Orientalism Paperback – Oct 12 1979
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"The theme is the way in which intellectual traditions are created and trans-mitted... Orientalism is the example Mr. Said uses, and by it he means something precise. The scholar who studies the Orient (and specifically the Muslim Orient), the imaginitive writer who takes it as his subject, and the institutions which have been concerned with teaching it, settling it, ruling it, all have a certain representation or idea of the Orient defined as being other than the Occident, mysterious, unchanging and ultimately inferior." --Albert Hourani, New York Review of Books
From the Inside Flap
The noted critic and a Palestinian now teaching at Columbia University, examines the way in which the West observes the Arabs.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
In Orientalism, Said sets about dismantling the study of the "orient" in general with primary focus on the Islamic Near East. Said argues that concepts such as the Orient, Islam, the Arabs, etc. are too vast to be grouped together and presented as one coherent whole, encompassing all there is to know about the subject. Said bases his view on the shear width and breadth of the subject, the inherent bias of conflicting cultures and more recently the role of the Orientalism in colonialism. It is indeed difficult to attempt to represent a book that is so focused on anti essentialism.
Said's research of western / occidental discourse was very thorough indeed and he does illustrate through repeated examples how misinformation sufficiently repeated can become accepted academic work. Said also presents an analysis of the causes and motives and theorizes about his findings. A lengthy and a times tedious discussion of the origins of Orientalism is rather repetitive and hard to follow for a non specialist like me.
Edward Said however seem to have fallen in the same trap he attributes to Orientalism, he has not attempted to explore Arab writings of the periods he discussed nor has he attempted to present (possibly even read) work by Egyptian and Arab historians of the periods he was addressing save for work carried out in the west and within western universities.Read more ›
It is not often that a brilliantly, exhaustively researched book on an alternatingly controversial and trivialized subject can engender an emotional response of the magnitude with which this work does--which usually means that it is worth reading. In documenting the psychological architecture of the western mind and its perspective on the East--or the "Orient"--he deconstructs it. The idea that it exists deconstructs it by nature; before reading this book you will swear that most of what we know of the Arabian East is the absolute truth, without even being aware that it's been either romanticized into impotence or isn't much of anything complimentary, let alone influential.
I rate ORIENTALISM, for its effect on our psyche as Americans alone (regardless of race or assumed political leanings), as one of the most important books written in the last decades of the 20th century. The world looks the way it does not because of natural law, like the reasons why the Sahara has become a desert--or at least not by the natural laws we have imagined.Read more ›
This is a highly recommended book. It's only weakness is that it can somewhat difficult reading, thanks to its author's genius and total mastery of the English language. I often had to underline difficult words and look them up in a dictionary, and read over some paragraphs again and again in order to grasp the complex ideas, so once I was done with the book my GRE score improved 100 points. Seriously, though, "Orientalism" is a very perceptive and methodical study of an important topic today: the relationship between East and West.
Most recent customer reviews
Item came within projected mailing time in perfect condition. Due to the printing processes very rare but few words are slightly distorted but doesn't detract from the legibility.Published 12 months ago by G
In response to the precedent review. First of all, Orientalism happens to be Edward Said's area of study. Read morePublished on Jan. 27 2005
This is definitely a masterpiece!The late Edward Said has done an excellent job in this monumental study on Orientalism. Read morePublished on June 19 2004 by Georges Melki
The book of Edward Said is without any doubt on the most influential books produced in the late XX century, in the Western societies. Read morePublished on April 18 2004 by José Pedro T. Fernandes
It isn't until you get to p. 242 of Edward Said's "Orientalism" that he informs the reader of what he is REALLY getting at. Read morePublished on March 28 2004 by Corn Soup
Simply put an amazing book. Said's point is not to accuse the "West", for which he is derided by one of Amazon's "spotlighted reviewers" here, but instead Said... Read morePublished on March 16 2004
Lets get the argument strait here: the Western scholars tried to understand Islam through tradition techniques like fact finding and cultural analysis and for Mr. Read morePublished on Jan. 13 2004 by Seth J. Frantzman
This extremely important book is not easy to read. As Said tackles sensitive issues, he makes sure that every word of his is backed up by ample research, and the result is at times... Read morePublished on Jan. 4 2004 by nadav haber