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The Eastern Mediterranean and the Making of Global Radicalism, 1860-1914

The Eastern Mediterranean and the Making of Global Radicalism, 1860-1914

Ilham Khuri-Makdisi
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: 1
Pages: 296
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  • Book Info
    The Eastern Mediterranean and the Making of Global Radicalism, 1860-1914
    Book Description:

    In this groundbreaking book, Ilham Khuri-Makdisi establishes the existence of a special radical trajectory spanning four continents and linking Beirut, Cairo, and Alexandria between 1860 and 1914. She shows that socialist and anarchist ideas were regularly discussed, disseminated, and reworked among intellectuals, workers, dramatists, Egyptians, Ottoman Syrians, ethnic Italians, Greeks, and many others in these cities. In situating the Middle East within the context of world history, Khuri-Makdisi challenges nationalist and elite narratives of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern history as well as Eurocentric ideas about global radical movements. The book demonstrates that these radical trajectories played a fundamental role in shaping societies throughout the world and offers a powerful rethinking of Ottoman intellectual and social history.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-94546-3
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. ii-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xi)
  4. [Map]
    (pp. xii-xii)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-14)

    In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth a wide variety of radical leftist ideas began circulating among segments of the populations of Eastern Mediterranean cities, especially in Beirut, Cairo, and alexandria, then among the most culturally and politically important cities of the arab Ottoman world. These ideas, which are best described as selective adaptations of socialist and anarchist principles, included specific calls for social justice, workers’ rights, mass secular education, and anticlericalism, and more broadly a general challenge to the existing social and political order at home and abroad. Those who embraced such ideas expressed them in articles, pamphlets,...

  6. 1 The Late Nineteenth-century World and the Emergence of a Global Radical Culture
    (pp. 15-34)

    In the last few decades of the nineteenth century, various groups of people throughout the world—workers, peasants, intellectuals, activists—began agitating for social justice, using similar and interrelated discourses and adopting similar terminologies and praxis and circulating their ideas through print, performance, and word of mouth.¹ Their activities fostered a plethora of ideas and practices pertaining to social justice, while simultaneously reflecting a convergence in the ways those ideas were articulated and implemented, and led to the establishment of an entangled worldwide web of radical networks. as a result, I would like to suggest, one can write about a...

  7. 2 The Nahḍa, the Press, and the Construction and Dissemination of a Radical Worldview
    (pp. 35-59)

    In the early 1890s Arabic reading audiences in Beirut, Cairo, and Alexandria began regularly (if not too frequently) encountering articles on socialism (alishtirākiyya) and anarchism (fawḍawiyya) in the pages of two formative and influential opinion-making periodicals:al-Muqtaṭaf(beirut 1876–83; Cairo 1884–1952) andal-Hilāl(Cairo 1892–present).¹ over the following twenty-five years, the two periodicals, both of which were by then based in Cairo and owned (and mostly written) by syrians, published around fifty articles on socialism, anarchism, labor conflicts, workers’ rights, and relatedmatters. The series culminated in the last few months before the outbreak of the Great War...

  8. 3 Theater and Radical Politics in Beirut, Cairo, and Alexandria 1860–1914
    (pp. 60-93)

    In the last days of october 1909 a play celebrating the life and work of Francisco Ferrer was performed in Beirut.¹ Ferrer, a Spanish social and political activist, a freethinker whose ideas combined elements of anarchism and socialism, had been executed a few days before. A pedagogue, he had created a modern curriculum and established modern schools in Barcelona based on the principle of “class harmony,” a project very similar to the ideas behind the Université Populaire that appeared in france at the same time.² Ferrer’s pedagogy and ideology enjoyed tremendous popularity throughout the world; they combined freemasonry, freethinking, a...

  9. 4 The Construction of Two Radical Networks in Beirut and Alexandria
    (pp. 94-134)

    In the previous two chapters I analyzed the role played by two relatively novel institutions in the articulation and dissemination of radical ideas: the web of periodicals centered aroundal-Muqtaṭafandal-Hilāland the theater. in this chapter I focus on two self-proclaimed radical networks, one predominantly based in Beirut and Mount Lebanon and an Italian anarchist network in Alexandria. I analyze the establishment and maintenance of these networks and their ideas concerning workers, class conflict, mass education, and other related topics. specifically I tackle the following questions: How were these radical networks constructed? What made the ideas they promoted...

  10. 5 Workers, Labor Unrest, and the Formulation and Dissemination of Radical Leftist Ideas
    (pp. 135-164)

    In the last quarter of the nineteenth century a new form of social contestation appeared in Ottoman cities, particularly the capital, Istanbul, and port cities such as Salonica, Izmir, Alexandria, Beirut, and Tunis. Often described in the local press as a “foreign,” “alien,” and “European” form of protest,¹ strikes became an increasingly common feature of Eastern Mediterranean urban experience, especially after the 1890s. Indeed between 1872 and 1908 around fifty strikes were recorded throughout the Ottoman Empire (excluding Egypt);² in 1902—a year of no specific significance, either in the economic or the political arena—ten strikes took place in...

  11. Conclusion: Deprovincializing the Eastern Mediterranean
    (pp. 165-172)

    This book has traced the formulation and dissemination of radical ideas in and between the cities of Beirut, Cairo, and alexandria in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth. I devoted particular attention to socialism, anarchism, and their various permutations and interpretations. Succinctly put, I conclude that these ideologies (or some variation of them) had self-conscious proponents in these cities and, perhaps more important, that socialist and anarchist ideas were constantly being discussed, disseminated, and reworked among various segments of these cities’ populations. Such a depiction challenges the dominant historiographic narrative of absence concerning radical, socialist, and leftist movements and...

    (pp. 173-174)
  13. NOTES
    (pp. 175-240)
    (pp. 241-262)
  15. INDEX
    (pp. 263-280)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 281-281)