- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; Revised edition (March 11, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0679758909
- ISBN-13: 978-0679758907
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 50 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World Revised Edition
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"No one stuyding the relations between the West and the decolonizing world can ignore Mr. Said's work." --The New York Times Book Review
"Edward Said is a brilliant and unique amalgam of scholar, aesthete, and political activist. . . . He challenges and stimulates our thinking in every area." --Washington Post Book World
From the Inside Flap
From the Iranian hostage crisis through the Gulf War and the bombing of the World Trade Center, the American news media have portrayed "Islam" as a monolithic entity, synonymous with terrorism and religious hysteria. In this classic work, now updated, the author of Culture and Imperialism reveals the hidden agendas and distortions of fact that underlie even the most "objective" coverage of the Islamic world.
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Because of this simplistic media assessment and the following public judgement, the media on the whole dropped Iran as a focus of scrutiny after the hostages were released, seldom acknowledging it again outside the briefest mention as a state still in support of terrorism until the beginning of the twenty-first century. The media mostly failed to convey an appropriately intricate and informed examination of the events leading to, during, and after the Iranian revolution, despite an apparent professional journalistic obligation to do so on behalf of its public. Most hardly cared, especially after the hostages were released; though Said did and made it the topic of arguably his best book. Sadly, an assault on America's "fake news industry" would have to wait until it finally inflicted injuries much, much closer to home. In fact, inside its very TV parlor...
Said cites many examples of journalists (and academics) who fall into lazy habits when looking at and writing these cultures. Unfortunately, it seemed to me that Said makes many generalizations himself, about American media and journalists (although, to be fair, he does give some examples in the last chapter of academics and writers who he believes have a more broad and insightful and accurate viewpoint) which made it harder for me to stay engaged with the book.
Finally, I wanted to know his solutions and suggestions, not just the problem. If everything an American journalist or adademic touches in a country such as Iran or Iraq or Afghanistan is tainted by post-colonialism and oil and government, how can the average person learn about that part of the world in a genuine manner? What information is trustworthy? Said has told us the problem, or part of it, but did not seem, in this book anyway, to offer solutions.