The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Monday, June 06, 2016

Other reviews of Political Language

I said a lot about Bernard Lewis's book yesterday, so today I'll take a break and collect whatever other readers have said.

First the neocons. Daniel Pipes offered a one-paragraph blurb, in summer 1988; a disappointing (lack of) effort, given Pipes' background in the wala' (unless this is just the opening para to the real review). John C. Campbell's blurb at Foreign Affairs is similar. Martin Kramer was more comprehensive in his book-report, but also didn't add much to my understanding. Madiha Tariq, on an Islamic journal named - interestingly - "Renaissance", builds on Kramer.

Now the general press. P. Edward Haley in the Los Angeles Times 12 June 1988 has a comprehensive overview, but I cannot call it a critique since its one complaint - whether Lewis should have included the "horse" idiom - is petty. Haley digresses at the end to pound on Edward Said, which was nice to see back in 1988; but since Said is so discredited (and so dead) now, that sideswipe is superfluous to us. Shaul Bakhash at the New York Review of Books accepts Lewis and applies his book to the modern age (but only to the modern age). All these authors thus far aren't any more helpful than average joe blog-posts.

The scholarly literature offers more texture but I'm not able to get to much of it. Later (1990) Dwight F. Reynolds in the journal "Language in Society" has a two-page review that unfortunately lies behind a paywall. This seems to be that actual critique of Lewis's book I'd been seeking. M Clark filibusters his way through his own paywall.

posted by Zimri on 17:46 | link | 0 comments

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