Edward Said and the political present



This article offers a reading of Edward Said's legacy. It engages Said's scholarly and political insights, on the one hand, and his vision of and life as an intellectual, on the other hand. The article focuses on his broader conceptual and methodological interventions, his analysis of the politics of empire (in the Middle East), and his passionate attachment to the question of Palestine. It also contextualizes Said's work in light of the contemporary political moment, arguing that he and that for which he is seen to stand have emerged as key flash points in the latest U.S. culture wars.