Desiring Arabs

Desiring Arabs

3.75 (292 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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Sexual desire has long played a key role in Western judgments about the value of Arab civilization. In the past, Westerners viewed the Arab world as licentious, and Western intolerance of sex led them to brand Arabs as decadent; but as Western society became more sexually open, the supposedly prudish Arabs soon became viewed as backward. Rather than focusing exclusively on how these views developed in the West, in "Desiring Arabs" Joseph A. Massad reveals the history of how Arabs represented their own sexual desires. To this end, he assembles a massive and diverse compendium of Arabic writing from the nineteenth century to the present in order to chart the changes in Arab sexual attitudes and their links to Arab notions of cultural heritage and civilization.A work of impressive scope and erudition, Massad's chronicle of both the history and modern permutations of the debate over representations of sexual desires and practices in the Arab world is a crucial addition to our understanding of a frequently oversimplified and vilified culture.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 472 pages
  • 149.86 x 220.98 x 30.48mm | 589.67g
  • University of Chicago Press
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1 halftone
  • 0226509591
  • 9780226509594
  • 278,405

Review quote

"A pioneering work on a very timely yet frustratingly neglected topic.... I know of no other study that can even begin to compare with the detail and scope of [this] work." - Khaled El-Rouayheb, Middle East Report "In Desiring Arabs, Edward Said's disciple Joseph A. Massad corroborates his mentor's thesis that orientalist writing was racist and dehumanizing.... Massad brilliantly goes on to trace the legacy of this racist, internalized, orientalist discourse up to the present." - Financial Times"
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About Joseph A. Massad

Joseph A. Massad is associate professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history at Columbia University. He is the author of Colonial Effects: The Making of National Identity in Jordan and The Persistence of the Palestinian Question: Essays on Zionism and the Palestinians.
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Rating details

292 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 24% (69)
4 40% (117)
3 27% (78)
2 7% (20)
1 3% (8)
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