November 2003


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George Salzman <[log in to unmask]>
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Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 4 Nov 2003 22:04:02 -0500
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Oaxaca, Tuesday, November 4, 2003

Mike Brand wrote today, "I recommend Tariq Ali's new book, Bush in Babylon, mentioned at end of article." I want to add a recommendation to
his, Tariq Ali's book, "The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity", Verso Press, 2002, which I'm about half way through. It
is a strikingly clear introduction to much of the sweep of modern history. Ali cuts no slack for any religion. Born into a Muslim family in Lahore,
Pakistan, the book's first chapter is "An athiest childhood." His writing is so unencumbered that you never have to reread a sentence to dope out
what he's saying, and he says a lot, short chapter after short chapter. You can jump in anywhere. There's an Appendix: The Israeli-Arab War, by
Isaac Deutscher, an almost unbelievably prescient analysis written immediately in the aftermath of the Six-Day War in the summer of 1967. It's
the first part of the book I read. It could have been written now. Why was it in Ali's book, I wondered, What was it doing there? until I got to the
end of chapter 12, where he explains why he chose to include it. I'll leave that for you to read. Next to Chomsky's "Fateful Triangle: The United
States, Israel & the Palestinians" it's perhaps the most impressive book I've read recently, and it's scope is far greater, though it has only one
footnote for every 1,427 of Noam's. Man! I really recommend Tariq Ali. Right on, Mike. I'm going to get a copy of "Bush in Babylon."  --George