Author: Georges Corm

Book Review by: Ziad Hafez (**)

Published By: La Découverte, Paris

Year of publication: 2009

Number of Pages: 320

ISBN: 978-2-7071-5637-2


Georges Corm is rather unknown in the Anglo-Saxon world, which is a pity because his writings provide essential keys towards understanding the Middle East. He is a prolific writer who has published over 25 books translated into 17 languages, notwithstanding his numerous papers, lectures, and articles all over the world. English is conspicuously absent and that does say a lot about how the Anglo-Saxon academic world deals with Arab and Islamic studies. To be truthful, only two books were published in English in the mid-1980s and were out of print quickly never to be reprinted or edited.

By training Corm is an economist and a sociologist. He is also one of the premierpolitical analysts of Arab society. His seminal work on the Middle East (Le Proche Orient Eclaté) has been translated into many languages and is now in its fifth edition. The latter is an update of events up to 2007. In that book, Corm takes to task Western stereotypes of the Arab world. He also refutes the established methodology defining space, time frames, and classifications established by Orientalists. In doing so, Corm embarks upon a new journey of establishing the school of ‘Occidentalism’ in the Arab world. The original impetus was given in Le Proche Orient Eclaté, but in the aftermath of the tragedy of 11 September 2001, the author felt compelled to refute the enormous quantity of literature swamping bookstores and commentaries flooding the screens and airwaves in the West about the Arab and Muslim world.

Read full text here L’Europe et le Mythe de l’Occident-La Construction d’une Histoire, by Georges