The Politics of Dispossession: The Struggle for Palestinian Self-Determination, 1969-1994
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The Politics of Dispossession: The Struggle for Palestinian Self-Determination, 1969-1994

by Edward W. Said
     
 

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Ever since the appearance of his groundbreaking The Question of Palestine, Edward Said has been America's most outspoken advocate for Palestinian self-determination. As these collected essays amply prove, he is also our most intelligent and bracingly heretical writer on affairs involving not only Palestinians but also the Arab and Muslim worlds and their tortuous

Overview

Ever since the appearance of his groundbreaking The Question of Palestine, Edward Said has been America's most outspoken advocate for Palestinian self-determination. As these collected essays amply prove, he is also our most intelligent and bracingly heretical writer on affairs involving not only Palestinians but also the Arab and Muslim worlds and their tortuous relations with the West.

In The Politics of Dispossession Said traces his people's struggle for statehood through twenty-five years of exile, from the PLO's bloody 1970 exile from Jordan through the debacle of the Gulf War and the ambiguous 1994 peace accord with Israel. As frank as he is about his personal involvement in that struggle, Said is equally unsparing in his demolition of Arab icons and American shibboleths. Stylish, impassioned, and informed by a magisterial knowledge of history and literature, The Politics of Dispossession is a masterly synthesis of scholarship and polemic that has the power to redefine the debate over the Middle East.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this forceful, challenging collection of 37 political essays from the past 25 years, Said, University Professor at Columbia, emphasizes that the Palestinians are a people with their own history, society and right to self-determination. He is highly critical of Yasir Arafat's dominance of the PLO, which he calls undemocratic, corrupt and incompetent. He also forthrightly condemns the political right wing that dominates virtually every Arab government, enforcing repression, censorship and ``intellectual thought control.'' A recurrent theme is the West's longstanding prejudice against the Arabs and Islam, manifested in media coverage of the Persian Gulf War, nonrecognition of Arab literature and racist stereotypes of Arabs. Highlights of this collection include a critique of U.S. policy in the Middle East, an analysis of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and a discussion of Palestinian identity with writer Salman Rushdie. Tracing his own direct involvement in the Palestinian national movement, Said deems the recent Israeli-PLO accord a sellout by Arafat, an instrument of Palestinian surrender that suspends most of the Palestinian people's rights and consigns diaspora Palestinians (those living in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria) to permanent exile or refugee status. (June)
Library Journal
In this volume Columbia professor Said, for some an enfant terrible while for others the most articulate English-language spokesperson for organized Palestinian efforts to achieve political recognition, has collected 37 of his previously published political essays. There will be no disappointments here for readers familiar with the author's work (e.g., Culture and Imperialism, LJ 3/1/93) or for those reading him for the first time. Said deals with the hotly debated concept of a geopolitical Palestine and its people; the Arab world in general, with which he is not always entirely pleased; and the intriguing relationship of the intellectual to politics and the impact of that relationship on events surrounding the ``Palestine Question.'' Recommended for its style and potency as well as for its alternative viewpoint to the mainstream perspective, Said's book should be acquired by academic and larger public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/94.]-Sanford R. Silverburg, Catawba Coll., Salisbury, N.C
Margaret Flanagan
An eloquent and thoughtful advocate of Palestinian rights and self-determination, Said offers a selection of essays gleaned from the large body of his work originally published over the past 25 years. Said presents an overview of Palestinian culture and provides a historical framework for the Palestinian struggle. Rather than operating as a spokesperson or an apologist for the PLO, the author subjectively chronicles both the achievements and the tragic failures of this organization. Viewed collectively, these articles represent a credible case for a more viable Palestinian presence and voice in the Middle East and offer hope for a nonviolent reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. A logical and reasonable contribution to the often inflammatory literature of Arab-Jewish relations.
From the Publisher
"The most eloquent and visible voice of the Palestinian struggle in America.... [Said's] combination of flamboyant style and erudite radicalism, honesty and advocacy... makes The Politics of Dispossession necessary and informative for anyone interested in the complexities of the Palestinian question." — San Francisco Chronicle

"This book should be read by anyone who wants to get beyond the shallow stereotypes that bedevil American thinking on the Middle East." — Robert Hughes

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307829634
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/24/2012
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
512
File size:
3 MB

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