The Obama Syndrome: A Live Interview with Tariq Ali and Joel Whitney

As part of his tour to launch The Obama Syndrome, Tariq Ali appeared at New York’s Asia Society September 17th, 2010 where he was interviewed on stage by Joel Whitney, Founding Editor in Chief of Guernica magazine.

From the archive

  • ‘Floods for Pakistan; Floods of Money For its Leader’

    August 27, 2010

    Tariq Ali on the responses to the floods in Pakistan for Counterpunch, August 27, 2010

    A disaster of biblical scope: the floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains a month ago have affected more than 17.2 million people and killed over 1,500, according to Pakistan’s disaster management body. August is the monsoon season in Pakistan. This year a hard rain keeps falling, which is why the floodwaters are not abating. Nearly two thousand deaths and over 20 million people are homeless. The man-made disasters—war in Afghanistan, its spillage into Pakistan—are bad enough. Now the country faces its worst ever natural disaster. Most governments would find it difficult to cope, but the current regime is virtually paralyzed.

    Over the last sixty years, the ruling elite in the country has never been able to construct a social infrastructure for its people.  …

  • Tariq Ali interviews John Lennon on revolution and politics

    December 10, 2013

    In this fascinating interview conducted for Red Mole, Tariq Ali and Robin Blackburn interview John Lennon at his home, discussing Lennon’s political beliefs and ideological attitude. Tariq Ali remembered their meeting for the Guardian, 30 years after Lennon’s assassination, this week in 1980.

    The day after the interview he rang me and said he had enjoyed it so much that he’d written a song for the movement, which he then proceeded to sing down the line: Power to the People. The events in Derry on Bloody Sunday angered him greatly and he subsequently suggested that he wished to march on the next Troops Out demonstration on Ireland, and did so, together with Yoko Ono, wearing Red Mole T-shirts and holding the paper high. Its headline was: “For the IRA, Against British Imperialism”.’

    The full transcript of the interview can be  …

  • ‘Defending the faith’ – The Guardian reviews A Sultan in Palermo

    July 30, 2005

    A Sultan in Palermo reviewed by Kamila Shamsie for The Guardian, July 30, 2005

    Kamila Shamsie is enchanted by Tariq Ali’s A Sultan in Palermo, a vivid, relevant and necessary tale of Islamic history

    In A Sultan in Palermo, the fourth novel in Tariq Ali’s Islam Quintet, the 12th-century geographer al-Idrisi thinks back on his first encounter with the works of the Greek al-Homa (Homer). Al-Idrisi had been told by his father of the 12 calligraphers who transcribed Arabic translations of al-Homa’s poetry, working under conditions of such secrecy that if they were even to reveal the nature of their work, “the executioner’s scimitar, in a lightning flash, would detach head from body”. But one of the calligraphers, undaunted, copied out parts of both al-Homa’s poems and sent them to his family  …