In This Review

The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia: Visions of World Order in Pan-Islamic and Pan-Asian Thought

The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia: Visions of World Order in Pan-Islamic and Pan-Asian Thought
By Cemil Aydin
368 pp, Columbia University Press, 2007
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With great skill, Aydin attacks the notion that anti-Westernism and anti-Americanism in Asia are negative reactions to the liberal values of the West. By comparing Ottoman pan-Islamic and Japanese pan-Asian visions from the mid-nineteenth century to the end of World War II, he is able to show how negative views of the West first took hold. Asian intellectuals made much of the two faces of the West that they were confronted with: effective imperialism, on the one hand, and enlightenment liberalism, on the other. Aydin thus identifies both deep currents in Asian intellectual history and popular views of power and politics. He has a sure grasp of what is fundamental and what is merely of the moment.