I have been reading about Orientalism for a number of years, but most of this book was written during 1975-1976, which I spent as a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioural Sciences, Stanfort, California. In this unique and generous institution, it was my good fortune not only to have benefited agreeably froms several colleagues, but also from the help of Joan Warmbrunn, Chris Hoth, Jane Kielsmeier, Preston Cutler, and the center’s director, Gardner Lindzey. The list of friends, colleagues, and students who read, or listened to, parts or the whole of this manuscript is so long as to embarrass me, and now that it has finally appeared as a book, perhaps even them, Nevertheless I should mention with gratitude the always helpful encouragement of Janet and Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, Noam Chomsky, and Roger Owen, who followed this project from its beginning to its conclusion. Likewise I must gratefully acknowledge the helpful and critical interest of the colleagues, friends, and students in various places whose questions and discussion sharpened the text considerably. Andre Schiffrin and Jeanne Morton of Pantheon Books were ideal publisher and copy editor, respectively, and made the ordeal (for the author, at least) of preparing the manuscript an instructive and genuinely intelligent process. Marian Said helped me a great deal with her research on the early modern history of Orientalist institutions. Apart from that, though, her loving support really made much of the work on this book not only enjoyable but possible.


New York

Septemer-October 1977

They cannot represent themselves; they must be represented.

-Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire

   of Louis Bonaparte

The East is a career.

Benjamin Disraeli, Tancred