Political Islam: Essays From Middle East Report
Edited by Joel Beinin and Joe Stork
University Of California Press, 1997, 395 pp.
These short pieces were previously published in Middle East Report, a publication that prides itself on taking an independent, critical, and often radical look at issues in the Middle East. Many are classics, making strong arguments, challenging conventional wisdom, and allowing Middle Easterners to speak for themselves. No simple picture emerges -- and that, surely, is the point. Political Islam is a complex, multifaceted phenomenon that cannot be squeezed into simple analytical categories. Instead, it needs to be studied in historical context. A very valuable collection.