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Eqbal Ahmad


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Eqbal Ahmad was a bold and original activist, journalist, and theorist who brought uncommon perspective to the rise of militant Islam and the geopolitics of the Cold War. A long-time friend and intellectual collaborator of Ahmad, Stuart Schaar connects Ahmad's experiences to the major currents of modern history.

Table of Contents

1. Eqbal's Life
2. Reflections on Eqbal's Life
3. Polemics
4. Islam and Islamic History
5. Imperialism, Nationalism, Revolutionary Warfare, Insurgency, and the Need for Democracy
6. The Middle East and the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
7. India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh: The Problem of Nuclear Proliferation and Views on Partitioning States
8. Critique of U.S. Foreign Policy, the Cold War, and Terrorism

About the Author

Stuart Schaar is professor emeritus of Middle East and North African history at Brooklyn College, CUNY. His most recent publication is The Birth of the Arab Citizen and the Changing of the Middle East. He lives in Rabat, Morocco.


This book is full of remarkable original primary material on the life and writings of an intellectual and activist well deserving of a biography. -- Rashid Khalidi, Columbia University Eqbal Ahmad was a brilliant and penetrating critic and analyst, a courageous fighter for justice and freedom in much of the world, steeped in humanistic understanding, warm and compassionate, a dear friend. His accomplishments ranged from demolishing self-serving dogmas about the Cold War to such constructive work as bringing Indians and Pakistanis together in a search for an amicable settlement of a tragic conflict, and far too much more even to try to mention. His life, achievements, and legacy are vividly portrayed by his close friend Stuart Schaar in this outstanding study, a fine tribute to one of the most remarkable people I've been fortunate enough to know, or even to know about. -- Noam Chomsky Eqbal Ahmad was a remarkable human being as well as a seminal progressive political thinker. In this illuminating intellectual biography, Stuart Schaar, brings his subject to life, drawing on their long, intimate friendship and shared scholarly engagement with the politics of the Middle East and the Islamic world. Above all, Ahmad grasped the toxic interplay between the maladies of postcolonialism and the persistent imperial ambitions of the West better than any of his contemporaries. -- Richard A. Falk By taking readers across the entire fascinating range of Ahmad's preoccupations and passions, Schaar has made his subject accessible to all those who never had the privilege of knowing him. In a fairly short, fluently written work, Schaar has done his old friend proud, and shed light on a thinker, an engaged activist and a wonderful man. -- Irfan Husain Dawn Schaar has done us a service in providing an introductory overview of Eqbal Ahmad's life and thought, unveiling the man's humanity, frustrations, foibles, brilliance, and even his culinary talents (an appendix provides a recipe for a "Chicken Tikka Masala Marinade"). Friday Times Short but poignant... Schaar does a wonderful job capturing the special relationship and bond metween Ahmad and Said. Journal of Palestine Studies

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