Book review是一种常见的论文形式，相信大家都有接触过。一个普遍的误区是，book review写成summary。实际上，book review不仅需要quote、summary书中的内容，还需要融入自己的thinking。下面以一篇EssayPhD团队book review代写范文为例（原创essay，请勿转载或用作其他用途）
3. Throughout her life, at home in Cairo, at school in Egypt and England, and in her professional career, Leila Ahmed has been exposed to a profoundly Western(ized) environment. How has the complex connection with Western culture and ideas shaped her identity as an Arab and a Muslim woman?
A Border Passage: From Cairo to America–A Woman’s Journey is a significant autobiography written by the feminist scholar Leila Ahmed. This book documents Ahmed’s exploration and experience about colonization and her cultural and social identities as both an Arab and a Muslim woman. Ahmed has written down her story from the childhood to adulthood in a bildungsroman pattern. The story begins with her growth in colonial Egypt and it ends with her return to the home country from the U.S. as a successful female scholar. During this long journey, Ahmed had studied in Cambridge and she had also worked in UAE to make money for her American trip. In the United States, Ahmed has worked as an academic authority in the field of Islam and gender identity, influencing the Western domain of knowledge.
According to Ahmed, all the human beings have multifaceted identities. People cannot be easily distinguished by this or that. Each of them is a mixture of many personas. Ahmed rejects the purely negative identities, such as the Egyptian identity which may reject European civilization, the Arab nationalism which is anti-Jewish or the whitened American feminism which invalidates Islamic religions. By reviewing the process of identity shaping as both an Arab and a Muslim woman in Ahmed’s autobiography, this easy argues that the identity shaping of Ahmed is the consequence of both her childhood experience in Egypt and the adulthood reflection about cultural prejudices. Ahmed has brought together the various identities of her own during this process and warns people about the risks of polarizing self-definitions.
The Westernized environment had been exposed to Ahmed by her parents when she was still a young girl in Cairo. Ahmed was born and grew up in a typical Egyptian elite family in the outskirt of Cairo during the middle of 20th century. The middle of 20th century demonstrates the ending of British occupation of Egypt. In history, Egypt had been occupied by British forces in the late 19th century during the Anglo-Egyptian war (Lecture Notes, 2015). The British occupation over Egypt had lasted until 1956, when the Anglo-Egyptian agreement had been signed after the Suez Crisis (Lecture Notes, 2015). This colonial occupation has significant social influence in Egypt. Historically, Egypt is an ethnical and religious pluralism country. Muslim, Christian and Jewish had all lived tighter in this society. However, with the British occupation, more European bourgeoisie had move to Egypt and enjoyed legal and economic privileges. The original pluralism culture of Egyptian society had moved towards the colonization rules by British government. This lead to the tension between local Christian population, the Copts, and the Muslim population.
The first collision between Western culture and indigenous identity experienced by Ahmed probably took place in her family. Ahmed’s father is an engineer who respects science and critical thing. According to Ahmed (2012), her father "internalize the colonial beliefs about the superiority of European civilization" (p. 25). While Ahmed’s mother, who is from the Turkish upper class, represents the colonized culture of Egypt in the family. At home, they speak different languages, English, Turkish, Arabic, or French. And Ahmed may read books by western authors while at the same time learn about mystic stories or traditions of Islam. She lives a white life in Egypt and becomes colored Arab latter in England. The family provide Ahmed a hybrid approach to understand the world. As concluded by Ahmed, "we always embody in our multiple shifting consciousnesses a convergence of traditions, cultures, histories coming together in this time and this place and moving like rivers through us" (Ahmed 2012, p. 25).
Though the contemporary society of Egypt and also her family had been influenced greatly by the Western civilization, Ahmed had not been assimilated by Western civilization blindly. In contrast, she had gradually developed the national identity of being an Arab through the cultural collisions. Ahmed grew up in Egypt and had went through various historical events as a child. All those crucial political and historical moments, such as the nationalization of the Suez Canal, the war with Israel in 1948 and the Nasserite socialism, has helped construct Ahmed’s identity as an Arab (Ahmed 2012). Western cultures and civilization brought political and cultural innovation in this middle east county. And those historical and political moments actually formed and reinforced Ahmed’s Arab identity.
One illustration about Ahmed’s ideological construction of the Arab identity is the departure of her close friend from Egypt. Ahmed’s best fried Joyce is a Jewish. During the nationalization of the Suez Canal, the confrontation between Britain and Egypt had improved the social position of Jews in Egypt. The Egyptian president, Gamal Abdel Nasser had declared that those Jews in Egypt could stay in this country "if they give up their foreign passports and accept Egyptian nationality" (Ahmed 2012, p. 174). Joyce’s family would not abandon their Jewish identity. They chose to leave Egypt and immigrate to England. Friendship between the two girls ends with the constructions of two ideologically different personas. Joyce represents the Egyptian Jew who is wandering in England while Ahmed is the Muslim struggling with Arabism in Egypt.
Ahmed’s experience in the Western world has further enhanced her Arab identity. She realized that she lives with two different notions of the Arab. The Western has constructed a notion of Arab which is different from the one perceived by Arabs themselves. She is against the Western idealized notion of Arab through which “other peoples inventions, imputations, false constructions of who[she was], or what ought to think or believed or feel “(Ahmed 2012, p.255). This notion of Arab is constructed by the stereotype towards Arabs by Western people. Though the comparison between the Westernized notion of Arab and the notion from Arabic world, Ahmed has constructed stronger ethnic identity.
And her encounters with other colleagues who are also from Middle East during her stay in England and the United Arab Emirates has made Ahmed further realized the difference of being an Arab and being an Egyptian. It is curial to firstly understood the definition of several ideological terms such as the Zionism and the Arabism. Zionism was the ideology which aims to create an independent sovereignty for Jewish people (Lecture Notes, 2015). It is formed as a kind of nationalism which believes that there are rights for people with shared ethnic and religious identities to constructed their own country (Lecture Notes, 2015). In contrast, Arabism is the opposition to nationalism. It argues that all Arabs should constitute a single nation. Arab ethnicity and the Islamic religion are the foundations of national identity for Arabism (Hourani, 2002). The Arabism had became a popular movement in the Middle East during the middle of 20th century. Europeans had withdrawn their political involvement in those middle Eastern countries (Hourani, 2002). The removal of colonial influence give the freedom of Arab nations to reconsidered their identities and shared interests (Hourani, 2002). Ahmed has red about the history of Egyptian from different perspectives. Her understanding about “ Egypt and its relation to the Arabs” has been shifted through the reading about "the history of Jews in Egypt and about Egypt's relation to Zionism and Palestinians" (Ahmed 2012, p.249). For Ahmed, this is the period of self-enlightenment of her Arab identity. She states that “the world was not as [she] assumed it to be and its seas and continents after all were [she] thought they were” (Ahmed 2012, p.249). Through reading the history of Egypt and combining her childhood experience, Ahmed comes to a clearer cultural identity as a Muslim Arab, in both western world and the Arab world.
In addition, her Muslim identity as a female has also been formed through the collisions with Western civilization. Ahmed felt that she was identified by others as a colored person in England and “a woman of color when [she] went to America” (Ahmed 2012, p.238). When she started to read American authors during the 1970s, Ahmed was introduced to the concept of feminism. She came to the Unite States aiming to utilized feminist approach in academic researches and experienced the whiteness of American feminism. Ahmed argues that “white women, Christian women, Jewish women - could rethink their heritage and religions and traditions”, while in contrast, “we [Muslim scholars] had to abandon ours because they were just intrinsically, essentially, and irredeemably misogynist and patriarchal in a way that theirs (apparently) were not"( Ahmed 2012, 292). For the American feminism, Islamic females have been treated differently compared with those white groups. It is necessary to remove the white prejudices about Muslim women. Her female identity of being a Muslim has been shaped through cultural collisions, and also through Ahmed’s reflection on whiteness and prejudice
In conclusion, Ahmed’s identities as both an Arab and a Muslim woman have been shaped through the collisions between Arabic culture and the influence of Western civilization. Various political and social revolutions which influenced by European colonization had taken place in Egypt during Ahmed’s childhood. Those experiences initially formed Ahmed’s cultural identity. And when encountering with the Western world during the adulthood, the totally different recognition and prejudice has pushed Ahmed to reflect and rethink her identities as both an Arab and a Muslim woman. It is both the childhood experience in Egypt and the adulthood reflection under Western culture have shaped Ahmen’s identities as an Arab and a Muslim woman.
Ahmed, L. (2012). A Border Passage: From Cairo to America-A Woman's Journey.
Hourani, A. (2002). A history of the Arab peoples. Faber & Faber.
Lecture Notes, (2015). Hist 135 Course Title. Fall 2015, College Name.