By David Rahimi Writing in the middle of World War II, Freya Stark, a well-known British explorer and Arabist working for the Ministry of Information in the Middle East, penned an unpublished – and ultimately unfinished – twenty-five page essay, which she entitled Apology for Propaganda. When we think of government propaganda, we typically think […]
by David Rahimi Starting with the encounter with European colonialism and modernity in the eighteenth century, Muslims increasingly began to worry that Islam was beset by existential crises as Muslim countries slowly fell under colonial domination. Some thought Islam had stagnated and made Muslims weak; others said true Islam already had the answers to modernity. […]
Hsia’s book on Matteo Ricci expands the traditional narratives of the Age of Expansion and transforms our understanding of them. Beyond the Mediterranean and Atlantic worlds, early modern Europeans, Jesuits among them, also ventured to Asia.
This book recounts a fascinating journey undertaken by an Iranian intellectual to an Israel that existed primarily in the author’s mind. The kind of utopia Al-e Ahmad saw would strike many Israelis as odd.
How to Cook and Eat in Chinese was the earliest popular, English-language guide to Chinese cooking. First published in 1945 and reprinted several times, it remains in wide use today.
In The Ottoman Age of Exploration, Giancarlo Casale contests the prevailing narrative that characterizes the Ottoman Empire as a passive bystander in the sixteenth-century struggle for dominance of global trade.
The autobiography follows Katsu’s whirlwind of adventures, which involved a great deal of fighting, name-calling, and extortion. What Katsu lacks in ambition is more than made up for by his knack for getting into trouble.
Writers of ethnically-themed novels are often pegged as simply recording their family stories. However, by the time National Book Award finalist Julie Otsuka set out to capture her mother’s stories of “camp,” dementia had already stolen her once-clear memories.
Judith Brown’s Gandhi, Prisoner Of Hope published in 1989 amply reflects the decades of quality research that went into its production. Brown elucidates Gandhi’s transition from being “a man of his time” to “a man for all times and all places” by his unswerving and whole-hearted submission to the idea of satyagraha or truth-force, most significantly reflected in the deep questions that he asked, many of which he himself did not find answers to.
Alaa al-Aswany’s novel The Yacoubian Building (2002, Arabic عمارة يعقوبيان) tells the story of a group of people loosely bound together by dint of living in the same crumbling building – a real place – in downtown Cairo.