The Persistence of Orientalism: Anglo-American Historians and Modern Egypt
Intended for academics with specialized interests and not for general readers, this book criticizes the tendency of American and British scholars to perceive Egypt's political system in the 19th and 20th centuries as an example of stereotyped "Oriental Despotism" and for not taking a broader view of influences and developments, a subject worth exploring. He points out—correctly—that one country's view of another is often dictated by its own political agenda, at the expense of an objective analysis of facts, and therefore the traditional view of Egypt's evolution should be reconsidered. A controversial yet perfectly valid point. The book suffers at points with repetitiveness and lengthy criticisms of scholars (Arab as well as Western) tend to be waspish rather than constructive. The most interesting chapter is perhaps that in which he exhorts greater attention to the Ottoman roots of modern Egypt. As with other Syracuse University Press publications, the volume is nicely produced.