Cover image for The Arab mind
The Arab mind
Patai, Raphael, 1910-1996.
Personal Author:
Revised edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Hatherleigh Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xxvi, 466 pages : statistics ; 23 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS36.77 .P37 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
DS36.77 .P37 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Since its original publication in 1983, the revised edition of Raphael Patai's The Arab Mind has been recognized as one of the seminal works in the field of Middle Eastern studies. This penetrating analysis unlocks the mysteries of Arab society to help us better understand a complex, proud and ancient culture.

The Arab Mind discusses the upbringing of a typical Arab boy or girl, the intense concern with honor and courage, the Arabs' tendency toward extremes of behavior, and their ambivalent attitudes toward the West. Chapters are devoted to the influence of Islam, sexual mores, Arab language and Arab art, Bedouin values, Arab nationalism, and the pervasive influence of Westernization.

With a new foreword by Norvell B. DeAtkine, Director of Middle East Studies at the JFK Special Warfare Center and School, Fort Bragg, N.C., this book unravels the complexities of Arab traditions and provides authentic revelations of Arab mind and character.

Author Notes

Raphael Patai (November 22, 1910 - July 20, 1996), born Ervin György Patai, was a Hungarian-Jewish ethnographer, historian, orientalist and anthropologist. Patai's work was wide-ranging but focused primarily on the cultural development of the ancient Hebrews and Israelites, on Jewish history and culture, and on the anthropology of the Middle East. He was the author of hundreds of scholarly articles and several dozen books, including three autobiographical volumes.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

This 1973 title closely explores the psychology of the Arab world and Islam. It was revised in 1983 and here receives a new foreword by Norvell De Atkine, director of Middle East Studies at the JFK Special Warfare Center and School, who offers new insights in light of recent developments. The continued turmoil that racks the Middle East will make this book more popular than ever.Davis, Terry. Vision Quest.Eastern Washington Univ. May 2002. c.312p. ISBN 0-910055-79-3. pap. $15.95.F~Davis's coming-of-age novel garnered good response when it debuted in 1979. Using high school wrestling as a metaphor for growing up, the book reveals how teenage protagonist Louden Swain deals with both his desire to win his weight division in the state championships and his growing love for Carla, an older girl who is temporarily stranded with Louden and his father when her car breaks down. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. X
Preface to the 1983 Editionp. XIX
Preface to the 1976 Editionp. XXII
Preface: On a Personal Notep. 1
A Note on Transliterationp. 8
I The Arabs and the Worldp. 9
1. Islam, Middle East, Arabsp. 9
2. Who Is an Arab?p. 12
II The Group Aspects of the Mindp. 16
III Arab Child-Rearing Practicesp. 26
1. The Issue of Severityp. 26
2. Differential Evaluation of Boys and Girlsp. 28
3. Lactationp. 31
4. Early Roots of the Male-Female Relationshipp. 34
5. The Boy Enters the Men's Worldp. 35
6. The Girl Remains in the Women's Worldp. 37
7. Childhood Rewards and Adult Achievementp. 38
IV Under the Spell of Languagep. 43
1. Arab and Arabicp. 43
2. The Lure of Arabicp. 46
3. Rhetoricismp. 50
4. Exaggeration, Overassertion, Repetitionp. 52
5. Words for Actionsp. 63
6. Time Sense and Verb Tensep. 69
V The Bedouin Substratum of the Arab Personalityp. 78
1. The Bedouin Idealp. 78
2. Group Cohesionp. 83
VI Bedouin Valuesp. 89
1. Hospitalityp. 89
2. Generosityp. 92
3. Couragep. 94
4. Honorp. 95
5. Self-Respectp. 100
VII The Bedouin Ethos and Modern Arab Societyp. 103
1. Koranic and Folk Ethicsp. 103
2. Wajh or "Face"p. 108
3. Shamep. 113
4. The Fahlawi Personalityp. 113
5. Aversion to Physical Laborp. 120
VIII The Realm of Sexp. 126
1. Sexual Honorp. 127
2. Sexual Repressionp. 136
3. Sexual Freedom and Sexual Hospitalityp. 140
4. Varieties of Sexual Outletp. 143
5. Ambivalence and Changep. 147
IX The Islamic Component of the Arab Personalityp. 152
1. Religion East and Westp. 152
2. Predestination and Personalityp. 156
3. Improvidencep. 160
X Extremes and Emotions, Fantasy and Realityp. 165
1. Polarizationp. 165
2. Control and Temperp. 169
3. Hostilityp. 171
4. Three Functional Planes: Thoughts, Words, Actionsp. 172
XI Art, Music, and Literaturep. 177
1. Decorative Artsp. 177
2. Musicp. 180
3. Literaturep. 185
4. Toward Western Formsp. 187
XII Bilingualism, Marginality, and Ambivalencep. 190
1. Bilingualism and Personalityp. 190
2. Marginalityp. 199
3. Cultural Dichotomy: Elites and Massesp. 204
4. Ambivalencep. 209
5. Izdiwaj--Split Personalityp. 212
XIII Unity and Conflictp. 216
1. The Idea of Arab Unityp. 216
2. Fighting: Swords and Wordsp. 221
3. Dual Divisionp. 228
4. Conflict Pronenessp. 232
XIV Conflict Resolution and "Conferentiasis"p. 241
1. Conflict Resolutionp. 241
2. "Conferentiasis"p. 252
XV The Question of Arab Stagnationp. 261
1. The Message of Historyp. 261
2. Critical Viewsp. 263
3. Where Do We Go from Here?p. 266
4. Stagnation and Nationalismp. 269
5. Five Stagesp. 271
6. The Enemy as Exemplarp. 273
XVI The Psychology of Westernizationp. 284
1. The Jinni of the Westp. 284
2. Egypt--A Case Historyp. 286
3. The Issue of Technological Dominationp. 291
4. Focus, Values, and Changep. 295
5. Five Dominant Concernsp. 299
6. Western Standards and Mass Benefitsp. 305
7. The Sinister Westp. 308
8. The Hatred of the Westp. 314
9. Arabs and Turksp. 319
10. Facing the Futurep. 322
Conclusionp. 326
Postscript: The Last Ten Yearsp. 333
1. The Reaction to the October Warp. 333
2. Oil, Labor, and Planningp. 340
3. Advances in Educationp. 345
4. The Women's Positionp. 347
5. New Conflictsp. 356
6. The Quest for Unityp. 359
7. The Federation of Arab Republics: A Case Historyp. 365
8. Conclusionp. 373
1. The Arab World: Area and Mid-Year Population Estimatesp. 379
2. Gross School Enrollment Ratios in Arab Countries for the First and Second Levels of Educationp. 380
3. Higher Education in Arab Countries (Third Level)p. 381
4. Population of Arab Countries by Sexp. 382
5. Birth Rates in Arab Countriesp. 383
6. Per cent of Illiterate and Unschooled Population in Arab Countriesp. 384
7. Female School Enrollment in Arab Countriesp. 385
8. Physical Quality of Life Indexp. 386
Appendix I The Judgment of Historians: Spengler and Toynbeep. 387
Appendix II The Arab World and Spanish America: A Comparisonp. 398
Notesp. 403
Indexp. 447