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Rebel Music: Race, Empire, and the New Muslim Youth Culture Hardcover – March 4, 2014

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Hip-hop is the lingua franca of worldwide youth culture. It all started in the Bronx, and for thousands of young Muslims around the world today, the New York borough remains sacred ground. In this bracing, fascinating, and utterly timely exploration of music, race, and cultural identity, Aidi examines young European and American Muslims and their search for what he calls “a nonracist utopia.” Specifically, Aidi is concerned with how the so-called American dream exists in Europe’s Muslim ghettos, how young European and American Muslims are drawing on African American history (especially the U.S. civil rights movement) for inspiration, and how American diplomacy is using race and diversity to court Muslims around the world. Aidi touches on many issues in this ambitious and far-reaching book, including the rise of the Far Right; the spread of the war on terror; the mind-boggling cultural fusion going on today (Arabic country music in Alabama, punk rockers in Pakistan); and the power of music to effect social change. Sufi rock, Islam and jazz, Gnawa music, Andalusi music—it’s all covered here. This book will be especially appealing to young people who want to better understand the Muslim perspective on war, prejudice, and national identity. --June Sawyers

Review

"Fascinating . . . Highly original . . . Breathtaking."
The New York Times

"Impressive . . . With the confidence of a charismatic professor, Aidi's discussion wanders through Detroit, Brazil, and 'Jim Crow' Arabia."
The New York Times Book Review

"A multilayered and intriguing story of the mobilization of Muslim youth through music rather than militancy . . . Moving from jazz to the late Algerian pop star Salim Halali, Aidi's wide-ranging, dense work persuades by its passionate accretion of detail."
Kirkus Reviews 

"Simply a brilliant, utterly unique, effortlessly transnational and wonderfully written account of hip hop and new Muslim youth culture."
—Marc Lynch, The Washington Post
 
"Rebel Music offers an extraordinarily rich and variegated [musical] map . . . From Paris to Rio, from Philadelphia and Brooklyn to Morocco and southern Spain, Aidi is the peripatetic chronicler of the intricate intersecting musical and political worlds whose shared issues have never before been so cogently crystallized."
—American Literary History

"Excellent."
—Counterpunch

"Phenomenal."
—PopMatters

"Rebel Music has no antecedent or peer in musical historiography . . . [Aidi] acts as historian, musicologist, journalist and theologian, no easy juggling act . . . It is a virtuoso performance of historical knowledge and cultural observations, as Aidi jams on personalities and communities."
Journal of the American Academy of Religion

"Mohammed meets Malcolm; Gnawa meets Guantanamo; Bandung meets B-boys; banlieues meet Bahia: this is the vibrant, noisy, embattled world Hisham Aidi brings to light . . . In what can genuinely be described as a tour de force for its global scope, historical sweep, cultural virtuosity, and political sophistication, Rebel Music examines this soundtrack in a global context, from slavery to the latest war on terror." 
—Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original 

"Rebel Music may be the most bafflingly significant book I've read in years. It is a marvel of Zelig-like appreciation of the global youth culture, of its syncretistic Afro-Muslim energies, and of its fabulously variegated purveyors from creators to calculating commercial and political sponsors. Hisham Aidi is a brilliant expositor of this powerful planetary cultural phenomenon." 
—David Levering Lewis, author of God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215
 

“Highly original and ambitious . . . Rebel Music exhibits a breathtaking familiarity with different forms of radicalizing music . . . Aidi delves far beneath the surface of stereotypes . . . [and lays out] an array of fascinating conflicts, taking on a subject that has rarely been addressed in book form.”
—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"Hip-hop is the lingua franca of worldwide youth culture. It all started in the Bronx, and for thousands of young Muslims around the world today, the New York borough remains sacred ground. In this bracing, fascinating, and utterly timely exploration of music, race, and cultural identity, Aidi examines young European and American Muslims and their search for what he calls “a nonracist utopia.” Specifically, Aidi is concerned with how the so-called American dream exists in Europe’s Muslim ghettos, how young European and American Muslims are drawing on African American history (especially the U.S. civil rights movement) for inspiration, and how American diplomacy is using race and diversity to court Muslims around the world. Aidi touches on many issues in this ambitious and far-reaching book, including the rise of the Far Right; the spread of the war on terror; the mind-boggling cultural fusion going on today (Arabic country music in Alabama, punk rockers in Pakistan); and the power of music to effect social change. Sufi rock, Islam and jazz, Gnawa music, Andalusi music—it’s all covered here. This book will be especially appealing to young people who want to better understand the Muslim perspective on war, prejudice, and national identity.
—June Sawyers, Booklist *Starred Review*
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon; 1st edition (March 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375424903
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375424908
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #351,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Q. Rashid on May 14, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Full disclosure, I first heard about this project in 2008 and spoke with Professor Aidi back then. I've followed the project over the years and have eagerly awaited its release.

I finally got my hands on a copy and feel proud to give this book a 5 star rating. Professor Aidi does an excellent job of writing in a narrative style that informs and educates, while maintaining a strong pillar of objectivity. He's a gifted writer and a brilliant historian. This book fills a niche that few (no) other books have, and I'm grateful it is now available. Whether you're an American history buff, love jazz music and music in general, or want a stronger understanding of Islam's role in American history and music, this book is time well invested.

Kudos Professor, thanks for the great read!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An absolutely extraordinary book - the author has traveled the world, interviewed hundreds (if not thousands) of people, used an astounding number of primary and secondary sources, and has a great knowledge and appreciation of music and those who create it. He presents this information and his analysis in a way that permits those who are not familiar with the subject to understand it all quite easily. A book of great erudition which reads like a detective novel!
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A historic survey to contemporary commentary that shows how we arrived at this complex and interwoven status of American, European and North African mix of race being exposed and determined by our philosophies in our music . These threads of our historic tapestry are joined with the present to form a panoramic view
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