In Praise of Books: A Cultural History of Cairo's Middle Class, Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century

Overview

Having examined a number of works written during the period, and studied the social environment in which they were produced, Hanna (Arabic studies, American U. of Cairo) discovered a category of people that is not generally recognized by historians: people who were educated without necessarily being scholarly, and who may have been trained in religious institutions but had a realist rather than idealist view of the world. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Overview

Having examined a number of works written during the period, and studied the social environment in which they were produced, Hanna (Arabic studies, American U. of Cairo) discovered a category of people that is not generally recognized by historians: people who were educated without necessarily being scholarly, and who may have been trained in religious institutions but had a realist rather than idealist view of the world. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement
Nelly Hanna's wonderfully concise and elegant In Praise of Books argues that from the sixteenth century to the eighteenth, in sharp contrast to received wisdom, the situation in Egypt was not so different from that in the other Mediterranean countries, as literacy spread to an emerging bourgeoisie. In Egypt, however, this was due not to printed books, which might have been cheaper than manuscript copies, but to the availability of inexpensive paper, which made even hand-copied books affordable to middle-class readers. . . .This thoughtful book suggests that the deep and previously unexplored traditions of Cairo's middle-class culture provided the real foundation on which these supposed 'innovations' rested.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Tables
Foreword
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 1
2 Society, Economy, and Culture 26
3 Culture and Education of the Middle Class 50
4 Books and the Middle Class 79
5 Shaping a Culture of the Middle Class 104
6 Radical Intellectuals: A Culture of Crisis 139
7 Conclusion 172
Notes 181
Glossary 195
Bibliography 197
Index 209
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