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Before the Revolution

J.D. Gurney, 2 July 1981

Iran: Religion, Politics and Society 
by Nikki Keddie.
Frank Cass, 243 pp., £13.50, October 1980, 0 7146 3150 7
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Towards a Modern Iran 
edited by Elie Kedourie and Sylvia Haim.
Frank Cass, 262 pp., £14.50, October 1980, 0 7146 3145 0
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Islam in the Modern World 
by Elie Kedourie.
Mansell, 332 pp., £10, December 1980, 0 7201 1570 1
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... resound from Tehran roof-tops, with crowds in the streets below baying for Bani-Sadr’s blood. As Elie Kedourie remarks, ‘the world has stood wide-eyed and open-mouthed in astonishment.’ Where do we look for elucidation? What attempts have there been to explain this extraordinary succession of events? Where should the search begin for the deeper and ...

An Urbane Scholar in a Wilderness of Tigers

Robert Irwin: Albert Hourani, 25 January 2001

A Vision of the Middle East: An Intellectual Biography of Albert Hourani 
by Abdulaziz Al-Sudairi.
Tauris, 221 pp., £12.99, January 2000, 9781860645815
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... judging that mutually suspicious, if not actively hostile Arab regimes are here to stay. Elie Kedourie, who took a much bleaker view than Hourani of the Middle East and its future, thought Hourani overestimated the importance of the Christians in the Arab intelligentsia. Hourani’s version of the Middle East was civilised and urbane: for ...

Leaving Paradise

Adam Shatz: Iraqi Jews, 6 November 2008

Memories of Eden: A Journey through Jewish Baghdad 
by Violette Shamash, edited by Mira Rocca and Tona Rocca.
Forum, 326 pp., £14.99, February 2008, 978 0 9557095 0 0
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Baghdad, Yesterday: The Making of an Arab Jew 
by Sasson Somekh.
Ibis, 186 pp., £9.50, November 2007, 978 965 90125 8 9
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... were in no position to grant this request. ‘The Jews of Baghdad were defeated from the start,’ Elie Kedourie, a British historian of Baghdadi Jewish origin, concluded in 1970 in The Chatham House Version. ‘The situation was completely beyond their understanding.’ Mesopotamia’s Jews resigned themselves to becoming Iraqis only when it was made ...


Ian Gilmour, 23 October 1986

Britain’s Civil Wars: Counter-Insurgency in the 20th Century 
by Charles Townshend.
Faber, 220 pp., £14.95, June 1986, 0 571 13802 0
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Terrorism and the Liberal State 
by Paul Wilkinson.
Macmillan, 322 pp., £25, May 1986, 0 333 39490 9
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Terrorism: How the West can win 
edited by Benjamin Netanyahu.
Weidenfeld, 254 pp., £14.95, August 1986, 0 297 79025 0
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Political Murder: From Tyrannicide to Terrorism 
by Franklin Ford.
Harvard, 440 pp., £24.95, November 1985, 0 674 68635 7
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The Financing of Terror 
by James Adams.
New English Library, 294 pp., £12.95, July 1986, 0 450 06086 1
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They dare to speak out: People and institutions confront Israel’s lobby 
by Paul Findley.
Lawrence Hill (Connecticut), 362 pp., $16.95, May 1985, 0 88208 179 9
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... but it would be honest. The recent past is not the only sufferer in this book. Professors Lewis, Kedourie and Vatikiotis come on stage to tell us that Islam is in effect a terrorist religion and that the term ‘Islamic terrorists’ is therefore legitimate. Elie Kedourie even says that ‘the old history’ of ...

Frameworks of Comparison

Benedict Anderson, 21 January 2016

... all were written by Jews, though of widely differing political outlooks. On the far right was Elie Kedourie, who was born and raised in the old Jewish community of Baghdad, moved to London as a young man, and came under the influence of Michael Oakeshott, then Britain’s best-known conservative political philosopher. On the moderate right was ...


Malise Ruthven, 18 February 1982

Covering Islam 
by Edward Said.
Routledge, 224 pp., £8.95, October 1981, 0 7100 0840 6
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Heart-Beguiling Araby 
by Kathryn Tidrick.
Cambridge, 224 pp., £12.50, July 1981, 0 521 23483 2
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Inside the Iranian Revolution 
by John Stempel.
Indiana, 336 pp., £10.50, December 1981, 0 253 14200 8
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The Return of the Ayatollah 
by Mohamed Heikal.
Deutsch, 218 pp., £9.95, November 1981, 0 233 97404 0
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by David Hirst and Irene Beeson.
Faber, 384 pp., £11.50, December 1981, 0 571 11690 6
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... now have come to loom almost as large in anti-orientalist mythology as Khomeini in Middle America: Elie Kedourie and Bernard Lewis. Lewis is singled out for his smug and unthinking assumptions about ‘Western’ intellectual superiority. At the heart of his and similar attitudes Said discerns an epistemological naivety that would never be permitted in ...

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