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The pen and the sword : conversations with David Barsamian /

Main Author: Said, Edward W.
Other Authors: Barsamian, David.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Monroe, Me. : Common Courage Press, 1994
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Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Through five interviews with the author of Orientalism and Culture and Imperialism, Alternative Radio director Barsamian provides an accessible, engaging introduction to Said's thoughts on topics from Jane Austen to Jerusalem. Said is forthright, even blunt, and he demonstrates a thrilling capacity for integrating culture and politics-discussing, for example, how Joseph Conrad understood imperialism but was unable to see possibilities for national independence movements. A sympathetic interviewer, Barsamian doesn't challenge his subject. The result is that the interviews are broad rather than deep and, occasionally, Said's responses reveal gaps in the interviewer's knowledge. In the most compelling interviews, ``The Israel/PLO Accord: A Critical Assessment'' and ``Palestine: Betrayal of History,'' Said blasts the Israel-PLO accord as a humiliating surrender for the Palestinians. ``There was Clinton, like a Roman emperor bringing two vassal kings to his imperial court and making them shake hands in front of him.'' Here Said also reveals his own role in attempted negotiations between the U.S., Israel and the PLO as far back as 1978, when Arafat refused to recognize Israel. As Said says of Arafat, ``He could have gotten much better deals from the Americans and the Israelis in the 1970s and the 1980s, but he turned them all down.'' (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved