Edward Said is one of the foremost thinkers writing today. His work as a literary and cultural critic, a political commentator, and the champion of the cause of Palestinian rights has given him a unique position in western intellectual life. This new book is a major exploration and assessment of his writings in all these main areas. Focusing on Saida s insistence on the connection between literature, politics and culture, Kennedy offers an overview and assessment of the main strands of Saida s work, drawing out the links and contradictions between each area. The book begins with an examination of Orientalism, one of the founding texts of post--colonial studies. Kennedy looks at the book in detail, probing both its strengths and weaknesses, and linking it to its sequel, Culture and Imperialism. She then examines Saida s work on the Palestinian people, with his emphasis on the need for a Palestinian narrative to counter pro--Israeli accounts of the Middle East, and his searing criticisms of US, Israeli, and even Arab governments.
The book closes with an examination of Saida s importance in the field of post--colonial studies, notably colonial discourse analysis and post--colonial theory, and his significance as a public intellectual. This book will be of great interest to anyone studying post--colonialism, literary theory, politics, and the Middle East, as well as anyone interested in Saida s writings.
Valerie Kennedy is Assistant Professor within the Department of English Language and Literature at Bilkent University in Turkey
Acknowledgements. Abbreviations. Introduction. 1. Orientalism. 2. Imperialism in the Middle East: Palestine, Israel and the USA. 3. After Orientalism: Culture and Imperialism. 4. Said and Postcolonial Studies. Conclusion. Notes. Bibliography. Index.