Catalogue

COVID-19: Updates on library services and operations.

Between memory and desire [electronic resource] : the Middle East in a troubled age /
R. Stephen Humphreys.
imprint
Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, 1999.
description
xxii, 297 p. : map ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0520214110 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, 1999.
isbn
0520214110 (alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
11947503
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 289-292) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"'People know a lot of things that aren't so,' warns Stephen Humphreys, and then he tells us all we should really know about the Middle East--a vast, complex, and frequently misunderstood universe. It is a rare achievement that combines erudition, compelling writing, and personal experience."--Meron Benvenisti, author ofCity of Stone "An outstanding piece of work on the relationship between secular and religious politics in the Middle East. It brings together medieval, modern, and contemporary Middle East history beautifully in a book of exceptional clarity and depth. Humphreys is nonjudgmental yet candid, focused yet comprehensive. His integration of early Islamic and contemporary history is novel, bold, and successful."--Leila Fawaz, author ofAn Occasion for War
Flap Copy
"'People know a lot of things that aren't so,' warns Stephen Humphreys, and then he tells us all we should really know about the Middle East--a vast, complex, and frequently misunderstood universe. It is a rare achievement that combines erudition, compelling writing, and personal experience."--Meron Benvenisti, author of City of Stone "An outstanding piece of work on the relationship between secular and religious politics in the Middle East. It brings together medieval, modern, and contemporary Middle East history beautifully in a book of exceptional clarity and depth. Humphreys is nonjudgmental yet candid, focused yet comprehensive. His integration of early Islamic and contemporary history is novel, bold, and successful."--Leila Fawaz, author of An Occasion for War
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-01-01:
This fine extended essay examines the contemporary Middle East against the backdrop of history and culture. Humphreys (history and Islamic Studies, Univ. of California at Santa Barbara) is former editor of the International Journal of Middle East Studies, the leading scholarly journal in its field. He seeks to elucidate the effort to "infuse meaning, value, and moral purpose" into Middle East politics. He examines the socioeconomic problems of the region, as well as the heritage of conflictual relations with the rest of the world, especially Christian Europe. Three chapters are devoted to "secular" politics: pan-Arab nationalism, the "myth of the Middle East madman," and the role of the military in politics. The last four chapters focus on aspects of Islam: Islamic politics; "jihad and the politics of salvation"; the role of women in public life; and the status of human rights in Islam. Humphreys debunks many of the popular Western stereotypes of Islam and the Middle East in a clearheaded and forthright manner. Yet his basic sympathy does not prevent him from administering healthy doses of criticism. Written for the nonexpert, the book is ideally suited for undergraduate students, as it is comprehensive, informative, and less pejorative than other works on the subject. Highly recommended for all libraries. F. Tachau; University of Illinois at Chicago
Appeared in Library Journal on 1999-05-15:
Islam has long been a major force in shaping the contours of sociopolitical and cultural debate in much of the Middle East. With the apparent failure of Pan-Arabism, Westernism, and other secular ideologies to provide meaningful and workable solutions to the region's numerous problems, Islam has once again become a central ingredient in the ongoing philosophical and practical struggle among the forces contending these. This struggle (as well as Islam itself) is complex, multifaceted, and influenced by a variety of other factors, both within and outside the Islamic world. In this sober and highly informative book, Humphreys (history and Islamic studies, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara) introduces educated readers to the nuances of Middle Eastern political and social discourse. He goes behind the headlines and offers a sophisticated and yet accessible analysis of Islamic polity for Western readers. Highly recommended for specialists and nonspecialists alike.ÄNader Entessar, Spring Hill Coll., Mobile, AL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, May 1999
New York Times Book Review, June 1999
Choice, January 2000
New York Times Book Review, June 2001
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
Middle Easterners today are caught between memories of the past and frustrated hopes for the future. They struggle to find solutions to crises of economic stagnation, political gridlock, and cultural identity. In recent decades Islam has become central to this struggle, and almost every issue involves fierce, sometimes violent debates over the role of religion in public life. R. Stephen Humphreys's new book presents a much-needed and thoughtful analysis of Islam's place in today's Middle East. In clear, accessible language, he integrates the medieval and modern history of the region to show how the sacred and secular are tightly interwoven in its political and intellectual life. Humphreys discusses the conflicts over power and resources that engage Middle Eastern politicians and looks at the major ideologies that have shaped these conflicts. He focuses on the impact of Islam on public life and examines Muslim ways of thinking about the "secular" versus the "religious." What values does Islam put into play? What challenges does it pose to "ordinary" politics? What resources does it bring to the struggle for social justice? Humphreys recognizes the Western tendency to dismiss Middle Eastern politics as an incoherent tale of violence and fanaticism, and his book is especially valuable for its analysis of the deeper issues behind the headlines. These issues include the region's apparent inability to evolve democratic institutions, conflicts rooted in the peace settlements after World War I, and the unresolved debates over which cultural and moral values should drive Middle Eastern policy. Between Memory and Desirereminds us that Middle Easterners remember the past in specific ways: the shame of the colonial era; the disappointments since independence; and the glory of the Middle Ages, when Muslim achievements were respected throughout the world. Even if these memories are only partially true, in defining the past, they also define what the future ought to be.
Publisher Fact Sheet
A timely analysis of Islam's place in today's Middle East.
Table of Contents
Preface to the 2005 Edition
Preface to the First Edition
Acknowledgments
Hard Realities: Population Growth and Economic Stagnation
From Imperialism to the New World Order: The Middle East in Search of a Future
The Strange Career of Pan-Arabism
The Shaping of Foreign Policy: The Myth of the Middle East Madman
Military Dictatorship and Political Tradition in the Middle East
Profane and Sacred Politics: The Ends of Power in the Middle East
Islam as a Political System
Jihad and the Politics of Salvation
Women in Public Life: Islamic Perspectives, Middle Eastern Realities
Islam and Human Rights Toward a Conclusion--Between Memory and Desire
Notes
A Bibliographic Note
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem