The Middle East Remembered: Forged Identities, Competing Narratives, Contested Spaces

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2000 Hardback NEAR FINE 9780472110834 This listing is a new book, a title currently in-print which we order directly and immediately from the publisher. *****PLEASE NOTE: This ... item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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The Middle East Remembered is the latest work from one of the most productive of Near Eastern historians, Jacob Lassner. The essays and studies that make up this book seek to provide a deep explanation for traditional Muslim and Jewish reactions to events past and present. The volume is in many senses a meditation on the art of history-writing in four crucial eras of the Near East: the founding years of the Muslim community, the generation after the Abbasid overthrow of the early Caliphate, the events leading to collapse of Caliphal governance, and the end of traditional historiographical models on the edge of modernity.

In the first of the book's three parts, Lassner examines what he calls the stratigraphy of the text--he makes sense of the unusual organization of medieval Islamic narrative. The second section investigates issues such as work on city planning and on the creation of imperial centers. The last portion studies the interplay between Jewish and Muslim memory and the trading of themes and ideas between the cultures.

Shorter studies in the volume have been revised, and the author weaves new and complementary essays around them. Earlier work has been transformed and made more available to the general public. The style is accessible, and technical and arcane usages have been kept to a minimum. Throughout there are flashes of the author's wry humor.

Jacob Lassner is Philip M. and Ethel Klutsnick Professor of Jewish Civilization, Northwestern University, and Professor of Middle East History, Tel Aviv University.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780472110834
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press
  • Publication date: 12/12/2000
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 6.48 (w) x 9.61 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Table of Contents

The Early Abbasid Caliphs
Introduction 1
Islamic Themes
Pt. 1 Competing Narratives
Ch. 1 Reckoning Time, Recording History: The Formation of Historical Consciousness in the Medieval Near East 9
Ch. 2 Recovering the Early Islamic Past: Problems and Approaches to Competing Narratives 32
Ch. 3 Dawlah: Transformative Politics and Historical Memory 60
Pt. 2 Contested Spaces
Ch. 4 Regionalism and Regional Identities versus the Idealized Islamic Community (Ummah) 97
Ch. 5 The First "Islamic" Cities: Religion, Tribal Identities, and Civic Organization 122
Ch. 6 The Emergence of the Imperial Center in Islam: Identity Politics, Architecture, and Urban Space 153
Ch. 7 The Road to Samarra: Clients, Slave Regiments, and the Failure of Central Planning 180
Pt. 3 Communal Identity, Narrative, and Competition for Sacred Space
Ch. 8 The Dialectic of Jewish-Muslim Relations in the Medieval Near East 267
Ch. 9 Ritual Purity and Political Exile: A Jew in the Lands of Islam Explains the Babylonian Exile 292
Ch. 10 Contested Narratives and Sacred Space: Muslim Texts, Jewish Subtexts 313
Ch. 11 Joseph Sambari on Muhammad and the Origins of Islam: A Learned Rabbi Confronts Muslim Apologetics and a Christian Polemical Tradition 341
Bibliography 387
Index 421
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