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47 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth and Respect
Once again, Edward Said forces respect shows the extent of his talent as cultural critic, political essayist and world observer. Few intelectuals today can pretend applying a holisitic and methodological approach to world affairs and classical music at the same time. I highly recommend this book.
Regarding the comment below by the nameless individual...
Published on October 9, 2001 by Reda

versus
4 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Edward Said was raised as a Christian
I assumed, naturally, that he was a Muslim. The news was an astounding revelation.

The question now becomes, why was Said not supportive of Christians and Jews? Why did he never speak out about the systematic destruction of Judaism and Christianity in the Holy Lands, which were holy to Jews and Christians centuries before Muslims conquered the region? Why so...
Published on April 28, 2010 by Evelina


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47 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth and Respect, October 9, 2001
By 
Reda (New York City) - See all my reviews
Once again, Edward Said forces respect shows the extent of his talent as cultural critic, political essayist and world observer. Few intelectuals today can pretend applying a holisitic and methodological approach to world affairs and classical music at the same time. I highly recommend this book.
Regarding the comment below by the nameless individual "nylawguy", i would just make the following remarks to reestablish the truth:
- Edward Said is no longer a member of the PLO since 1992; however, I do not see why being a member of the PLO is such a problem: PLO members have been received at the White House on countless occasions last time I checked
-Edward Said has not thrown stones at israeli soldiers since he was on the lebanese side of the border when he was pictured throwing a stone. Surprisingly enough, only the NY press made such a big fuzz out of that picture where evidently Edward Said did not aim at anyone
- If you read carefully the book, you'll see that Said is actually one of the most vocal critics of Hamas' tactics, although he clearly tries to understand what led a desperate population of several million embrace Hamas so overwhelmingly
I hope readers will take the time to read this book and draw their conclusions on their own
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44 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Importance of Being Edward, August 23, 2001
For almost a quarter century, Edward W. Said, professor of Comparative Literature at Columbia University, public intellactual, and Palestinian freedom fighter par excellence has worked tirelessly to bridge the gap between the personal and the political. Whether he is arguing for an end to state sponsored torture of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prison camps, the need for more democratic reform within the Palestinian Authority, or Jane Austen as a mirror of the colonial enterprise, Said never fails to enlighten and inspire. Along with Noam Chomsky in this country and Pierre Bourdieu on the European Continent, he is that rare breed: the tenured intellectual within the Academy who is brave enough to stick his neck out of the ivory tower and reconcile theoretical constructs with the political reality on the ground.
In Power, Politics, and Culture, Gauri Vishwanathan, one of Said's colleagues at Columbia, has cast a wide net and gathered interviews from India, Pakistan, the Arab World and Israel. Remarkable for their conversational quality, these interviews reflect as much the interviewers' politics and social concerns as they do Said's responses to them. True to form, Said is never reluctant to throw down the gauntlet and challenge an interviewer. Speaking with Hasan M. Jafri of the Karachi (Pakistan) Herald, in an interview conducted soon after Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini issued his famous death fatwa against author Salman Rushdie, Said pursues Rushdie's funfamentalist detractors with the same trademark energy he might devote to castigating a Shamir or a Netanyahu. To wit: " I am an absolute believer in absolute freedom of expression. As a Palestinian, I have fought Israeli attempts to censor my people in what they can write or read. A lot of our battle for liberation has to do with freedoms of thought and opinion and expression. I firmly believe in them. So, let me say, regardless of the reason, I believe there should be no censorship at all." He continues: "...I am very disturbed by the whole thing ( the Rushdie affair ) and I just wish that Salman Rushdie could lead a normal life.....It's a huge price to pay for an individual. He has lost the ability to be free. He can't move around as he wishes. He can't see his son. His second marriage failed while he was in hiding. I feel it shouldn't happen to anyone. Our world is big enough to have people like Salman Rushdie writing as they do and to debate what they say. But to condemn him to death and to burn his book and to ban it - those are horrible, horrible things." Incidentally, Pakistan was in the grip of anti-Rushdie riots after the announcement of the fatwa, but on Said's request The Herald printed all of his comments in Rushdie's defense.
His bete noir, The New Republic, gets similar treatment. In a panel discussion chaired by William McNeil ( formerly of the News Hour), and joined by both Christopher Hitchens and Leon Wieseltier, Said reads from a theater review published in that magazine. ...."Where did the follwing review appear: The description of a play at the American Repertory Theater in this town: 'The universalist prejudice of our culture prepared us for this play's Arab, a crazed Arab to be sure, but crazed in the distinctive ways of his culture. He is intoxicated by language, cannot discern between fantasy and reality, abhors compromise, always blames others for his predicament and, in the end, lances the painful boil of his frustrations in a pointless, though momentarily gratifying act of bloodlust.' " Said turns to Wieseltier: "I disagree with you Leon; I'm sorry, I don't believe that could appear about an Indian or an African in any other magazine in this country."
As an antidote to their prejudices about at least one Arab, Leon and his friends at TNR would be well advised to read Power, Politics and Culture. As for the Ayatollahs, they will surely have to. Anything Said says or does, as evidenced in these interviews, is an event in the Middle East. Before long, pirated editions of this book, in Persian, will be available in the myriad bookshops on Enghelab Avenue, the student ghetto outside Tehran University. Arabic copies will sell from Casablanca to Riyadh. In this country too, this volume will hold readers spellbound. Whether he is talking literary theory or street politics, Edward Said brings an immediacy to whatever it is he is discussing that is truly unique.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Discipline of Details, September 4, 2013
This review is from: Power, Politics, and Culture (Paperback)
Edward Said rightfully sees the Muslim politicians as well as the secular leaders in the Middle East as lacking a "discipline of details". However by reading this book we have hope that some day the awakening and the current Arab Spring will prevail over the longtime dictatorships in the region. His analytical thinking helps us see specific issues with western intellectuals, academics, and the media coverage of Middle Eastern controversies. He forces us to look at "both sides" of the issues in the region not just the "Orientalist" side.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The responsibility of an intellectual, December 19, 2009
By 
Luc REYNAERT (Beernem, Belgium) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Power, Politics, and Culture (Paperback)
This collection of interviews gives an excellent overview of the two sides of Edward W. Said's life and work: the literary critic and the political commentator / agitator.

Literary and music critic
From the 1970s on, E.W. Said was confronted with the postmodern (deconstruction) movement. But, he saw immediately the immense flaw in the discourse: `their criticism takes language as language and then proceeds to discuss literature as embroiled in the problems of language ... (they are) uninterested in the life of society and very far removed from the world of politics, power, domination and struggle.'
To the contrary, what moved E.W. Said were `anger at injustice, intolerance of oppression and ideas about freedom and knowledge.'
(For a devastating verdict on postmodernism, see G.G. Preparata.)
Strangely, as a musicologist, he admires T. Adorno, who shamefully dismissed the music of I. Stravinsky (the greatest composer of the 20th century) on Marxist (?) grounds.

Orientalism
For E.W. Said, the West's vision on the Orient is completely biased. The Orient is (was) occupied by the West, milked by the West for its resources and humanly squashed by the West.

Third World
His light beacon for the struggle of the populations of the Third World was Frantz Fanon (`The Wretched of the Earth') who analyzes the problem of how charismatic revolutionary leaders could become themselves oppressors of the `liberated' and turn into a new power elite.

Palestinian question
Here, E.W. Said is an angry man, for `without justice there cannot be peace.'
His (ir)real dream is a bi-partisan State with a Palestinian majority.
In any case, Israel has to assume total responsibility for the dispossession and confiscation of land, the destruction of the Palestinian society and the deprivations, the sufferings and the killings of the Palestinian people.

Of course, these interviews contain many repetitions, but they give an in depth view of the evolution of E.W. Said's ideas concerning the real world and literature with a body.

Not to be missed.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Power, Politics, and Culture, April 27, 2014
By 
Liza Kimball (Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Power, Politics, and Culture (Paperback)
I haven't read this yet, but I really like Edward Said and have several of his books, Orientalism is his best so far.
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7 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good politics, December 1, 2004
This review is from: Power, Politics, and Culture (Paperback)
Said gives good insight into politics, especially in the middle east. I didn't enjoy the literature section as much because I wasn't familiar with the authors.
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4 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Edward Said was raised as a Christian, April 28, 2010
This review is from: Power, Politics, and Culture (Paperback)
I assumed, naturally, that he was a Muslim. The news was an astounding revelation.

The question now becomes, why was Said not supportive of Christians and Jews? Why did he never speak out about the systematic destruction of Judaism and Christianity in the Holy Lands, which were holy to Jews and Christians centuries before Muslims conquered the region? Why so lacking in sympathy for his own people? Did Said become like that when he realized it was the way to success among his liberal colleagues at American universities? Was he always like that?

I regarded Said as a man arguing for his own people. I did not agree with him, but I respected him and expected nothing else from him. Now I see him in a different light.

Everything that Said says about western conquest and imperialism could be said about Islam, the Chinese, the Russians, the Japanese, and others. The Crusades were a response to the jihads, which had gone on for many centuries, that had been waged against Christendom and everything else that was not Muslim. Yet Said talks the usual way as if no one but the west had ever conquered other nations.

Everyone is the other to someone. Blacks are the other to the Chinese. The Chinese are the other to Indians. Indians are the other to the Africans. This is human nature, not, as Said would have it, a feature exclusive to western people or whites.

A comparison of the two styles of conquest shows clearly that while the conquered can escape from western imperialism, they never escape from Islamic conquest and forcible conversion. North Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Asia, all those parts that are now Muslim were once Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, or something else. But we would be astonished if today a Buddhist or a Christian said that he was obligated to hate Muslims forever.

I am sorry to see that Said is no different from any western liberal that has little regard for his own people and culture.
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13 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Instinctively drawn to power, November 17, 2002
By A Customer
Said says he's instinctively drawn to the other side of power, but it's funny to think about Oscar Wilde's axiom that whenever anybody says something true, the opposite of what they're saying is also true. Said is instinctively drawn to power. He's been president of the MLA, and he loves to hear his mouth run. He has no poetry, no humor, no art -- just relentless self-righteous upper-class whining. He makes millions a year with his poseur-politics, but he couldn't write a poem if he had until the sun burned out. He represents everything that is wrong with academia today -- from poetry we have turned to ideology, from humor and wit we have turned to self-righteousness. This man is simply incapable of taking anything lightly, or even turning a witty phrase. He is a pompous bore from an upper-class family. Anyone this drawn to power, and so utterly without style, cannot be taken seriously.
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Power, Politics, and Culture
Power, Politics, and Culture by Edward W. Said (Paperback - August 27, 2002)
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