Category: Book Review

  • Gender Dynamics in Authoritarian Islamic States

    Gender Dynamics in Authoritarian Islamic States

    From “Life as Politics: How Ordinary People Change the Middle East by Asef Bayat.” A book about struggles for social change in the Muslim Middle East, mostly focused on Iran and Egypt but with scattered references to other countries as well. The first edition was written not long before the…

  • From Harlem to Palestine: Baldwin’s Intersectional Resistance

    From Harlem to Palestine:
    Baldwin’s Intersectional Resistance

    “Of Latitudes Unknown” explores James Baldwin’s intellectual legacy by reevaluating and expanding on existing Baldwin scholarship, introducing new critical perspectives and themes. The book delves into lesser-known aspects of Baldwin’s thought, including his bilingual communications, later interactions with Africa, his engagement with French and Arab media, and his overlooked works…

  • Afghanistan; A place Every Bomb Detonated

    Afghanistan; A place Every Bomb Detonated

    In the unforgiving deserts of Nimroz, amid dust and displacement, we made bonds and promises sprinkled with earth-tasting sugar to never forget each other. Narges Joodaki, an award-winning journalist, documents the harrowing journeys of Afghan refugees scarred by continuous wars. While teaching displaced children, subject to a world of suffering…

  • Dawn of the Iranian Renaissance: Critiquing the Religion

    Dawn of the Iranian Renaissance:
    Critiquing the Religion

    Reza Alijani’s book “The Future of Islam in Iran” explores the social evolution and religious criticism in Iran since the Qajar era, focusing on the post-1979 authoritarian turn and economic corruption of the Islamic Republic. Analyzing society’s move towards modernity and individual rights, Alijani underscores the widespread challenge to traditional…

  • Four Essential Books on Palestine: Navigating Beyond Propaganda

    Four Essential Books on Palestine:
    Navigating Beyond Propaganda

    In the heart of the Middle East lies a land considered holy by millions, yet the battleground for one of the most protracted and complex conflicts in modern history: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This blog post delves into the narratives, pain, and perspectives of both Israelis and Palestinians through the lens…

  • Islamism, Pseudo-Marxism and Ali Shariati

    Islamism, Pseudo-Marxism and Ali Shariati

    The phrase “camel, cow, leopard” symbolizes a confusing mixture, something Iranians use to describe Ali Shariati’s complex blend of Islam and social science, reshaping young Iranians’ views. Asef Bayat’s book details Shariati’s role in the 1979 Iranian Revolution, portraying him as a thinker who challenged Western ideologies and traditional religion…

  • Iran 1979: Between Anti-Imperialism and Socialism

    Iran 1979: Between Anti-Imperialism and Socialism

    Valentine Moghadam’s article, “Socialism or Anti-Imperialism? The Left and Revolution in Iran,” analyzes the ideological complexity of the Iranian Left during the revolutionary period. It explores the Left’s commitment to anti-imperialism and its critique of dependent capitalism, while also addressing its failures and challenges. The article delves into the impact…

  • Middle East and The Fate of Populism: Iran, Palestine and Beyond

    Middle East and The Fate of Populism:
    Iran, Palestine and Beyond

    “The Fate of Third Worldism in the Middle East: Palestine, Iran and Beyond” explores the region’s shift from Third Worldism—a revolutionary, anti-imperialist ideology of the 1960s, aimed at universal emancipation—to authoritarian religious governments in the 1980s. Rasmus Christian Elling and Sune Haugbolle’s book discusses how the promising liberation movements in…

  • Zionism Reexamined: Beyond the Narrative

    Zionism Reexamined: Beyond the Narrative

    The establishment of Israel emerged from British imperial interests in the Middle East, Zionism, and various historical events, rather than being an eternal constant. Zionism began in the late 19th century as a secular movement in Eastern Europe and Russia, advocating for a Jewish nation as a refuge from persecution…

  • Urban Rage: When Injustice Reigns

    Urban Rage: When Injustice Reigns

    More than half of humanity now resides in cities. By 2050, this number is expected to double, creating an unprecedented level of urban growth. Will these cities be places of justice and equality, where prosperity and quality of life are available to all? Or will the urban future be one…

  • The Path from Alienation to Exploitation

    The Path from Alienation to Exploitation

    Karl Marx’s critique of capitalism is still relevant today, as many of the issues he identified remain unresolved. In particular, Marx’s analysis of the exploitative nature of capitalism, in which workers are paid less than the value of their labor, and capitalists profit by appropriating the surplus value created by…

  • Migration, Capitalism, and Imperialism: The Transnational Vision of C. L. R. James

    Migration, Capitalism, and Imperialism:
    The Transnational Vision of C. L. R. James

    C. L. R. James, also known as Cyril Lionel Robert James, was a Trinidadian-British Marxist theorist, historian, and cultural critic who made significant contributions to the study of colonialism, slavery, and the African diaspora. Born in 1901, James spent much of his life traveling and writing, and his ideas have…