Albert Hourani (review date 8 March 1979)
SOURCE: "The Road to Morocco," in The New York Review of Books, Vol. 26, March 8, 1979, pp. 27-30.
[In the following review, Hourani details the principal arguments of Orientalism, discussing their strengths and weaknesses.]
The theme of this powerful and disturbing book [Orientalism] is the way in which intellectual traditions are created and transmitted. They do not simply arise, Edward Said argues, in the solitude of a thinker's or a scholar's mind. The scholar may "attempt to reach a level of relative freedom from … brute, everyday reality," but he can never quite escape or ignore his "involvement as a human subject in his own circumstances."...
(The entire section is 4043 words.)