because human ideals, motives, and actions have been considered insignificant. According to American scholars,their Frenchcolleagues in Annaliste fell under strong influence of the structuralist schoolanother French school in historiography- which maintainsthat there is a continuity in change in time and space in human history. According to the structuralists,the change-whether social or economic -is mainly an adjustmentaimed at preserving an eternal systemof structures; it is not a step in a development towards progress. Therefore, despite their claim to have a totalistic approachto history, Annaliste historians were essentiallystructuralist. In my opinion, it is only in Islamic paradigm for the study of civilization that one can find a holistic (tawj.zidi)approachto history. It is a pity that none of the leading historians interviewed by Gallagher in this study showed any appreciationof Islamic epistemology. It is interestingto observehow leading Western scholars of Islam and Muslim world were openly confessingthat they had beenfollowing the Annalesschool's approach to history. This school, as indicated above, was not deemedsuitable even for the study of Westerncivilization.
Nevertheless,in view of its unique methodology, the book is, in many ways, an important contribution to the Middle Eastern
historiography. However, the editor can not be credited with creating this oral approachto history. Beforethe publication of this work, there were alreadyseveral similar works in the field. The mostnotable study in this regard is Paths to the Middle East: Ten ScholarsLook Back edited by Thomas Naff.
The book is useful for students, as the leading scholars of the Middle East have offered a lot of invaluable advice to studentsof the Middle Eastern history. In addition, the book sheds some light on Orientalism and on the lives of the leading orientalists of the postWorld War II era. The study is useful for students of history, historiography,...
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