Front Cover
Vintage Books, 1979 - History - 368 pages
238 Reviews
The author presents a critique of the Western World's historical, cultural, and political perceptions of the East and Arab people. In this study, the author traces the origins of the West's concept of "orientalism" to the centuries-long period during which Europe dominated the Middle and Near East.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Orientalism

User Review  - Vasia Doulougeri - Goodreads

Said offers an interesting perspective, yet his view on western politics can only be described as borderline conspiracism. Read full review

Review: Orientalism

User Review  - Charles Shapiro - Goodreads

This is a classic book on how the west views the east, more specifically the Arab east. It reviews the history and thinkers who visited the broad Middle East who were western. His main thesis is that ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (1979)

Born in Jerusalem and educated at Victoria College in Cairo and at Princeton and Harvard universities, Edward Said has taught at Columbia University since 1963 and has been a visiting professor at Harvard and Johns Hopkins University. He has had an unusual dual career as a professor of comparative literature, a recognized expert on the novelist and short story writer Joseph Conrad, (see Vol. 1) and as one of the most significant contemporary writers on the Middle East, especially the Palestinian question and the plight of Palestinians living in the occupied territories. Although he is not a trained historian, his Orientalism (1978) is one of the most stimulating critical evaluations of traditional Western writing on Middle Eastern history, societies, and literature. In the controversial Covering Islam (1981), he examined how the Western media have biased Western perspectives on the Middle East. A Palestinian by birth, Said has sought to show how Palestinian history differs from the rest of Arabic history because of the encounter with Jewish settlers and to present to Western readers a more broadly representative Palestinian position than they usually obtain from Western sources. Said is presently Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities at Columbia, editor of Arab Studies Quarterly, and chair of the board of trustees of the Institute of Arab Studies. He is a member of the Palestinian National Council as well as the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Bibliographic information