When Francis Fukuyama’s End of History was published a few years ago, it received some well-merited drubbings for its many theoretical shortcomings. It did, however, contain a piece of argument which was overlooked. Drawing on Hegel and Nietzsche, Fukuyama maintained that a prime motive for human struggle and political sacrifice was the need for recognition. Though it was obviously true that people would risk their lives for meat and potatoes, or for rights or territory, it was no less true that they would fight and die just for dignity and respect.
Pervading all the work of Edward Said on the Palestinian question (here assembled between two covers in the form of lectures, essays, reviews and polemics) is this essential element of pride. For him, the low standing of the Palestinian people – whether in exile, under occupation or scattered in diaspora