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03 Nov 2005
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£24.99
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9781403966650
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

Islam, Memory, and Morality in Yemen tells a story of a Yemeni hereditary elite which was overthrown in the 1962 revolution in North Yemen. For over a millennium, they had enjoyed exclusive rights to the leadership of the Imamate, the religiously sanctioned state. Following the violent removal from power of King Faysal of Iraq in 1958, the overthrow of the Yemeni Imamate - the longest lasting Hashimite rule in the Middle East - confirmed the decline of Hashimite power (held by ruling generations claiming descent from the Prophet Muhammad). However, rather than concentrating on recent political history, Islam, Memory, and Morality in Yemen highlights the personal predicament of those targeted by the revolution, in which they served as the foil for the new regime's moral and political ascendancy. Focusing on the cultural politics of memory, the book explores how members of the elite remember in the process of making sense of their current lives and formulating responses to adversity.


Description

Islam, Memory, and Morality in Yemen tells a story of a Yemeni hereditary elite which was overthrown in the 1962 revolution in North Yemen. For over a millennium, they had enjoyed exclusive rights to the leadership of the Imamate, the religiously sanctioned state. Following the violent removal from power of King Faysal of Iraq in 1958, the overthrow of the Yemeni Imamate - the longest lasting Hashimite rule in the Middle East - confirmed the decline of Hashimite power (held by ruling generations claiming descent from the Prophet Muhammad). However, rather than concentrating on recent political history, Islam, Memory, and Morality in Yemen highlights the personal predicament of those targeted by the revolution, in which they served as the foil for the new regime's moral and political ascendancy. Focusing on the cultural politics of memory, the book explores how members of the elite remember in the process of making sense of their current lives and formulating responses to adversity.


Reviews

"This highly original book offers fresh insight into how traditional ideas of person, society, and responsibility, reworked in the cauldron of revolution and rapidly changing economic and political conditions, remain central to understanding contemporary society and identity politics. Always clear and accessible, Vom Bruck integrates the perspectives of women and men, seamlessly showing how Yemenis of different generations and positions in society struggle to interpret what happened to the Yemen-and to themselves-in the past. This riveting account offers vital keys to understanding contemporary social, religious, and political trends in the Yemen and elsewhere." - Dale Eickelman, Dartmouth College


Contents

List of Figures and Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Foreword; F.Halliday
Glossary
Introduction: Locating Memory: The Politics of Incorporation and Differentiation
PART I: FRAMINGS
The House of the Prophet
The Zaydi Elite during the 20th Century Imamate
The Anatomy of Houses
PART II: GROWING TO BE 'ALID
Snapshots of Childhood
Performing Kinship
PART III: SELF-FASHIONING IN THE IDIOM OF TRADITION
The Politics of Motherhood
Marriage in the Age of Revolution
"Ulama of a Different Kind"
The Moral Economy of Taste
PART IV: ENGAGING DIFFERENCE
Defining through Defaming
Memory, Trauma, Self identification
History through the Looking-Glass
Conclusion: Frontiers of Memory
Appendices
Notes
Bibliography
Index


Authors

GABRIELE VOM BRUCK lectures in the Anthropology of the Middle East, Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Edinburgh, UK.