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Liberal Thought in the Eastern Mediterranean: Late 19th Century until the 1960s

It is comparatively well-known now that the late Albert Hourani came rather to regret the title of his probably most famous work, Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age, 1798-1939 (London: Oxford University Press, 1962), specifically the use of the term ‘liberal’. The problem was partly over the meaning of the term, but it was also that by selecting this approach he tended to underestimate the contemporary ‘non-liberal’ trends. In such terms it has also been argued that his inclusion of, for example, Rashid Rida and the Muslim Brotherhood was possibly a bit on the optimistic side.

 

It is comparatively well-known now that the late Albert Hourani came rather to regret the title of his probably most famous work, Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age, 1798-1939 (London: Oxford University Press, 1962), specifically the use of the term ‘liberal’. The problem was partly over the meaning of the term, but it was also that by selecting this approach he tended to underestimate the contemporary ‘non-liberal’ trends. In such terms it has also been argued that his inclusion of, for example, Rashid Rida and the Muslim Brotherhood was possibly a bit on the optimistic side.

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