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The Arab Mind

Product Description
First published in 1973, revised in 1983, and now updated with new demographic information about the Arab world, The Arab Mind takes readers on a journey through the societies and peoples of a complex and volatile region. This sensitive study explores the historical origins of Arab nationalism, the distinctive rhetorical style of Arabic speakers and its effect on politics, traditional attitudes toward child-rearing practices, the status of women, the beauty of Arabic literature, and much more.

Since September 11, the book s lessons have been misconstrued by some but have proven indispensable to those trying to truly understand the roots of the major political conflicts of our time. Patai s sympathetic but critical depiction of Arab culture explores the continuing role of the Bedouin values of honor and courage in modern Arab culture, inter-Arab conflict and the aspiration toward unity, and how anti-Western attitudes conflated with anti-modernization have led to stagnation in much of the Arab world.

Patai, a prominent anthropologist and historian, drew on both his research and his personal experience to produce this indispensable work in the field of Middle Eastern studies. With an updated foreword by Norvell B. DeAtkine, former director of Middle East Studies at the JFK Special Warfare School, The Arab Mind remains a relevant and crucial masterpiece of scholarship for anyone seeking to understand this multifaceted culture today.

The Arab Mind


  1. If you are looking for the origin of Neo-Conservative thinking (and behavior) in America, then look no further! Just as his present day disciples did with Iraq’s WMD fiction, the late Mr. Patai was at pains collecting fictitious stories to forcefully prove his politically-motivated theory about Arabs: a doomed people obsessed by yack, sex & oppression. Wondering were torture techniques in Abu Ghraib & Gtmo came from?!
    Rating: 1 / 5

  2. You’ve got to be kidding: an East European Jewish writer opining about the Arab Mind and Americans. I feel the urge to write a tome about the Chinese mind as it applies to South Koreans.
    Rating: 1 / 5

  3. Anthropologically speaking, Raphael Patai – born Ervin Gyorgy Patai (in Budapest, Hungary, in 1910; son of well known Zionist Joszef Patai) – is not a Westerner as the book might lead us to believe. Why would a Hungarian-Jewish ethnographer compare Arabs to Westerners instead of his own tribe is a puzzle that no one could resolve – pretty much like when Bernard Lewis, and a bunch of other Orientalists, compare Islam to the Western Civilization instead of their own. To be sure, Ervin Gyorgy Patai does well sticking paragraphs one to the other and twisting them to his liking; he would have done so poorly had he tried some empirical work: cutting-edge statistical analysis with solid theorizing. Let us not forget that anthropology is not a science – it was created primarily for the purpose Ervin Gyorgy uses it: to profile people he despises in the way he wishes. To cut the story short: a Westerner would have never written a silly book of this type; after all, the Westerner is a rational living, one with a beautiful mind, and so empirically fascinating…
    Rating: 1 / 5

  4. the author claims to work on a scientific basis, but he only makes use of hypotheses and subjective interpretation. Even more important is that he hasn’t taken into account that there is a difference between a religion and a race. he parts the semitic race into the arabic people and the jewish religion.
    Rating: 1 / 5


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