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11 October 2005


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any opinions on any the following writers' general takes on things:

Negley Farson
Maurice Collis
Bruce Lockhart
Carleton Coon
St.John Philby

Recommend? Not? Lockhart and Farson are boobs, but they lived thru "interesting times." Philby is unreadable. Is he worth the slog? R.F. Burton is even more unreadable, but certainly worth the trouble.

Reading Reiss's "The Orientalist."

Pat Lang


I am familiar with Carleton Coon only through "Caravan, the story of the Middle East," an ethnography long out of print from which I learned a lot.

St. John Philby is just strange. He enjoyed hanging around the majlis of Abd al-Aziz al-Saud as a kind of "pet." not worth reading unless you are interested in "inside" gossip about the early Saudi state.

Burton and Doughty have to be suffered through.

Wilfred Thesiger's books on the Arabs are worth the trouble.

Don't know Reiss or the others.

Glubb Pasha's various books on the history of the Muslims are interesting although pedants like to turn their noses up at him.


I'm a retired SF medic. I'm now in grad school and when I see the ROTCs in the gym in the morning, I keep thinking "...NCOs are cunning and bear watching..."

Thanks for the hoot.


In the first place, I loved it.

In the second place, I reiterate my recommendation for Cécile Hennion in Le Monde. She has more courage and intelligence in her pinky than Dick and Don and George have in their whole cowardly bodies. Her writing perfectly complements this story.

In the third place, there are two battles being fought right now. One in Iraq and the other among the American electorate. If you want a battlefield view of the latter, go to www.mydd.com.

Thanks for the enjoyable read.

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