Review by Choice Review
The Arab world has long been under the scrutiny of the West, with attempts to portray, dissect, and understand its inner workings. Too often, this has resulted in a portrayal of a unified and monolithic culture that Westerners see as complicit and uncritical. Rejwan (Hebrew Univ.) provides an important correction to this view by deeply examining the dialogues and debates within Arab society regarding its past, present, and future. The central themes of these debates explore the former grandeur of the Arab/Islamic world and the question of what will become of the Arab. At times, the text seems to be contradictory and conflicting, which demonstrates the lack of uniformity among Arab intellectuals. Essential to this discussion is what constitutes Arabness and whether pan-Arabism is possible or a myth. By providing the workings of these inner debates, the book demonstrates the progress being made through the dialogues among persons of the Arab world. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. G. C. David Bentley University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.