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By Kenneth M. Setton, Marshall W. Baldwin

The six volumes of A historical past of the Crusades will stand because the definitive historical past of the Crusades, spanning 5 centuries, encompassing Jewish, Moslem, and Christian views, and containing a wealth of data and research of the historical past, politics, economics, and tradition of the medieval global.

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Extra info for A History of the Crusades, Volume I: The First Hundred Years

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In this reading, Palestine was not only at the forefront of popular revolt in the Arab world; it also led the way in renewing Arab(ic) literature in all languages. Souffles 15 marked a shift in the journal’s content and format, reflecting the politicization of the journal from 1968 onward. 34 The transition to Arabic was presented as an outcome or corollary of the shift toward political issues, and as an explicitly political gesture. ”35 As late as 1970, Laâbi continued to defend the use of French as a temporary and transitional tool for cultural decolonization, yet he did so in increasingly anticolonial terms.

Fittingly, the journal’s first translation efforts were aimed at making the Palestinian question legible to a Maghrebi audience. In 1968, Souffles reprinted excerpts of a French translation of the Syrian poet Adonis’ “Le manifeste du 5 juin 1967” (The manifesto of the 5th of June, 1967), obtained courtesy of the Lebanese poet Etel Adnan. Cofounder of the poetry review Shi‘r (­Poetry) and creator of Mawaqif (Positions), an experimental poetry journal praised in Souffles for its renewal of the Arabic language and poetic forms,29 Adonis was an obvious interlocutor for the journal.

There is a distinct sense, palpable through the chronological sequencing of the chapters in both parts of Transcolonial Maghreb and culminating in my Epilogue, that Palestine has become a figure for the failures of decolonization, by virtue of both a global postcolonial disillusionment and a Palestinian predicament that seems only to get worse with the passage of time. One can only hope that Palestine will again become a utopian figure, in the sense Said gives that term, in Syria, Egypt, Algeria, or indeed Palestine.

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