CART

(0) items

Occidentalism : The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies,9780143034872

Occidentalism : The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies

by ;
Edition:
Reprint
ISBN13:

9780143034872

ISBN10:
0143034871
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
3/29/2005
Publisher(s):
Penguin Books
List Price: $15.00

Rent Book

(Recommended)
 
Term
Due
Price
$8.25

Buy Used Book

Usually Ships in 2-3 Business Days
U9780143034872
$9.75

Buy New Book

In Stock Usually Ships in 24 Hours
N9780143034872
$11.20

eBook

We're Sorry
Not Available

More New and Used
from Private Sellers
Starting at $0.01
See Prices

Questions About This Book?

Why should I rent this book?
Renting is easy, fast, and cheap! Renting from eCampus.com can save you hundreds of dollars compared to the cost of new or used books each semester. At the end of the semester, simply ship the book back to us with a free UPS shipping label! No need to worry about selling it back.
How do rental returns work?
Returning books is as easy as possible. As your rental due date approaches, we will email you several courtesy reminders. When you are ready to return, you can print a free UPS shipping label from our website at any time. Then, just return the book to your UPS driver or any staffed UPS location. You can even use the same box we shipped it in!
What version or edition is this?
This is the Reprint edition with a publication date of 3/29/2005.
What is included with this book?
  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any CDs, lab manuals, study guides, etc.
  • The Used copy of this book is not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included.
  • The Rental copy of this book is not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. You may receive a brand new copy, but typically, only the book itself.

Summary

This grandly illuminating study of two centuries of anti-Western ideas” (Foreign Affairs) traces the historical roots of a virulent set of stereotypes about Westerners and the West, a cluster of notions and prejudices that Ian Buruma and Avishai Margalit call Occidentalism. The path does not lead back to Islam but, in fact, back to the West itself. From nineteenth-century Germany and Russia to twentieth-century Japan, China, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, Buruma and Margalit track the spread of these noxious ideas. Drawing on their formidable range and gift for synthesis to place modern terrorists in a long continuum of enemies of Western liberal society, Buruma and Margalit have written a book of extraordinary clarity and wide-ranging relevance.

Author Biography

Ian Buruma is currently Luce Professor at Bard College. His previous books include God-'s Dust, Behind the Mask, The Missionary and the Libertine, Playing the Game, The Wages of Guilt, Anglomania, and Bad Elements.
Avishai Margalit is Schulman Professor of Philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His previous books include Idolatry, The Decent Society, Views and Reviews, and The Ethics of Memory.

Table of Contents

War Against the Westp. 1
The Occidental Cityp. 13
Heroes and Merchantsp. 49
Mind of the Westp. 75
The Wrath of Godp. 101
Seeds of Revolutionp. 137
Notesp. 151
Indexp. 157
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

Excerpts

In July 1942, just six months after the Japanese bombed the American fleet in Pearl Harbor and overwhelmed the Western powers in Southeast Asia, a number of distinguished Japanese scholars and intellectuals gathered for a conference in Kyoto. Some were literati of the so-called Romantic group; others were philosophers of the Buddhist/ Hegelian Kyoto school. Their topic of discussion was how to “overcome the modern.”

It was a time of nationalist zeal, and the intellectuals who attended the conference were all nationalists in one way or another; but oddly enough the war itself, in China, Hawaii, or Southeast Asia, was barely mentioned. At least one of the members, Hayashi Fusao, a former- Marxist-turned-ardent-nationalist, later wrote that the assault on the West had filled him with jubilation. Even though he was in freezing Manchuria when he heard the news, it felt as though dark clouds had lifted to reveal a clear summer sky. No doubt similar emotions came over many of his colleagues, but war propaganda was not the ostensible point of the conference. These men, the literary romantics as much as the philosophers, had been interested in overcoming the modern long before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Their conclusions, to the extent that they had enough coherence to be politically useful, lent themselves to propaganda for a new Asian order under Japanese leadership, but the intellectuals would have been horrified to be called propagandists. They were thinkers, not hacks.

“The modern” is in any case a slippery concept, but in Kyoto in 1942, as in Kabul or Karachi in 2001, it meant the West. But the West is almost as elusive as the modern. Japanese intellectuals had strong feelings about what they were up against, but had some difficulty defining exactly what that was. Westernization, one opined, was like a disease that had infected the Japanese spirit. The “modern thing,” said another, was a “European thing.” There was much talk about unhealthy specialization in knowledge, which had splintered the wholeness of Oriental spiritual culture. Science was to blame. And so were capitalism, and the absorption of modern technology, and individual freedoms, and democracy. All these had to be “overcome.” A leading film critic, Tsumura Hideo, excoriated Hollywood movies and praised the documentary films of Leni Riefenstahl about Nazi rallies, which were more in tune with his ideas on how to forge a healthy national community. In his view, the war against the West was a war against the “poisonous materialist civilization” built on Jewish financial capitalist power. All agreed that culture—that is, traditional Japanese culture—was spiritual and profound, whereas modern Western civilization was shallow, rootless, and destructive of creative power. The West, particularly the United States, was coldly mechanical. A wholistic, traditional, classical Orient, united under divine Japanese imperial rule, would restore the warm organic community to spiritual health. As one of the participants put it, the struggle was between Japanese blood and Western intellect.

The West, to Asians at that time, and to some extent still today, also meant colonialism. Since the middle of the nineteenth century, when China was humiliated in the Opium Wars, educated Japanese realized that national survival depended on careful study and emulation of Western ideas and technology. Never had a great nation embarked on such a radical transformation as Japan between the 1850s and 1910s. The main slogan of the Meiji Period (1868–1912) was “Bunmei Kaika,” or “Civilization and Enlightenment”; that is, Western civilization and enlightenment. Everything Western, from natural science to literary realism, was hungrily soaked up by Japanese intellectuals. European dress, Prussian constitutional law, British naval strategies, German philosophy, American cinema, French architecture, and much, much more were taken over and adapted. The modern, then, referred to that “European thing,” but also to the Japanese effort to make it their own.

The transformation paid off handsomely. Japan remained uncolonized and quickly became a great power that managed, in 1905, to defeat Russia in a thoroughly modern war. Japan’s industrial revolution did not come long after Germany’s, with equally dislocating effects. Large numbers of impoverished country people moved into the cities, where conditions could be cruel. The army was a brutal refuge for rural young men, and their sisters were sometimes sold to big city brothels. But economic problems aside, there was another reason many Japanese intellectuals sought to undo the wholesale westernization of the late nineteenth century. It was as though Japan suffered from intellectual indigestion. Western civilization had been swallowed too fast. And that is partly why that group of literati gathered in Kyoto to discuss ways of reversing history, overcoming the West, and returning to an idealized spiritual past.



Please wait while the item is added to your cart...