Skip to comments.The Sayyid Qutb Reader
Posted on 09/11/2008 7:06:38 PM PDT by Dajjal
The Sayyid Qutb Reader
Selected Writings on Politics, Religion, and Society
Edited by Albert J. Bergesen
0415954258 (paperback; $34.95)
041595424X (hardback; $135.00)
It has been said that perhaps no writer has occupied so central a place within the universe of political Islam in the second half of the twentieth century as Egypt's Sayyid Qutb, and if one wants to understand the mind of radical Muslims, one needs to know what they read, or have read, and they read Sayyid Qutb. In general, his work has been divided into three periods. The earliest (1920-1947) centers on more literary works where he wrote poems, criticism, and novels. The second (1948-1954) constitutes his first militant Islamic period, when he wrote Social Justice in Islam, the first parts of his Qur'anic commentary, In the Shade of the Qur'an, and numerous militant articles for journals. His final phase (1957-1966) took place while he was in prison and involved his most radical Islamist writing, including revisions of both Social Justice in Islam and multiple volumes of In the Shade of the Qur'an, along with his call to action, Milestones. At present, though, there is no collection of his selected works available for students, scholars, and the interested public. This volume attempts to fill that void.
Part One comprises two introductory essays that provide a summary of his life and ideas. Chapter One identifies the political and cultural contexts that might have influenced his thinking including the years in prison, Egyptian national politics, the twentieth-century Islamic Revival and possible similarities with the Protestant Reformation, and assumptions of Islamic civilization itself. Chapter Two is an introduction to three of his core ideas about the interface of Islam, existing society, and jihad.
Part Two contains a selection of his writings which come from the later period of his career when his attention turned to questions of religion, politics, and society. These include selections from Milestones (nd. ), In the Shade of the Qur'an (1999-2004), Social Justice in Islam (2000), and his memoirs as a young boy growing up in Egypt, A Child from the Village (2004). All of the selections reprinted here are whole chapters from larger works. Nothing has been added or subtracted. With the Milestones selection, though, I was only able to gain permission to reprint short sections, and hence there is selection in what was reprinted.
[typed manually -- any typos mine. Dajjal]
Here is the Amazon page:
The Sayyid Qutb Reader (paperback)
Here are two FR threads which provide more background as to who Sayyid Qutb is.
Islamic Revivalist : Sayyid Qutb and His Influence on Modern Islamic Fundamentalism
Sayyid Qutb's "Milestones"
by Elmer Swenson
Pyro: I put a link to your essay on Qutb.
Thanks for the ping Dajjal! I’m so far behind on my reading on Islamism.
"The influence of Sayyid Qutb on contemporary Islamic radicalism has been far-reaching. This timely reader makes the main currents of Qutb's thought available in one volume to the English-speaking reader, a service that should facilitate the study of a figure who, in the West, has been more widely cited than read."
--Noah Feldman, Harvard Law School
"There has been need for a summary volume of Sayyid Qutb's basic writings for some time because of his foundational position within Muslim radicalism. Although many of Qutb's writings have been translated into English, the translations have often been problematic or in substandard English. Bergesen brings together the essential Qutb for the interested reader, and most especially classroom use, and presents it in a coherent and thematic manner. Because Qutb's writings are so voluminous and for the most part repetitive, Bergesen has done a much-needed selection that can give outsiders a sense of the importance and influence of Qutb's thinking without having to read them all. The Sayyid Qutb Reader is a very nicely achieved balance between a summary of Qutb's thought (from a scholarly viewpoint) and the words of the author himself, finally in readable English."
--David Cook, Rice University, Houston
(June 5, 2009)
Index of /2/items/mofajermohad/
Cindy, were you able to open the "xml" things? I could not. What kind of software did you use?
I tried opening the RealAudio thing, but it was downloading so slowly that I gave up after a while.
It looks “adjusted” since the last time I peeked, if I recall correctly.
Thanks! I’ll try the RealAudio again sometime when I can wait for the download.