Haymarket Books
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Marxism, Orientalism, Cosmopolitanism
Erudite, incisive and innovative, the essays provide an insightful examination of key themes in Middle East and Marxist scholarship.

"One of the best analysts of the contemporary Arab world."—Le Monde

In this collection of essays, Gilbert Achcar examines the controversial relationship of Marxism to religion, to Orientalism and its critique by Edward Said, and to the concept of cosmopolitanism.

A compelling range of issues is discussed within these pages, including a comparative assessment of Christian liberation theology and Islamic fundamentalism; “Orientalism in reverse”, which can take the form of an apology for Islamic fundamentalism; the evolution of Marx’s appraisal of non-Western societies; and the vagaries of “cosmopolitanism” up to our present era of globalisation.

Erudite and incisive, these essays provide a major contribution to the critical discussion of Marxism, Orientalism and cosmopolitanism, and illuminate the relationships between all three.

Gilbert Achcar is a professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His most recent book is The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising.


  • "One of the best analysts of the contemporary Arab world."
    Le Monde

    "A remarkable little book."
    Radical Philosophy

    Praise for The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives:

    “A sensitive and insightful exploration of an important dimension of the Middle East conflict—one that we usually only encounter in angry sound bites. Gilbert Achcar’s book, which combines meticulous scholarship and an engaging style, is a significant contribution to the mutual understanding that is in such short supply.”
    —Peter Novick, author of The Holocaust in American Life

    “The ideological mapping at the heart of Achcar’s work is achieved with such intelligence, sensitivity and learning, and with such admirable concern for the theo­retical and methodological, that it deserves to be regarded as one of the finest achievements in contemporary Middle Eastern studies.”
    –Ralph Coury, author of Race & Class

    "Having demystified the aura surrounding Orientalism, generated mostly by post-colonialists, Achcar rescues Marxism from Said’s delineation of Marx as Orientalist. Not for any dogmatic reasons. The aim is to expose the danger for progressive forces when Marxism is characterised, Said-style, as Orientalist." —The News International