Defending The West (inbunden)
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Prometheus Books
157 x 238 x 35 mm
880 g
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Defending The West

A Critique of Edward Said's 'Orientalism'

(2 röster)
Inbunden, Engelska, 2007-01-01
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This is the first systematic critique of Edward Said's influential work, "Orientalism", a book that for almost three decades has received wide acclaim, voluminous commentary, and translation into more than fifteen languages. Said's main thesis was that the Western image of the East was heavily biased by colonialist attitudes, racism, and more than two centuries of political exploitation. Although Said's critique was controversial, the impact of his ideas has been a pervasive rethinking of Western perceptions of Eastern cultures, plus a tendency to view all scholarship in Oriental Studies as tainted by considerations of power and prejudice. In this thorough reconsideration of Said's famous work, Ibn Warraq argues that Said's case against the West is seriously flawed. Warraq accuses Said of not only wilfully misinterpreting the work of many scholars, but also of systematically misrepresenting Western civilization as a whole. With example after example, he shows that ever since the Greeks Western civilization has always had a strand in its very makeup that has accepted non-Westerners with open arms and has ever been open to foreign ideas. The author also criticizes Said for inadequate methodology, incoherent arguments, and a faulty historical understanding. He points out, not only Said's tendentious interpretations, but historical howlers that would make a sophomore blush. Warraq further looks at the destructive influence of Said's study on the history of Western painting, especially of the 19th century, and shows how, once again, the epigones of Said have succeeded in relegating thousands of first-class paintings to the lofts and storage rooms of major museums. An extended appendix reconsiders the value of 18th- and 19th-century Orientalist scholars and artists, whose work fell into disrepute as a result of Said's work.
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Recensioner i media

"...the immensely erudite and clear-minded Ibn Warraq...refutes every point that Said made in his most famous book, Orientalism...Defending the West is...a book of great learning...No one, except cultural historians, need ever read, let alone refute, Said again." -- National Review, April 7, 2008 vol. LX, No. 6 "[This] is, on the whole, a book of great learning, full of information that to most readers will be recondite, but that is nonetheless entirely relevant to its overall theme...If I were a teacher of the humanities, however I would give my students Said's Orientatalism to read, then Warraq's Defending the West, to demonstrate the difference between militant malice and erudition." --Book Review Digest, Aug. 1, 2008 "Ibn Warraq's critique of Said's thought and work is thorough and convincing, indeed devastating to anyone depending on Saidism. It should force the Saidists to acknowledge the sophistry of their false prophet." --Middle Eastern Quarterly, Winter 2009 "free minds owe Ibn Warraq their genuine gratitude." -- Free Inquiry, Vol. 29, No. 3, April/May 2009

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Övrig information

Ibn Warraq is the highly acclaimed author of Why I Am Not a Muslim and Defending the West. He is also the editor of The Origins of the Koran, What the Koran Really Says, Leaving Islam, The Quest for the Historical Muhammad, and Which Koran?.


Preface; Three Tutelary Guiding Lights; Classical Antiquity; Early Christianity to the Seventeenth Century; Indian Orientalists; Western Archaeologists; Empire and Curzon; Edward Said and His Methodology; The Pathological Niceness of Liberals, Antimonies, Paradoxes, and Western Values; Orientals as Collectors; Painting and Sculpture; Occidental Influence on Eastern Art; Nineteenth-Century Orientalist Art; Painters as Writers; John Frederick Lewis; Hegel and the Meaning, Significance, and Influence of Dutch Genre Painting; Charles Cordier: Orientalist Sculptor; Religion, Piety, and Portraits; Oriental and African American Orientalists; Orientalism and Music; Literature and Orientalism.