Prison Writings

Prison Writings : The Roots of Civilisation

By (author) Abdullah Öcalan , Translated by Klaus Happel

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-- First publication of the prison writings of one of the world's most famous revolutionaries -- 'Very readable. It is a tour-de-force.' Ghada Talhami, D.K. Pearsons Professor of Politics, Lake Forest College, Illinois 'We would expect Abdullah Ocalan to write a political treatise. Instead, he has penned a monumental history of the ancient Near East that offers a grand vision...This is the first truly postcolonial history of Mesopotamia.' Randall H. McGuire, Professor of Anthropology, Binghamton University Abdullah Ocalan was the most wanted man in Turkey for almost two decades until his kidnapping and arrest in 1999. He has been in prison ever since. He is the founder of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK). From 1984, under his leadership, the PKK fought for an independent Kurdish state in the south east of Turkey. In a sustained popular uprising, tens of thousands of PKK guerrillas took on the second largest army in NATO. Since his imprisonment, Ocalan has written extensively on Kurdish history. This book brings together his writings for the first time. Breathtaking in scope, it provides a broad Marxist perspective on ancient Middle Eastern history, incorporating the rise of the major religions (Islam, Christianity and Judaism), and defining the Kurdish position within this, from the ancient Sumerian civilization through the feudal age, the birth of capitalism and beyond.

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  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 154 x 230 x 28mm | 662.26g
  • 20 Mar 2007
  • PLUTO PRESS
  • London
  • English
  • 0745326161
  • 9780745326160
  • 969,627

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Author Information

Abdullah Ocalan is in prison in Turkey serving a life sentence. He was the leader of the Kurdish revolutionary party, the PKK. He was eventually kidnapped while abroad in 1999, and has been in prison in Turkey ever since.

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Review quote

His method is that of a Marxist anthropologist. But he is also distinguished by his erudition and familiarity with ancient texts and history, as well as with etymological and linguistic anthropology. Once I began reading, I was unable to put the text down. It is very informative and perceptive. -- Ghada Talhami, D.K. Pearsons Professor of Politics, Lake Forest College, Illinois We would expect Abdullah Ocalan to write a political treatise. Instead, he has penned a monumental history of the ancient Near East that offers a grand vision. His well informed and highly original synthesis has the additional advantage of transcending academic fields. This is the first truly postcolonial history of Mesopotamia. ... This [is a] controversial, intellectually stimulating work. -- Randall H. McGuire, Professor of Anthropology, Binghamton University, Binghamton NY, and author of A Marxist Archaeology

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