Arminius Vambéry and the British Empire: Between East and West Kindle Edition

ISBN-13: 978-1498538244
ISBN-10: 149853824X
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Arminius Vambéry is one of the most fascinating figures in modern Jewish history, and David Mandler has provided us with a magnificent depiction of his remarkable life as a traveler to Muslim lands, a linguist, and the toast of nineteenth-century London high society. (Susannah Heschel, Dartmouth College)

David Mandler's exceptionally fine book is a critical biography of Arminius Vambéry, a polymath linguist, traveler, and diplomatic adviser in nineteenth-century Europe. The book offers a human story of this linguistic genius as he grew up in segregated areas of Austria-Hungary but came to know Sultans and Queen Victoria. It also provides an intellectual history of Vambéry's development of Middle Eastern studies and linguistics, placing him very interestingly in relation to later Orientalists. Dr. Mandler also gives us a compelling story of Vambéry's importance in nineteenth-century diplomatic and literary relations. This is a sophisticated work that should make a name for Vambéry and for his author—in Vambéry's case restoring him to his nineteenth-century brilliance and importance. (John Maynard, New York University)

This book challenges and refines Edward Said’s thesis in Orientalism by demonstrating the fundamental role played in the field by the Jewish Hungarian Orientalists Arminius Vambéry and Ignác Goldziher. Their Eastern European origins—in the context of a cultural milieu set on the borders of Europe and Asia in which Islamic and Christian traditions were in certain ways quite closely intertwined—meant that their Orientalist scholarship was not constructed in the absence of the human and social reality that it described, nor was it consciously or unconsciously motivated in terms of an over-riding imperial politics. Dr. Mandler’s important book thus transforms the widespread view that sees Orientalism simply as the West’s construction of the East, and it demonstrates the importance of Hungarian scholarship for European Islamic Studies. (Robert J. C. Young, New York University)

By digging into Hungarian-language sources, David Mandler has revealed a much more nuanced picture of the ‘oriental’ Orientalist Arminius Vambéry. Mandler does a fine job of correcting previous indictments of Vambéry’s ‘charlatanism’ (including that of the great Arabist Ignác Goldziher) and shows us a Vambéry who was, for his day, a well-informed and sympathetic Islamist and an insightful liberal commentator on European political and religious affairs. (Suzanne Marchand, Louisiana State University)

About the Author

David Mandler received his PhD from New York University. He previously taught at Touro College and currently works in secondary education.

Product details

  • File Size: 33152 KB
  • Print Length: 217 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 149853824X
  • Publisher: Lexington Books (July 21, 2016)
  • Publication Date: July 21, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01HUCBYL4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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