The Origins of the Lebanese National Idea, 1840-1920

The Origins of the Lebanese National Idea, 1840-1920

The Origins of the Lebanese National Idea, 1840-1920

The Origins of the Lebanese National Idea, 1840-1920

Synopsis

In this fascinating study, Carol Hakim presents a new and original narrative on the origins of the Lebanese national idea. Hakim's study reconsiders conventional accounts that locate the origins of Lebanese nationalism in a distant legendary past and then trace its evolution in a linear and gradual manner. She argues that while some of the ideas and historical myths at the core of Lebanese nationalism appeared by the mid-nineteenth century, a coherent popular nationalist ideology and movement emerged only with the establishment of the Lebanese state in 1920. Hakim reconstructs the complex process that led to the appearance of fluid national ideals among members of the clerical and secular Lebanese elite, and follows the fluctuations and variations of these ideals up until the establishment of a Lebanese state. The book is an essential read for anyone interested in the evolution of nationalism in the Middle East and beyond.

Excerpt

Of all the ideologies that have marked the modern era, none has left a deeper imprint on the Arab world than nationalism. No other ideology has aroused as much emotion, passion, and devotion, engendered as much hope and exhilaration, despair and bitterness, and no other ideology has inspired, enthralled, and animated as many people. All the major events that have marked the history of the Arab world in the twentieth century—the wars and the revolutions, the bitter rivalry and antagonism among Arab states, the infighting among ruling elites within the same state, down to the quarrels that have at times divided one same family—have been underpinned by nationalist ideals and sentiments and at times fiery rhetoric.

Yet, in spite all the clamor and fervor that nationalism has aroused in the Arab world, the history of nationalism in the region has been marked by inconsistency, fluidity, contingency, and multiplicity. Several strands of nationalism, running the full gamut from local, regional, linguistic, communal, religious, and state based to nation based, have surfaced since the beginning of the twentieth century, vying and clashing with each other at times or overlapping and combining at other times. the national dreams and grand schemes devised by the leaders and peoples in the region, however, dashed against recalcitrant and intractable realities and their promise of freedom, unity, and better futures, remained ever more elusive. As the high hopes raised by nationalism faded, some sank in disillusionment and apathy; others cast around for alternative ventures and ideals; still others, seemingly impervious to adverse conditions, strove to keep the illusion alive. National allegiances . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.