Marxism and the Muslim World

Maxime Rodinson
With a Foreword by Gilbert Achcar
Translated by Michael Pallis


In his trademark polemical style, Maxime Rodinson examines the complexities of political Islam and Marxist ideology and their implications for Arab nationalism.
In the wake of the uprisings which rocked the Arab world, Maxime Rodinson’s work has taken on a new and powerful resonance. Dating from 1958, the time of his expulsion from the French Communist Party, to 1972, the assembled articles, papers and essays which form this book outline his vision of the role of Marxist politics in Muslim history and society. By applying a materialist approach to Islam, which encompassed its social and economic history rather than simply studying it in terms of belief, Rodinson reclaimed the field of Islamic studies from Orientalism.

Rodinson’s work was both pioneering and provocative. Today, when an increasingly virulent Islamophobia is taking hold across the West, Rodinson’s work provides a vital counterweight to reductionist depictions of Islam and remains just as indispensable to those seeking to understand the Muslim World as it was when it was first published.

Author Bio

Professor Maxime Rodinson was a French historian, sociologist and renowned specialist on Islam and the Arab world. Rodinson was a talented linguist and a committed Marxist, despite his dramatic split from the French Communist Party in 1958. He died in 2004 aged 89.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword by Gilbert Achcar
  • Author's Preface to the Original English Edition
  • 1. Marxism Ideas and the Study of the Muslim World
  • 2. The Nature and Function of Myths: Marxist Communism and Arab Nationalism Compared
  • 3. Relationships between Islam and Communism
  • 4. Problems Facing the Communist Parties in Syria and Egypt
  • 5. Marxism and Arab Nationalism
  • 6. The Bolsheviks and Colonized Muslims
  • 7. A Forgotten Precursor
  • 8. Islam and the Modern Economic Revolution
  • 9. The Political Structure under Nasser
  • 10. Islam as a Political Factor in Egypt after Nasser
  • 11. On the Contemporary Culture of the Muslim World
  • 12. A Marxist Policy for the Arab Countries


'Maxime Rodinson was and remained the most delightful person you could imagine, with a scrupulous honesty that one would like to find in more intellectuals.'
Samir Amin, director of Third World Forum and author of Europe and the Arab World


Publication Date: 9 April 2015
248 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback 2nd Edition: 9781783603367
eBook PDF 2nd Edition: 9781783603374

Previous Editions: Paperback 1st Edition: 9780905762494

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