Arab Voices: What They Are Saying to Us, and Why It Matters

Paperback | January 3, 2012

byJames Zogby

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Despite increased contact between the West and the Arab world, even top American political leaders have only limited awareness of the realities and complexities of their Arab counterparts. Arab Voices asks the questions, collects the answers, and shares the results that will help us see Arabs clearly, bringing into stark relief the myths, assumptions, and biases that hold us back from understanding this important variety of cultures. With a new afterword chronicling the importance of the recent uprisings across the Arab world, Zogby shows why it's more important than ever to base policy and perception on reality, rather than stereotypes and theories.

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Despite increased contact between the West and the Arab world, even top American political leaders have only limited awareness of the realities and complexities of their Arab counterparts. Arab Voices asks the questions, collects the answers, and shares the results that will help us see Arabs clearly, bringing into stark relief the myt...

James Zogby is founder and president of the Washington, D.C.-based Arab American Institute and a senior advisor to the polling firm Zogby International. He writes a weekly column that appears in twenty Arab newspapers and hosts a weekly call-in discussion program on Abu Dhabi television. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, D...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.62 inPublished:January 3, 2012Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230120687

ISBN - 13:9780230120686

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Table of Contents

Preface * Chapter 1: The Day That Didn't Change Everything * Chapter 2: Listening in the Levant * Chapter 3: Knowledge Wars * Chapter 4: Lord Balfours, Then and Now * Part II: Beyond Super Myths: Who Are the Arabs and What Do They Want? * Chapter 5: Super-Myth One: This World Is Flat * Chapter 6: Super-Myth Two: A Fictional Unity * Chapter 7: Super Myth Three: The Angry Arab * Chapter 8: Super-Myth Four: The Lens of Islam * Chapter 9: Super Myth Five: Immutability, or the Frozen Camel * Part III: Why It Matters: Blunders, Failures, and Fallout * Chapter 10: Iraq: History Cuts Like A Knife * Chapter 11: Lebanon: Hearing Half the Story * Chapter 12: Saudi Arabia: Their Reform, Not Ours * Chapter 13: Palestine: A Wound in the Heart * Chapter 14: Arab Americans: Bridging the Divide * Part IV: Getting It Right * Chapter 15: What Government Can Do * Chapter 16: What We Can Do

Editorial Reviews

"Persuasively illustrates . . .that Americans tend to project their fears and desires onto Arabs and Muslims rather than searching for common ground . . .It's hard to deny the validity of Zogby's larger argument. To succeed in the Middle East, the United States needs to listen more to actual Arab voices, and not let preconceived myths about the Muslim world dictate policy." -The New York Times Sunday Book Review"An informative and readable book that avoids the reductionism, demonology, and victimology that all too often taint treatment of this subject." -Foreign Affairs"Jim Zogby has written an essential and enlightening book on Arab opinion. Arab Voices is a must read for anyone who wants to hear true voices from the Arab world." -Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan"Arab Voices is a breakthrough book. Finally, after decades of relentlessly ignorant or bigoted stereotyping of the so-called 'Arab Mind' - often a form of anti-Semitism against Arabs - by partisans having other agendas, James Zogby responds. He presents the results of intensive polling, within historical, political and cultural contexts, in an engrossing search for accuracy, fairness and truth. Let's see if the slanted press and the wrathful cable-talk radio hosts can tolerate giving this book and its calm author a chance to correct the record." -Ralph Nader"Arab Voices distills Jim Zogby's lifetime of immersion in a central issue of our times - how can America and the Arab world can find the right path forward? Well-written, provocative, and peppered with vivid anecdotes and surprising data, this is essential reading for anyone seeking to penetrate the myths surrounding the Middle East." -Richard North Patterson"The need for United States engagement in the Middle East has never been greater, and I believe it is essential that Americans better understand the people and cultures in the region. This book improves our understanding of these diverse communities and provides valuable insight into the lives of Arab Americans." -President Jimmy Carter"Jim Zogby has written a timely and valuable book on the pressing need for effective public diplomacy toward the broader Middle East. The best definition of public diplomacy is to first listen, understand, and then inform, engage and influence. Zogby explains how this can be done." -Ambassador Edward P. Djerejian, former Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs and founding director, James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University"We don't understand Arabs; they don't understand us. Jim Zogby, at last, helps bridge that gap. Every American policy maker should read this book - and listen to him." -Bill Press, nationally-syndicated talk show host"Europeans should read this book. Arab attitudes to Europe track their attitudes to America much more than Europeans might like to think. Both are seen through the same prism of Palestinian dispossession.That dispossession is an Arab wound rather than a Muslim one. The security of Europe,even more than that of America, requires us to find a resolution to the differences so lucidly described in this book." -John Bruton, former Prime Minister of Ireland and EU Ambassador to the United States"Thanks to his experience in the region, Jim Zogby is uniquely positioned to present rarely heard voices from the Arab world. Here, he does just that, shining a bright light on a deeply misunderstood part of the world." -Arianna Huffington"For four decades, we have fought wars in the Middle East, spent billions, lost many American lives.This book shows thattheArabs arepaying rapt attention to us and shifting their opinion accordingly.For those who care about US policy, it's the best information you can have.Columnistsspeakof the "Arab street" as if Mideast opinion were carved in stone.In this important new book,James Zogby shows us its vibrancy." -Chris Matthews