Activist, journalist, and theorist, Eqbal Ahmad (1934-1999) was admired and consulted by revolutionaries and activists as well as policymakers and academics. In articles and columns published in such journals as the Nation, New York Review of Books, Monthly Review, and newspapers in Pakistan and Cairo, Ahmad inspired new ways of thinking about global issues. Whether writing on the rise of militant Islam, the conflict in Kashmir, U.S. involvement in Vietnam, or the cynical logic of Cold War geopolitics, Ahmad offered incisive, passionate, and often prophetic analyses of the major political events and movements of the second half of the twentieth century. This work is the first to collect Ahmad's writings in a single volume. It reflects his distinct understanding of world politics as well as his profound sense of empathy for those living in poverty and oppression. He was a fierce opponent of imperialism and corruption and advocated democratic transformations in postcolonial and third-world societies. A uniquely perceptive critic of colonialism and U.S. foreign policy, Ahmad was equally vigilant in his criticisms of third-world dictatorships.
Like few other writers, Ahmad's life experiences shaped his political views. He grew up amidst the turmoil of postcolonial India, worked alongside the Algerian FLN in their fight against the French occupation, and later became a prominent spokesperson for peace between Israel and Palestine.
Carollee Bengelsdorf, professor of politics at Hampshire College, holds an A.B. from Cornell University, studied Russian history at Harvard University, and received a Ph.D. in political science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is interested in political development in Southern Africa and other Third World areas. She has conducted research in Algeria, Cuba, and Peru, and has been a school teacher in Kenya and Honduras. Margaret Cerullo is a professor of sociology and feminist studies at Hampshire College. She has been involved with the following publications: "Beyond the Normal Family: A Cultural Critique of Women's Poverty," in Rochelle Lefkowitz and Ann Withorn's edition of For Crying Out Loud: Women and Poverty in the US (New York: Pilgrim Press, 1986); "Family and Free Time: The Politics of Leisure," (co-authored) Radical America, ibid.; reprinted in Antipode, Special Issue on Women and the Environment, 1983. Yogesh Chandrani is currently a graduate student at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. He was Assistant Director of the Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College, Amherst, MA from 1993-2000. He is co-editor with Michael Klare of World Security: Challenges for a New Century (St. Martin's Press, 2000).
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