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The Pen and the Sword: Conversations with Edward Said

The Pen and the Sword: Conversations with Edward Said book cover
David Barsamian interviews Edward Said.
Introduction by Eqbal Ahmad.
With a new preface by Nubar Hovsepian.
Haymarket Books, March 2010; 180 pages.
Gathered here are five wide-ranging interviews with the internationally renowned Palestinian scholar and critic Edward Said (1935-2003). In conversation with David Barsamian, director of Alternative Radio, these interviews cover a broad range of topics, from Said's groundbreaking work of literary scholarship, Orientalism, to music and popular culture.

These conversations span 1987-94, a pivotal era in the Palestinian liberation movement during which Said testifies with stunning insight and eloquence to the crimes of the Israeli occupation and the betrayals of the PLO leadership. From this collection emerges a history that is both haunting-imbued with knowledge of loss and desire for justice for all Palestinians-and urgently needed to understand today's conflict.

With the original Introduction by Eqbal Ahmad, and a new preface from Nubar Hovsepian, this is an indispensable introduction to one of the twentieth century's foremost critical intellectuals.

"These interviews offer an important view into Edward Said's own formation of those two faculties [memory and skepicism], they succeed in unveiling the man behind his work"
--Molossus review
"Insightful and invaluable reading"
--Midwest Book Review, April 14, 2010


David Barsamian

One of America's most tireless and wide-ranging investigative journalists, David Barsamian has altered the independent media landscape, both with his weekly radio show Alternative Radio—now in its 29th year—and his books with Noam Chomsky, Eqbal Ahmad, Howard Zinn, Tariq Ali, Richard Wolff, Arundhati Roy and Edward Said. His latest book of interviews with Noam Chomsky is Power Systems. His best-selling books with Chomsky have been translated into many languages. He lectures on world affairs, imperialism, capitalism, propaganda, the media, the economic crisis and global rebellions. Click for a list of recent speaking topics.

He is a winner of the Media Education Award, the ACLU's Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism, and the Cultural Freedom Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation. The Institute for Alternative Journalism named him one of its Top Ten Media Heroes. He is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center. He has collaborated with the world-renowned Kronos Quartet  in events in New York, London, Vienna and elsewhere.

The Boulder Weekly published this feature about him. As Arundhati Roy wrote for The Guardian, Barsamian was deported from India due to his work on Kashmir and other revolts. He is still barred from traveling to "the world's largest democracy."

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