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Between Memory and Desire

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Between Memory and Desire Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 Desire reminds 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.

Synopsis:

"'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

Synopsis:

Middle Easterners today 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. In this post-9/11 updated edition R. Stephen Humphreys presents a thoughtful analysis of Islam's place in today's Middle East and 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.

About the Author

R. Stephen Humphreys is Professor of History and Islamic Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and author of Islamic History: A Framework for Inquiry (second edition, 1991) among other works.

Table of Contents

Preface to the 2005 Edition

Preface to the First Edition

Acknowledgments

1. Hard Realities: Population Growth and Economic Stagnation

2. From Imperialism to the New World Order: The Middle East in Search of a Future

3. The Strange Career of Pan-Arabism

4. The Shaping of Foreign Policy: The Myth of the Middle East Madman

5. Military Dictatorship and Political Tradition in the Middle East

6. Profane and Sacred Politics: The Ends of Power in the Middle East

7. Islam as a Political System

8. Jihad and the Politics of Salvation

9. Women in Public Life: Islamic Perspectives, Middle Eastern Realities

10. Islam and Human Rights

Toward a Conclusion--Between Memory and Desire

Notes

A Bibliographic Note

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520229181
Subtitle:
The Middle East in a Troubled Age
Author:
Humphreys, R. Stephen
Author:
Humphreys, R. Stephen
Publisher:
University of California Press
Location:
Berkeley, Calif.
Subject:
General
Subject:
Middle East
Subject:
Economic Conditions
Subject:
Middle East - General
Subject:
Political History
Subject:
Islam and politics
Subject:
Ethnic Studies
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
2326
Publication Date:
20010228
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
1 map, 2 tables
Pages:
319
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x .75 in 16 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Middle East » General History
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » World History » Middle East

Between Memory and Desire Used Trade Paper
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Product details 319 pages University of California Press - English 9780520229181 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
"'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

"Synopsis" by , Middle Easterners today 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. In this post-9/11 updated edition R. Stephen Humphreys presents a thoughtful analysis of Islam's place in today's Middle East and 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.
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