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Reader comment on item: La Rage et l'Orgueil

Submitted by M Bond (United States), Oct 27, 2002 at 10:52

Pipes' review essentially laments that Fallaci is not a specialist or an academic Arabist or Islamicist and that the book suffers from that - without also highlighting the tremendous positives. I have a great deal of respect for Pipes and think he is right here to a limited degree, but I think it is wrong to fail to highlight the genuinely great social and moral verve that Fallaci brings to her writing here.

In some aspects of the overall analysis it can certainly be helpful to come from a perspective that attempts to be objective and academically sound and knowledgeable. However that (attempt at) objectivity also needs to be supplemented with some very sound human subjectivity and moral and social passion and verve.

The former without the latter will become detached and anemic and even inhuman, additionally it risks the unfounded arrogation that it is the final authority and final arbiter of the matter it is investigating with its presumptive, (neo-Cartesian?) reference points or epistemology. The latter without the former can become mob-like and debased and poorly focused and undisciplined. Together they can supplement and mutually work together and guide one another.

Fallaci brings fully warranted human passion back into the picture and while she occasionally goes astray, she much more typically underscores the need for this elemental ingredient to the overall analysis.
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