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Arab Nationalism in the Twentieth Century: From Triumph to Despair Paperback – 3 Apr 2005


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Review

"[A] splendid recent obituary of the movement."--Economist

"Dawisha tackles [an] intimidatingly big subject with success. He has mastered the vast literature on the subject, weeding out the contentious or just plain wrong accounts and integrating the several good studies that get it right. Added to this is his own considerable expertise."--L. Carl Brown, Foreign Affairs

"[Dawisha] relates the many angles of this rich, complex, and multifaceted subject in a readable, lucid, and economic manner."--Israel Gershoni, American Historical Review

"Dawisha carefully navigates between various, contested historical narratives to create a balanced, authoritative historical work. He relates the many angles of this rich, complex, and multifaceted subject in a readable, lucid, and economic manner that nonspecialists will appreciate. His book is a comprehensive account of the evolution of Arab nationalism and an insightful evaluation of the role it played in shaping the modern Arab Middle East."--Israel Gershoni, American Historical Review

"[O]ne of the most comprehensive studies on pan-Arab nationalism to date."--Amaney Jamal, Political Science Quarterly

"Adeed Dawisha's highly readable, clear-eyed, and sober historical account of Arab nationalism is an important contribution to our understanding of its rapid rise to fame and equally rapid fall from grace. Combining the seasoned insights of a veteran Middle East scholar, recent scholarship, and the memoirs of Arab leaders and intellectuals, Dawisha has produced a major addition to the study of Arab nationalism and the politics of the region."--Michael Barnett, Middle East Journal

"A wonderfully insightful and analytical study of a significant political phase in the Middle East."--Jonas Kauffeldt, History: Reviews of New Books

"This book is a major intellectual advance in the study of comparative political ideologies in general, and Arab political thought in particular."--Bill S. Mikhail, Middle East Policy

"Adeed Dawisha has given us a timely, illuminating and highly readable overview of the history of the Arab national movement, from its origins in the 19th century to the present. His book combines an analysis of the ideas of Arab nationalism and their roots in European thought, with a fast-moving political narrative, full of dramatic ups an downs. . . . [He] brings to his task a rare personal insight, as well as mastery of the voluminous Arabic sources on the subject. There is a great deal of new material here which not only brings events alive, but also leads to fresh assessments and a better-informed understanding of the politics of one of the world's most volatile and violent regions."--Avi Shlaim, The Observer

"Dawisha has written a fine analysis of the heyday and decline of the ideology of Arab nationalism. . . . With a sound theoretical apparatus and making good use of memoirs by those involved, Dawisha provides an excellent guide to the origins of the movement and the reality behind the rhetoric."--Choice

"This provocative book is likely either to delight or infuriate. It will certainly delight all those who have, all along, considered Arab nationalism to be an irritant and would gleefully read its obituary set in gloating prose. But the fury of the adherents or sympathizers of Arab nationalism will be all the greater as the author lays out his case in a highly controversial and contentious manner."--Youssef M. Choueiri, Studies in Contemporary Islam

From the Inside Flap

"Adeed Dawisha's analysis of the rise and fall of Arab nationalism in the twentieth century exhibits clarity of exposition, thoroughness, and objectivity. The narrative is exceptional. Dawisha complements his own splendid credentials with excellent use of a large volume of memoir material from Arab leaders. There is no book that does as good a job."--William Quandt, University of Virginia

"Why does the world need this eminently readable book? Because academe is awash with speculation about the emergence of a 'new Arabism.' Dawisha's point is that anyone who lived through Arabism's heyday knows how disastrous it was, and that the new Arabist nostalgia ignores history. His treatment of the ill-fated United Arab Republic is a masterful account; the story of the decline is told with verve, in fluid and engaging prose."--Martin Kramer, Tel Aviv University

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Amazon.com: 5 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A sober and accessible account 25 Jun 2008
By JimR - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a good account of Arab Nationalism from a scholarly perspective, written in accessible language. The author has no axe to grind. Readers might detect an occasional note of wistful sadness, though, as Dawisha contrasts the movement's mid-century promise and fervor with its disappointing outcomes. Dawisha sets himself the task of explaining the movement's shortcomings and weaknesses, and he does a good job of it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
One of the best on the subject 1 Dec 2009
By Christopher M. Whitman Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I wrote my thesis on Arab Nationalism and this book was an Allah send for it. Dawisha is a great author and does a detailed job that is accessible to those who have some desire to learn the subject matter in great detail. I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to have a more solid understanding of the role of Arab Nationalism from the 1890s to the 1990s and the prospects for the future
7 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant 15 Oct 2004
By Felix El-Bezri - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Seraj, for some warped reason, perceived this book as an attack on arab nationalism, when in fact Dawisha's work reads as a straight history. Dr. Dawisha was simply stating a factual historical truth: "Arab nationalism", an abstract concept at best, rose fitfully, then faltered and died. Why? because it had no historical, cultural, emotive, or even linguistic bases. It was essentially contrived (and I would argue, calqued along the lines of the european language-based nationalisms that labled people based on the languages they spoke.) It sought to impute a certain identity on people who had for centuries thought of themselves as nothing but Muslims, Jews, Assyrians, Chaldaeans, Maronites, Druze, etc.. and nothing else! This is not bias, this is the plain painful truth Mr. Seraj. Be a man, accept it, and move on. Arabs and Arab nationalism are a mere mirage, an abstract concept, and an obsolete ideology (though it is still upheld by a motely senile half-witted academics who keep irresolute dreamers like Mr. Seraj and their warped ideas alive.)
0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
not the best book to read 2 Nov 2008
By Ya - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I had to read this book as a requirement for a class paper, it is by far one of the worst books ive read. It is boring, and dry and long, if you want to read this book for personal enjoyment then you must really have to love this topic or else you will get a headache after 10 pages.
4 of 19 people found the following review helpful
I would NOT recommend it really! 5 Jun 2004
By serajuddine - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have read a couple of books on Arab Nationalism and some that are in some way related to Arab nationalism, in particular Aburish's. I find this book so confusing and unintresting. In addition to the weird and confusing diction the author uses, it is a little biased - in my opinion. whether wittingly or unwittingly the author is attacking Arab Nationalism even even in conditions which require that he be otherwise.
In a word, I would not recommend this book.
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