Hamid Dabashi: The Arab Spring: The End of Postcolonialism (2012)

7 January 2013, dusan

This pioneering explanation of the Arab Spring will define a new era of thinking about the Middle East.

In this landmark book, Hamid Dabashi argues that the revolutionary uprisings that have engulfed multiple countries and political climes from Morocco to Iran and from Syria to Yemen, were driven by a ‘Delayed Defiance’ – a point of rebellion against domestic tyranny and globalized disempowerment alike – that signifies no less than the end of postcolonialism. Sketching a new geography of liberation, Dabashi shows how the Arab Spring has altered the geopolitics of the region so radically that we must begin re-imagining the ‘the Middle East’.

Ultimately, the ‘permanent revolutionary mood’ Dabashi brilliantly explains has the potential to liberate not only those societies already ignited, but many others through a universal geopolitics of hope.

Publisher Zed Books, 2012
ISBN 1780322232, 9781780322230
150 pages

review (Jack Farmer, Socialist Review)
interview with the author (JP O’Malley, OpenDemocracy)

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Robert Irwin: Memoirs of a Dervish: Sufis, Mystics and the Sixties (2011)

4 December 2012, dusan

“For many children of the sixties a’journey to the East’was a necessary rite of passage. In an extraordinary memoir Robert Irwin contrasts the contexts of England – the new culture and the hippy trail – with those of Algeria – bombs and guns and mysticism.

In the summer of 1964, while a military coup was taking place and tanks were rolling through the streets of Algiers, Robert Irwin set off for Algeria in search of Sufi enlightenment. There he entered a world of marvels and ecstasy, converted to Islam and received an initiation as a faqir. He learnt the rituals of Islam in North Africa and he studied Arabic in London. He also pursued more esoteric topics under a holy fool possessed of telepathic powers. A series of meditations on the nature of mystical experience run through this memoir. But political violence, torture, rock music, drugs, nightmares, Oxbridge intellectuals and first love and its loss are all part of this strange story from the 1960s.”

Publisher Profile Books, April 2011
ISBN 1847654045, 9781847654045
239 pages

Reviews: Steve Jelbert (The Independent), Barnaby Rogerson (The Independent).


EPUB (updated on 2017-4-8)

Alain Badiou: The Rebirth of History: Times of Riots and Uprisings (2011/2012)

17 November 2012, dusan

Testing the winds of history blowing from the Arab revolts.

In the uprisings of the Arab world, Alain Badiou discerns echoes of the European revolutions of 1848. In both cases, the object was to overthrow despotic regimes maintained by the great powers—regimes designed to impose the will of financial oligarchies. Both events occurred after what was commonly thought to be the end of a revolutionary epoch: in 1815, the final defeat of Napoleon; and in 1989, the fall of the Soviet Union. But the revolutions of 1848 proclaimed for a century and a half the return of revolutionary thought and action. Likewise, the uprisings underway today herald a worldwide resurgence in the liberating force of the masses—despite the attempts of the ‘international community’ to neutralize its power.

Badiou’s book salutes this reawakening of history, weaving examples from the Arab Spring and elsewhere into a global analysis of the return of emancipatory universalism.

Originally published as Le Reveil de l’histoire, Nouvelles Editions Lignes, 2011
Translated by Gregory Elliott
Publisher Verso Books, 2012
ISBN 1844678792, 9781844678792
126 pages

review (Jasper Bernes and Joshua Clover, Los Angeles Review of Books)
review (Daniel Tutt, Platypus)
review (Anindya Bhattacharyya, Socialist Review)

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