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Arabic Thought against the Authoritarian Age
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Book description

In the wake of the Arab uprisings, the Middle East descended into a frenzy of political turmoil and unprecedented human tragedy which reinforced regrettable stereotypes about the moribund state of Arab intellectual and cultural life. This volume sheds important light on diverse facets of the post-war Arab world and its vibrant intellectual, literary and political history. Cutting-edge research is presented on such wide-ranging topics as poetry, intellectual history, political philosophy, and religious reform and cultural resilience all across the length and breadth of the Arab world, from Morocco to the Gulf States. This is an important statement of new directions in Middle East studies that challenges conventional thinking and has added relevance to the study of global intellectual history more broadly.

Reviews

'A much needed addition to our understanding of the Arab uprisings, their causes, and their meaning. While the political, social, economic, and cultural dimensions of the uprisings have been well explored, this book is unique inasmuch as it probes the overlooked role played by intellectuals in interpreting the Arab condition and articulating the complaints and demands of activists.'

James L. Gelvin - University of California, Los Angeles, and author of The New Middle East: What Everyone Needs to Know.

'Spanning a wide range of thinkers, writers and struggles across the Arab world and from the 1940s to the present, this collection of essays by a stellar cast of scholars illustrates both the diversity and the continuities of postwar Arab intellectual history. Whether tracing the complex legacies of the nahda or the travails of the Arab left, Hanssen and Weiss's follow-up to their Arabic Thought beyond the Liberal Age scuttles popular fallacies about the sterility or atavism of Arab intellectual life, illuminates the deeper roots of the 2011–12 Arab uprisings, and makes available to English-language readers important voices that are too rarely heard outside the Middle East.'

James McDougall - University of Oxford

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