Conversations with Edward Said

Published by Seagull, April 2006

In one of his last interviews, Edward Said speaks with Tariq Ali about his dislocated existence, his initiation into politics, his involvement with the Palestinian cause, his approach to the study of culture, and his pervasive love of literature and music. Intimate, personal, thought-provoking, and absorbing, these conversations capture Said—as political activist, cultural historian, professor of literature, and music aficionado—and confirm his position as one of the most passionate and thoughtful intellectuals of our time.

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Also published by Seagull: The Assassination, A Banker for All Seasons, The Leopard and the Fox

From the archive

  • L’Affair Milliband

    October 11, 2013

    The only function of the assault on the reputation of Ralph Miliband was to punish and discredit his son. This operation, masterminded theDaily Mail and its editor—a reptile courted assiduously in the past by Blair and Brown—has backfired sensationally. It was designed to discredit the son by hurling the ‘sins of the father’ on the head of his younger son. Instead, Edward Miliband’s spirited response united a majority of the country behind him and against the tabloid. Ralph, had he been alive, would have found the ensuing consensus extremely diverting.

    The Tories and Lib-Dems made their distaste for the Mail clear, Jeremy Paxman on BBC’s Newsnight held up old copies of the Mail with its pro-fascist headlines (‘Hurrah for the Blackshirts’ the best remembered), two former members of Thatcher’s cabinet defended Miliband pere with Michael Heseltine reminding citizens that it was  …

  • ‘This is an Arab 1848. But US hegemony is only dented’

    February 23, 2011

    ‘This is an Arab 1848. But US hegemony is only dented’ by Tariq Ali for the Guardian, February 22 2011

    The refusal of the people to kiss or ignore the rod that has chastised them for so many decades has opened a new chapter in the history of the Arab nation. The absurd, if much vaunted, neocon notion that Arabs or Muslims were hostile to democracy has disappeared like parchment in fire.

    Those who promoted such ideas appear to the most unhappy: Israel and its lobbyists in Euro-America; the arms industry, hurriedly trying to sell as much while it can (the British prime minister acting as a merchant of death at the Abu Dhabi arms fair); and the beleaguered rulers of Saudi Arabia, wondering whether the disease will spread to their tyrannical kingdom. Until now they have provided refuge to  …