Edward Said

Edward Said

“Edward Said was a Palestinian American scholar and probably one of the most influential intellectuals of the second half of the 20th century. Mainly through his book Orientalism, although he wrote much more…Said was born in Jerusalem to Palestinian parents. He grew up in Cairo. His father was a very successful, wealthy businessman. His parents sent him to finish his studies at a prestigious boarding school in New England and from there he proceeded to study and work at the top Ivy League universities. He went to Princeton, Harvard and then spent his entire career at Columbia University as a professor of comparative literature. He was also politically active as a public intellectual and discovered at a certain point in his life, although not at an early stage, the issue of Palestine. He became one of the most important champions of the cause of the Palestinians and had a very interesting interaction and relationship with critical Israelis like myself. I myself had a personal friendship with him. I initiated the translation of Orientalism into Hebrew for which he wrote a special preface. He was influential on me not only in terms of his writings but also as a friend.” Historian Gabriel Piterberg in his interview on the best books on Zionism.

For a biography on Edward Said we recommend Places of Mind: A Life of Edward Said by his student and friend Timothy Brennan. Said also wrote a memoir, Out of Place.

Books by Edward Said

Interviews where books by Edward Said were recommended

Susan Abulhawa on Palestinian Writing

Acclaimed novelist and author of Mornings in Jenin chooses five books about Palestine by Palestinian writers. She says what she sees among the young people in Palestine is humbling, ‘they have such remarkable spirit’

The best books on Academia, recommended by Les Back

Current UK higher education policies, which treat students as consumers, are not only killing thinking but also likely to lead to a financial crisis. And yet, academia is a beautiful vocation, with the power to transform lives year in, year out. University of London professor, Les Back, picks the best books on academia.

The best books on The Middle East, recommended by Fawaz A. Gerges

The Middle East has been and still is much misunderstood. Here Fawaz A. Gerges, a professor and Middle Eastern specialist at London School of Economics, recommends five pioneering works of history and social science that will help you to understand the evolution of the region’s society and politics.

© Five Books 2022