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The Arab Mind (2007 Edition).  By Raphael Patai, Ph.D. Recovery Resources Press, 2010.
This book, originally published in 2007 by Hatherleigh Press, is now owned and marketed by Recovery Resources Press, which in May 2010 reprinted the book with a new cover and new ISBN number (ISBN 978-0-9678-0-9672015-9). The book can now be ordered from amazon.com or directly from Recovery Resources Press.  To purchase the book in quantity, or if you are a bookstore, click on Contact Us.

First published in 1973, revised in 1983, and updated in 2007 with new demographic information about the Arab world, The Arab Mind  takes readers on a journey through the societies and peoples of a complex and volatile region.  This sensitive study explores the historical origins of Arab nationalism, the distinctive rhetorical style of Arabic speakers and its effect on politics, traditional attitudes toward child-reading practices, the status of women, the beauty of Arabic literature, and much more.

Since Sept 11, 2001, the book's lessons have been misconstrued by some but have proven indispensable to those trying to truly understand the roots of the major political conflicts of our time. In 2010 the book is more relevant than ever.  Patai's sympathetic but critical depiction of Arab culture explores the continuing role of the Bedouin values of honor and courage in modern Arab culture, inter-Arab conflict and the aspiration toward unity, and how anti-Western attitudes conflated with anti-modernization have led to stagnation in much of the Arab world.

Patai, a prominent anthropologist and historian, drew both on his research and his personal experience to produce this indispensable work in the field of Middle Eastern studies.  With an updated forward by Norvell B. DeAtkine, former director of Middle East studies at the JFK Special Warfare School, The Arab Mind remains a relevant and crucial masterpiece of scholarship for anyone seeking to understand this multifaceted culture today.
 "I took this book to Baghdad for my military assignment and left it there with friends who continue to use it to help inform their experiences. The book helped me understand what I was seeing with my own eyes and helped me avoid mis-steps that probably would have been misinterpreted. The book rang true with my experiences and helped me understand the Iraqi people, who I found to be generally good and noble. This books is not the be-all and end-all for Arab cultural understanding, but it seems to be an excellent jumping-off point. Westerners in Iraq "got points" from the Iraqis by merely TRYING to undertand their culture. Empathy, compassion and RESPECT go a long way in any culture, and certainly for the Iraqis."
"I have lived in the Middle East, on and off, for four years, and no book explained the Arab mind as well as Raphael Patai's. Written over 30 years ago, it still rings true in so many aspects, and definitely helps explain the cultural clashes that still occur and slow down the process of coexisting. Raphael Patai's love of Arabia and all things Arabic is very obvious throughout his work. Even so, Patai managed to be objective and to portray the good and the bad in Arab culture. Too many authors take one road or the other, allowing personal feelings and thoughts to encroach on the necessary objectivity. Patai, like a true sociologist, presents how a culture was formed, in language easily understandable to the Western mind. . . . "The Arab Mind  should nonetheless be mandatory reading for all government workers in the Middle East, as it is truly an indispensible guide through a culture that has been around longer than our own".

"An eye-opening book. Most people put the Arab personality down to Islam. THE ARAB MIND sets the reader right that the Arab personality is rooted in the Bedouin culture. It is not a racist book. The author confesses an extreme affection for Arabs. It's a wonderful book, and, frankly, let's you understand the Arab ... better. The author, incidentally, also wrote a book titled THE JEWISH MIND."

"When you read this book, you'll become interested in sociology as an interesting branch of human sciences. Patai is a genius. His book is by far the best in this respect. For Arab readers: Read the book and in no time you'll find yourselves putting names to the abundant examples Patai cites. The book deals with several interesting traits that most Arabs share in their inherent characters. These include the Arab unawareness of time, their tendency to speak more than they can actually deliver, their fixation with sex and their keenness to preserve Bedouin values which include preserving a group's honor by preserving the chastity of its female members.  Even though the book is academic, the style is entertaining as it alternates between theories and real life examples to illustrate them. The book, a classic, is certainly worth a read. Try it!"
-- Review by an Arab reader
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