At the time of Edward Said’s death in 2003, after a long battle with leukemia, “he was probably the best-known intellectual in the world,” noted one commentator. He was an extraordinarily influential literary critic and theorist at Columbia University, but also a prominent spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian National Council, not only as a translator for Yasser Arafat but as a policy-maker. A Palestinian American, he was a go-between for the U.S. State Department and the Palestinians in the late 1970s and early 1980s, under both the Carter and the Reagan administration. During the Middle Eastern …
This article appears as “Reorienting the West” in the June 1, 2021, print edition of National Review.
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