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Eqbal Ahmad: Confronting Empire

Eqbal Ahmad: Confronting Empire book cover
Long out of print. Haymarket has published it now with a new forward by Pervez Hoodbhoy. Confronting Empire is probably Barsamian's most influential interview book.
"Eqbal Ahmad, perhaps the shrewdest and most original anti-imperialist analyst of Asia and Africa, [was] a man of enormous charisma and incorruptible ideals. He had an almost instinctive attraction to movements of the oppressed and the persecuted [and] a formidable knowledge of history. Arabs, for example, learned more from him about the failures of Arab nationalism than from anyone else. Ahmad was that rare thing, an intellectual unintimidated by power or authority." --Edward W. Said
Read reviews on Amazon.


Chomsky says, "


“Ahmad was that rare thing, an intellectual unintimidated by power or authority… Perhaps the shrewdest and most original anti-imperialist of Asia and Africa.”

Edward W. Said

“Fighting words, wise words, from one of the most powerful activist intellectuals of our time.”

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

“A dazzling intellectual encounter: thoughtful questions by a superb interviewer, David Barsamian—and brilliant responses by the extraordinary Eqbal Ahmad.”

Howard Zinn

“[Eqbal Ahmad] cared deeply and was willing to believe people could endure and be more brave and creative than they knew. He saw the big picture and still the value of individual stories. His incisive and lucid way of thinking and his voice are clear and sharp in these skillful interviews by David Barsamian.”

Pervez Hoodbhoy, from the Introduction

“For [those] who have missed Eqbal Ahmad in the year since he died, this book comes like rain during a drought.”

Radha Kumar, Council on Foreign Relations

“These interviews provide a wonderfully focused, yet wide-ranging compendium of Eqbal Ahmad’s worldview.”

Richard Falk, Princeton University


Eqbal Ahmad

Eqbal Ahmad was Professor Emeritus of International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. He was born in Irki, Bihar, to an Indian Muslim landowning family. His father was murdered while parceling out the estate to landless peasants. Upon the partition of India in 1947 he went to Pakistan. He came to the U.S. to attend Princeton. For many years he was managing editor of the quarterly Race and Class. His articles and essays appeared in The Nation and other journals throughout the world. He wrote a weekly column for Dawn, Pakistan's oldest English newspaper. He was one of the the most original and influential anti-imperialist thinkers of his era. He was a leading figure in the anti-Vietnam War movement. He was a remarkable and persuasive orator. As a teacher, he was mentor and inspiration to many. He was a close ally of Edward Said, Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn. Confronting Empire and Terrorism Theirs & Ours are the two books he did with David Barsamian. Eqbal Ahmad died in Islamabad on May 11, 1999.

Eqbal Ahmad was a brilliant and penetrating critic and analyst, a courageous fighter for justice and freedom in much of the world, steeped in humanistic understanding, warm and compassionate, a dear friend. His accomplishments ranged from demolishing self-serving dogmas about the Cold War to such constructive work as bringing Indians and Pakistanis together in a search for an amicable settlement of a tragic conflict, and far too much more even to try to mention. He is one of the most remarkable people I've been fortunate enough to know, or even to know about." - Noam Chomsky

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 33rd year—and his books with Noam Chomsky, Eqbal Ahmad, Howard Zinn, Tariq Ali, Richard Wolff, Arundhati Roy and Edward Said. His latest book with Noam Chomsky is Global Discontents: Conversations on the Rising Threats to Democracy. A new edition of his book with Edward Said, Culture and Resistance (2019), with a new introduction is now available. David lectures on world affairs, imperialism, capitalism, propaganda, the media, the economic crisis and global rebellions.

In 2017 the South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy presented him with their Lifetime Achievement Award. He has collaborated with the world-renowned Kronos Quartet in events in New York, London, Vienna, Boulder and elsewhere. David Barsamian is the 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. 

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