In this brilliant collection of pieces on the question of Palestinian self-determination, Edward Said - the most celebrated, visible, and outspoken Arab writing in America today - looks at the issues behind the Palestinian struggle for statehood. An Arab born in Jerusalem, educated there and in Cairo, and an American who has lived in the United States since the age of fifteen, the product of an American boarding school, Princeton, and Harvard, Said writes from a unique point of view. An internationally renowned literary and cultural critic, he turned his attention to political writing in 1967 after the seizure of the West Bank. In these thirty-eight pieces - essays, book and film reviews, and a personal interview - which have appeared between 1969 and 1994 in a wide range of publications, Said provides the context for understanding the recent autonomy agreement between the PLO and Israel, as well as a critical assessment of United States policy toward the Palestinians. He evaluates the argument for a two-state solution, documents the cultural and historical background to the relationships between the Arab Islamic world and the West, and points up the repercussions of the Gulf War. In all these pieces, Said again and again proves his prescience and deep understanding of an overwhelmingly complex situation. In a candid and very personal introduction, Said eloquently explains how he came to hold his views. A highly effective mediator, who has been present at many of the major Middle East peace negotiations, Said has also been an outspoken critic of Saddam Hussein, the Arab Right Wing, and Islamic fundamentalism. In his introduction, Said discusses how he was, on several occasions,approached behind-the-scenes to try to bring together the United States and Yasir Arafat for substantive meetings and discussions. Robert Hughes has written that Edward Said has always spoken for the "secular, liberal, and human strand in Arab culture whose voices are silenced by Middle
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Author Biography - Professor Edward W Said
Edward W. Said was born in 1935 in Jerusalem, raised in Jerusalem and Cairo, and educated in the United States, where he attended Princeton (B.A. 1957) and Harvard (M.A. 1960; Ph.D. 1964). In 1963, he began teaching at Columbia University, where he was University Professor of English and Comparative Literature. He is the author of twenty-two books which have been translated into 35 languages, including Orientalism (1978); The Question of Palestine (1979); Covering Islam (1980);Culture and Imperialism (1993); Peace and Its Discontents (1996);and Out of Place: A Memoir (1999). Besides his academic work, he wrote a twice-monthly column for Al-Hayat and Al-Ahram; was a regular contributor to newspapers in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East; and was the music critic for The Nation. He died in 2003 in New York City."