifested itself, to some degree, as an “age of beloveds,” in which young men became the focal points for the desire and attention of powerful officeholders and artists as well as the inspiration for a rich literature of love.
The authors show that the “age of beloveds” was not just an Ottoman, eastern European, or Islamic phenomenon. It extended into western Europe as well, pervading the cultures of Venice, Florence, Rome, and London during the same period. Andrews and Kalpakli contend that in an age dominated by absolute rulers and troubled by war, cultural change, and religious upheaval, the attachments of dependent courtiers and the longings of anxious commoners aroused an intense interest in love and the beloved. The Age of Beloveds reveals new commonalities in the cultural history of two worlds long seen as radically different.
In June 1939 Annemarie Schwarzenbach and fellow writer Ella Maillart set out from Geneva in a Ford, heading for Afghanistan. The first women to travel Afghanistan’s Northern Road, they fled the storm brewing in Europe to seek a place untouched by what they considered to be Western neuroses.
The Afghan journey documented in All the Roads Are Open is one of the most important episodes of Schwarzenbach’s turbulent life. Her incisive, lyrical essays offer a unique glimpse of an Afghanistan already touched by the “fateful laws known as progress,” a remote yet “sensitive nerve centre of world politics” caught amid great powers in upheaval. In her writings, Schwarzenbach conjures up the desolate beauty of landscapes both internal and external, reflecting on the longings and loneliness of travel as well as its grace.
Maillart’s account of their trip, The Cruel Way, stands as a classic of travel literature, and, now available for the first time in English, Schwarzenbach’s memoir rounds out the story of the adventure.
Praise for the German Edition
“Above all, [Schwarzenbach’s] discovery of the Orient was a personal one. But the author never loses sight of the historical and social context. . . . She shows no trace of colonialist arrogance. In fact, the pieces also reflect the experience of crisis, the loss of confidence which, in that decade, seized the long-arrogant culture of the West.”—Süddeutsche Zeitung
Treating rhetoric and symbols as central rather than peripheral to politics, Lisa Wedeen’s groundbreaking book offers a compelling counterargument to those who insist that politics is primarily about material interests and the groups advocating for them. During the thirty-year rule of President Hafiz al-Asad’s regime, his image was everywhere. In newspapers, on television, and during orchestrated spectacles. Asad was praised as the “father,” the “gallant knight,” even the country’s “premier pharmacist.” Yet most Syrians, including those who create the official rhetoric, did not believe its claims. Why would a regime spend scarce resources on a personality cult whose content is patently spurious?
Wedeen shows how such flagrantly fictitious claims were able to produce a politics of public dissimulation in which citizens acted as if they revered the leader. By inundating daily life with tired symbolism, the regime exercised a subtle, yet effective form of power. The cult worked to enforce obedience, induce complicity, isolate Syrians from one another, and set guidelines for public speech and behavior. Wedeen‘s ethnographic research demonstrates how Syrians recognized the disciplinary aspects of the cult and sought to undermine them. In a new preface, Wedeen discusses the uprising against the Syrian regime that began in 2011 and questions the usefulness of the concept of legitimacy in trying to analyze and understand authoritarian regimes.
James Henry Breasted (1865–1935) had a career that epitomizes our popular image of the archaeologist. Daring, handsome, and charismatic, he traveled on expeditions to remote and politically unstable corners of the Middle East, helped identify the tomb of King Tut, and was on the cover of Time magazine. But Breasted was more than an Indiana Jones—he was an accomplished scholar, academic entrepreneur, and talented author who brought ancient history to life not just for students but for such notables as Teddy Roosevelt and Sigmund Freud.
In American Egyptologist, Jeffrey Abt weaves together the disparate strands of Breasted’s life, from his small-town origins following the Civil War to his evolution into the father of American Egyptology and the founder of the Oriental Institute in the early years of the University of Chicago. Abt explores the scholarly, philanthropic, diplomatic, and religious contexts of his ideas and projects, providing insight into the origins of America’s most prominent center for Near Eastern archaeology.
An illuminating portrait of the nearly forgotten man who demystified ancient Egypt for the general public, American Egyptologist restores James Henry Breasted to the world and puts forward a brilliant case for his place as one of the most important scholars of modern times.
American Interests and Policies in the Middle East, 1900-1939 was first published in
1963. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Scholars concerned with the diplomatic history of the United States have largely neglected the subject of American relations with the Middle East during the four decades before World War I. With this study, Professor DeNovo fills the gap by describing and assessing the United States' cultural, economic, and diplomatic relations with Turkey, Persia, and the Arab East in that period. He traces, chronologically and topically, the activities of such American interest groups as Protestant missionaries, educators, philanthropists, archaeologists, businessmen, and technical advisers, as well as the official actions of their government.
The account falls roughly into three chronological periods. The first section traces the interest groups through the pre-World War I years of political and cultural stirring in the Ottoman Empire and Persia. Special attention is given to the Chester Project for railroad development in Turkey. The second part deals with the upheavals accompanying World War I and the tasks of peacemaking from the Mudros armistice through the Lausanne settlement of 1923. The latter chapters detail the rise of the Turkish national movement, the deepening Persian and Arab nationalism, and the accommodation of American cultural and economic groups to these conditions. The author points out that before World War II began, Americans had acquired a significant interest in Middle Eastern oil and had become emotionally involved in the Arab-Zionist tension. In 1939 the United States was on the verge of a new phase in its Middle Eastern relations when that region would become more intimately linked to America's national security.
America’s Dream Palace
Osamah F. Khalil Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress DS61.8.K47 2016 | Dewey Decimal 956.0071173
As the postwar U.S. national security establishment required Middle Eastern expertise, it cultivated a beneficial relationship with universities. But by the time the Bush administration declared its Global War on Terror, Osamah Khalil shows, think tank agendas aligned with neoconservative goals were the drivers of America’s foreign policy.
With Ancestor of the West, three distinguished French historians reveal the story of the birth of writing and reason, demonstrating how the logical religious structures of Near Eastern and Mesopotamian cultures served as precursors to those of the West.
"Full of matter for anyone interested in language, religion, and politics in the ancient world."—R. T. Ridley, Journal of Religious History
"In this accessible introduction to the ancient world, three leading French scholars explore the emergence of rationality and writing in the West, tracing its development and its survival in our own traditions. . . . Jean Bottero focuses on writing and religion in ancient Mesopotamia, Clarisse Herrenschmidt considers a broader history of ancient writing, and Jean-Pierre Vernant examines classical Greek civilization in the context of Near Eastern history."—Translation Review
Around the turn of the last century, James Henry Breasted took on the challenge of assembling all the available historical documents of ancient Egypt and translating them into English. This prodigious undertaking involved traveling to the monuments extant in the Nile valley and in outlying areas of Egyptian conquest, as well as to museums throughout Europe where Egyptian relics were housed. Breasted made his own copies of hundreds of Egyptian records inscribed on papyrus or leather or carved in stone and engaged in a thorough study of the published records of Egyptian history in conjunction with his own transcription of the documents themselves. This five-volume compendium is the result.
Breasted's monumental work, originally published from 1906 to 1907, encompasses twenty-six dynasties spanning more than three millennia: from ca. 3050 B.C. to 525 B.C. For each document, Breasted provides information on location, condition, historical significance, and content. Beginning with the earliest known official annals of Egypt, the Palermo Stone, Breasted catalogs the realm's official activities, including royal succession, temple construction, property distribution, and foreign conquest. He tracks the careers of scores of kings, queens, government officials, military leaders, powerful statesmen, and influential courtiers, reproducing their autobiographies, letters of favor, paeans, mortuary gifts, and tomb inscriptions. Clearly annotated for the lay reader, the documents provide copious evidence of trade relations, construction activities, diplomatic envoys, foreign expeditions, and other aspects of a vigorous, highly organized, and centrally controlled society.
Breasted's commentary is both rigorously documented and accessible, suffused with a contagious fascination for the events, the personalities, the cultural practices, and the sophistication these records indicate. A herculean assemblage of primary documents, many of which have deteriorated to illegibility in the intervening century, Ancient Records of Egypt illuminates both the incredible complexity of Egyptian society and the almost insuperable difficulties of reconstructing a lost civilization.
This first paperback edition of Ancient Records of Egypt features a new introduction and supplementary bibliographies by Peter A. Piccione. Setting Breasted's work in the context of the development of American Egyptology, Piccione discusses Breasted's establishment of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, with corporate support by John D. Rockefeller and other benefactors, and surveys the ambitious body of publications with which Breasted laid the foundation for future Egyptian studies.
This volume extends Breasted's remarkable documentary history through the reign of King Tutankhamun. By providing the first definitive transcription and the first English version of hundreds of historical records inscribed on papyrus or leather or carved in stone, Breasted gave unprecedented access to details of royal succession, military conquest, religious upheaval, administrative complexity, and other aspects of ancient Egyptian civilization. Originally published in the first decade of the twentieth century, his monumental work appears here in paperback for the first time.
The Eighteenth Dynasty saw the consolidation of the cult of Amun and the expansion of the temple of Amun-Re at Karnak, as well as a religious revolution under King Akhenaten that involved abandoning Thebes as a religious capital and royal residence and founding a new city devoted to the service of the new solar god, Aten. Breasted presents records of the biography and coronation of Queen Hatshepsut, including reliefs that depict the queen's expedition to the land of Punt. Also in this volume are the annals of Thutmose III, providing the most complete account of the military achievements of any Egyptian king; scenes representing the supernatural birth and coronation by the gods of his son, Amenhotep II; and inscriptions from the tomb of Rekhmire, prime minister or vizier under Thutmose III, that include a listing of taxes paid to the temple and foreign tribute proceeding from the king's two decades of military activity in Asia.
A herculean assemblage of primary documents, many of which have deteriorated to illegibility since its original publication, Ancient Records of Egypt illuminates both the incredible complexity of Egyptian society and the almost insuperable difficulties of reconstructing a lost civilization.
Volume 3 of Ancient Records of Egypt opens on the chaotic aftermath of King Akhenaten's religious revolution. Breasted chronicles the precarious reigns of Akhenaten's successors and the political and legal reforms of King Horemheb, who succeeded to the throne after the passing of the last members of the royal family. This volume contains the important edict of Horemheb, intended to prevent the oppressive abuses connected with the collection of taxes from the common people, and the inscriptions of Roy, high priest of Amon, showing the first transmission from father to son of the office of the high priest.
In the context of a long history of mutilating and altering reliefs for political purposes, Breasted discusses the insertion into a relief of the figure of Ramesses II in order to reinforce his claim to the throne. This volume also includes the treaty of alliance that sealed peace with the Hittites under Ramesses II; a series of documents that record the invasion of Libyans and Mediterranean Sea people during the reign of Merneptah; and the Great Temple of Abu Simbel, the most remarkable of the rock-cut temples of Egypt.
This first complete paperback edition of Breasted's five-volume Ancient Records of Egypt makes available to a new audience a milestone in Egyptology and in the compilation of documentary histories. Clearly annotated for the lay reader, the documents provide copious evidence of trade relations, construction activities, diplomatic envoys, foreign expeditions, and other aspects of a vigorous, highly organized, and centrally controlled society. Breasted's commentary is both rigorously documented and accessible, suffused with a contagious fascination for the events, the personalities, the cultural practices, and the sophistication these records indicate
With volume 4 of Ancient Records of Egypt, James Henry Breasted brings us to the end of the self-governed era of ancient Egyptian civilization. Chief among the documents contained in this volume are the inscriptions from the Medinet Habu Temple, one of the most completely preserved temples of Egypt, and the great Papyrus Harris, the largest (133 feet long) and most sumptuous papyrus extant, 95 percent of which Breasted was the first to study closely. Together these documents present a detailed record of the reign and benefactions of Ramesses III, whose reign lasted more than thirty years.
Volume 4 includes intriguing records of the harem conspiracy and legal documents that indicate the extent of robberies of royal tombs. Records of the Nile levels at Karnak provide important chronological landmarks, while the Stela of Piye (Piankhi), which documents the Nubian kingdom already in existence as a full-fledged power, provides information on the internal political climate of Egypt during a time when no aggressive monarch controlled the whole country. Breasted also notes where these ancient Egyptian records intersect with accounts of the same events from other sources, such as the mutiny of Psamtik I's troops as inscribed on the alabaster statue of Nesuhor and as narrated by Herodotus.
In effect, Ancient Records of Egypt offers a valuable dual record. On the one hand, Breasted presents the events and personages of ancient Egypt as recorded in the documents. On the other hand, he presents a history of the documents themselves. Fragmentary or partially destroyed, carved on temple and tomb walls or written on fragile scrolls of leather or papyrus, even inscribed on the coffins and temple linens of the royal and priestly mummy wrappings, these records offer an irreplaceable primary source on a fascinating civilization.
An indispensable companion to any of the other volumes of Ancient Records of Egypt, the Supplementary Bibliographies and Indices facilitates direct access to specific information on the people, places, and inscriptions catalogued by James Henry Breasted. Exhaustively compiled and intelligently arranged, these indices include the kings and queens, temples and geographical locations, divine names, and titles and ranks encompassed by three thousand years of Egyptian history. Also provided are indices of all Egyptian, Hebrew, and Arabic terms mentioned in the texts, as well as a complete listing of the records with their location in Lepsius's Denkmäler.
This first paperback edition of Ancient Records of Egypt features the important addition of bibliographies by Peter A. Piccione, together with an introduction that puts Breasted's historical commentaries into modern perspective. These bibliographies offer valuable guidance on new translations and modern treatments of the inscriptions included in Ancient Records of Egypt. Professor Piccione points the reader toward recent studies of Egyptian chronology and modern scholarship on Egyptian and Nubian history. He also provides information on anthologies of Egyptian texts in translation and topographical bibliographies that suggest further reading on specific ancient Egyptian monuments, texts, and reliefs.
Antinomies of Modernity asserts that concepts of race, Orient, and nation have been crucial to efforts across the world to create a sense of place, belonging, and solidarity in the midst of the radical discontinuities wrought by global capitalism. Emphasizing the continued salience at the beginning of the twenty-first century of these supposedly nineteenth-century ideas, the essays in this volume stress the importance of tracking the dynamic ways that race, Orient, and nation have been reworked and used over time and in particular geographic locations.
Drawing on archival sources and fieldwork, the contributors explore aspects of modernity within societies of South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Whether considering how European ideas of Orientalism became foundational myths of Indian nationalism; how racial caste systems between blacks, South Asians, and whites operate in post-apartheid South Africa; or how Indian immigrants to the United States negotiate their identities, these essays demonstrate that the contours of cultural and identity politics did not simply originate in metropolitan centers and get adopted wholesale in the colonies. Colonial and postcolonial modernisms have emerged via the active appropriation of, or resistance to, far-reaching European ideas. Over time, Orientalism and nationalist and racialized knowledges become indigenized and acquire, for all practical purposes, a completely "Third World" patina. Antinomies of Modernity shows that people do make history, constrained in part by political-economic realities and in part by the categories they marshal in doing so. Contributors. Neville Alexander, Andrew Barnes, Vasant Kaiwar, Sucheta Mazumdar, Minoo Moallem, Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi, A. R. Venkatachalapathy, Michael O. West
Though more than sixty years have passed since the signing of the proclamation of the State of Israel, the impact of that epochal event continues to shape the political policies and public opinion of not only the Middle East but much of the world. The consequent conflict between Arabs and Israelis for sovereignty over the land of Palestine has been one of the most bloody, intractable, and drawn-out of modern times. It continues today in cycles of aggressive violence followed by temporary, tenuous ceasefires that are marked and complicated by resolute opinions and fractious religious ideologies. In this timely volume, noted military historian Ian J. Bickerton cuts through the complex perspectives in order to explain this struggle in objective detail, describing its history from the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire following World War I to the present day.
In concise and clear prose, Bickerton argues that the present problem can be traced to the fact that each side is trapped by a conception of their past from which they seem unable to break free. This attachment and reaction to history has had a negative influence on the decision-making of Arabs and Israelis since 1948. Ultimately, Bickerton maintains that the use of armed force has not, and will not, resolve the issues that have divided Israelis and Arabs.
The Arab-Israeli Conflict is a plea for reasoned diplomacy in a situation that has been dominated by extreme violence. This book will appeal to a wide general audience seeking a balanced understanding of this enduring struggle that still dominates headlines.
Society for American Archaeology Book Award Winner
Many fundamental studies of the origins of states have built upon landscape data, but an overall study of the Near Eastern landscape itself has never been attempted. Spanning thousands of years of history, the ancient Near East presents a bewildering range of landscapes, the understanding of which can greatly enhance our ability to infer past political and social systems.
Tony Wilkinson now shows that throughout the Holocene humans altered the Near Eastern environment so thoroughly that the land has become a human artifact, albeit one that retains the power to shape human societies. In this trailblazing book—the first to describe and explain the development of the Near Eastern landscape using archaeological data—Wilkinson identifies specific landscape signatures for various regions and periods, from the early stages of complex societies in the fifth to sixth millennium B.C. to the close of the Early Islamic period around the tenth century A.D.
From Bronze Age city-states to colonized steppes, these signature landscapes of irrigation systems, tells, and other features changed through time along with changes in social, economic, political, and environmental conditions. By weaving together the record of the human landscape with evidence of settlement, the environment, and social and economic conditions, Wilkinson provides a holistic view of the ancient Near East that complements archaeological excavations, cuneiform texts, and other conventional sources.
Through this overview, culled from thirty years' research, Wilkinson establishes a new framework for understanding the economic and physical infrastructure of the region. By describing the basic attributes of the ancient cultural landscape and placing their development within the context of a dynamic environment, he breaks new ground in landscape archaeology and offers a new context for understanding the ancient Near East.
In Arguing Sainthood, Katherine Pratt Ewing examines Sufi religious meanings and practices in Pakistan and their relation to the Westernizing influences of modernity and the shaping of the postcolonial self. Using both anthropological fieldwork and psychoanalytic theory to critically reinterpret theories of subjectivity, Ewing examines the production of identity in the context of a complex social field of conflicting ideologies and interests. Ewing critiques Eurocentric cultural theorists and Orientalist discourse while also taking issue with expatriate postcolonial thinkers Homi Bhabha and Gayatri Spivak. She challenges the notion of a monolithic Islamic modernity in order to explore the lived realities of individuals, particularly those of Pakistani saints and their followers. By examining the continuities between current Sufi practices and earlier popular practices in the Muslim world, Ewing identifies in the Sufi tradition a reflexive, critical consciousness that has usually been associated with the modern subject. Drawing on her training in clinical and theoretical psychoanalysis as well as her anthropological fieldwork in Lahore, Pakistan, Ewing argues for the value of Lacan in anthropology as she provides the basis for retheorizing postcolonial studies.
The author is an old Istanbul hand who has seen it change over the years from a provincial backwater to today's vibrant metropolis. With Tillinghast as a guide through Istanbul's cafés, mosques and palaces, and along its streets and waterways, readers will feel at home both in the Constantinople of bygone days and on the streets of the modern town.
In 1915, the Ottoman government, then run by the Young Turks, deported most of its Armenian citizens from their eastern Anatolian lands. According to reliable estimates, close to forty percent of the prewar population perished, many in brutal massacres. Armenians call it the first genocide of the twentieth century. Turks speak of an instance of intercommunal warfare and wartime relocation made necessary by the treasonous conduct of their Armenian minority.
The voluminous literature on this tragic episode of World War I is characterized by acrimony and distortion in which both sides have simplified a complex historical reality and have resorted to partisan special pleading.
The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey examines the rich historical evidence without political preconceptions. Relying on archival materials as well as eye-witness testimony, Guenter Lewy avoids the sterile “was-it-genocide-or-not” debate and presents a detailed account of what actually happened. The result is a book that will open a new chapter in this contentious controversy and may help achieve a long-overdue reconciliation of Armenians and Turks.
Before World War I, the ancient city of Van in southeastern Anatolia had a population of approximately 100,000 people, while the population of Van Province was about 500,000. Armenians formed a large minority, with Kurdish tribes and Turks in the majority.
The Armenian Rebellion at Van presents a long-overdue examination of Van from the 1870s to 1919. As the authors state, "The Armenian Revolt was an integral part of the great disaster that overcame the people of the Ottoman East. The slaughter of Muslims that accompanied the Armenian revolt in Van Province inexorably led first to Kurdish reprisals on the Armenians, then to a general and mutual massacre of the people of the East."
The actions at Van offer a window into the far-reaching events that soon followed in other parts of Anatolia.
In the midst of World War I, the Ottoman government forcibly removed many of its Armenian citizens from their eastern Anatolian lands. While recognizing the controversy and tragedy of the events of 1915 that led to the death of hundreds of thousands of Armenians, author Yücel Güçlü refrains from accepting the genocidal label that other scholars have assigned the episode.
Güçlü bases his claim largely on evidence from state and military archives in Turkey, Britain, France, and the United States that look specifically into the Ottoman version of history, placing the whole question of forced population displacements in a wider and more nuanced perspective than that in which it is usually depicted. According to the author, revolutionary Armenian forces were threatening the Ottoman Empire from within as it was simultaneously threatened by external forces. Armenians were also actively involved with Allied forces throughout World War I. In response, the Ottoman government ordered the movement of the Armenian population away from protected and sensitive war zones. The actions taken by the Ottoman Empire to control the Armenian population were those of relocation, not extermination.
Working to explain why the Armenian conflict emerged and how it was eventually resolved, this book discusses the Armenian revolutionary and separatist movements, Turkish measures of self defense, and Allied schemes regarding the region during the period. It places special emphasis on the influence of Allied forces on the actions of Armenians in Cilicia.
One of the Ancient Near East’s most important inscriptions is the Bisotun inscription of the Achaemenid king Darius I (6th century BCE), which reports on a suspicious fratricide and coup. Shayegan shows how the Bisotun’s narrative influenced the Iranian epic, epigraphic, and historiographical traditions into the Sasanian and early Islamic periods.
Islamic literature is rich, varied, and abundant, as befits the literature of a civilization which once controlled an empire as great as that of the Romans. In Aspects of Islamic Civilization, A. J. Arberry has chosen and translated passages from the most highly regarded works of Islamic literature in order to illustrate the development of Islamic civilization from its origins in the sixth century to the present.
This anthology is made up of selections from Arabic and Persian writers who have given world renown to Islamic literature—such as Hafiz, Sa'di, Jalal al-Din Rumi, Omar Khayyam, Ibn al-Farid, Avicenna, Ibn Hazm—and from such works as the Koran, the Masnavi, and the Moorish Anthology. It is an invaluable collection of sources for anyone interested in the Moslem world and a fascinating volume to browse in.
Early in his career, Hitler took inspiration from Mussolini—this fact is widely known. But an equally important role model for Hitler has been neglected: Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, who inspired Hitler to remake Germany along nationalist, secular, totalitarian, and ethnically exclusive lines. Stefan Ihrig tells this compelling story.
If the Arab uprisings initially heralded the end of tyrannies and a move toward liberal democratic governments, their defeat not only marked a reversal but was of a piece with emerging forms of authoritarianism worldwide. In Authoritarian Apprehensions, Lisa Wedeen draws on her decades-long engagement with Syria to offer an erudite and compassionate analysis of this extraordinary rush of events—the revolutionary exhilaration of the initial days of unrest and then the devastating violence that shattered hopes of any quick undoing of dictatorship. Developing a fresh, insightful, and theoretically imaginative approach to both authoritarianism and conflict, Wedeen asks, What led a sizable part of the citizenry to stick by the regime through one atrocity after another? What happens to political judgment in a context of pervasive misinformation? And what might the Syrian example suggest about how authoritarian leaders exploit digital media to create uncertainty, political impasses, and fractures among their citizens?
Drawing on extensive fieldwork and a variety of Syrian artistic practices, Wedeen lays bare the ideological investments that sustain ambivalent attachments to established organizations of power and contribute to the ongoing challenge of pursuing political change. This masterful book is a testament to Wedeen’s deep engagement with some of the most troubling concerns of our political present and future.
Stephane Lacroix Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress DS244.63.L345 2011 | Dewey Decimal 320.55709538
With unprecedented access to a closed culture, Lacroix offers an account of Islamism in Saudi Arabia. Tracing the last half-century of the Sahwa, or “Islamic Awakening,” he explains the brand of Islam that gave birth to Osama bin Laden—one that has been exported, and dangerously misunderstood, around the world.