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Covering Islam: How the Media and the…

Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the…

by Edward W. Said

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Second edition. The title has a dual meaning: reporting on ("covering") a mythical monolith called "Islam" while also concealing ("covering") the truth about Muslims in all their difference. Edward Said uses the case of "Islam" to indict the U.S. media's superficial take on the world in general. He's right, you know.
  Muscogulus | Jul 29, 2012 |
Predicted the rise of mainstream Islamophobia decades before it was given license in America after 9/11. A great read. ( )
1 vote jonathon.hodge | Feb 26, 2009 |
In Covering Islam, Edward W. Said makes some vitally important points that remind us that our relationship with many countries (and not just in the countries/cultures/peoples who are Arabic or Islamic or in the Middle East) is informed by a media that does not always do justice to the people they cover -- in many cases, the media generalizes and demonizes. Making one of the most important points in the book, Said reminds us that Islam (like "Christendom" or "the West" or any broad cultural category) is not a monolithic homogeneous structure, but that many journalists, pundits, spokespeople, and citizens see and portray it as such.

Said cites many examples of journalists (and academics) who fall into lazy habits when looking at and writing these cultures. Unfortunately, it seemed to me that Said makes many generalizations himself, about American media and journalists (although, to be fair, he does give some examples in the last chapter of academics and writers who he believes have a more broad and insightful and accurate viewpoint) which made it harder for me to stay engaged with the book.

Finally, I wanted to know his solutions and suggestions, not just the problem. If everything an American journalist or adademic touches in a country such as Iran or Iraq or Afghanistan is tainted by post-colonialism and oil and government, how can the average person learn about that part of the world in a genuine manner? What information is trustworthy? Said has told us the problem, or part of it, but did not seem, in this book anyway, to offer solutions.
(at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0679758909/qid=1136313442/sr=8-13/ref=sr_8_xs_a... ) ( )
2 vote libby | Jan 3, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679758909, Paperback)

While the 16 years that have passed since the first edition of this book hit the stands have been marked by an increase in sensitivity toward many ethnic, racial, and sexual minorities, the easy acceptance of stereotypes and prejudices in the portrayal, depiction of, and reporting about Islamic peoples has remained largely constant. In this updated version of this rigorous but engaging volume Edward Said looks at how American popular media has used and perpetuated a narrow and unfavorable image of Islamic peoples, and how this has prevented understanding while providing a fictitious common enemy for the diverse American populace.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:31 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"In this landmark work, for which he has written a new Introduction, one of our foremost public thinkers examines to origins and repercussions of the media's monolithic images of Islam. Combining political commentary with literary criticism, Edward Said reveals the hidden assumptions and distortions of fact that underlie even the most "objective" coverage of the Islamic world. In so doing, Covering Islam continues Said's lifelong investigation of the ways in which language not only describes but also defines political reality."--book jacket.… (more)

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