August 04, 2004

Under the weather

I know I promised something on Qutb last night, but I'm feeling a bit under the weather (I think the weather is actually partially to blame -- though it's a 75 degrees outside, according to the thermometer outside the kitchen window, the air feels like a warm, wet blanket, and today was really miserable).

I'm just about done reading William Fox, Sol M. Wurtzel and the Early Fox Film Corporation: Letters, 1917-1923, in which I found this interesting tidbit:

Naively, [Sol Wurzel] had produced a modernized version of "Oliver Twist" under the title of Oliver Twist Jr. Fox was justly horrified that his company should be releasing a picture with a character like Fagin just at the time when Henry Ford was waging an anti-Semitic campaign through the pages of the Dearborn Independent. He was determined to stop these attacks against his people and threatened Ford that he would have the bi-weekly Fox newsreels show the results of every accident involving a Ford car.

The correspondence is fascinating, and the editors' notes give just enough background, without being intrusive, to make the obscure bits comprehensible. For those interested in the history of American silent film, I highly recommend.

Posted by Ideofact at August 4, 2004 11:48 PM


I must thank you for all the work you've done on the Qutb series. It has inspired me to delve into his work as well. I picked up a copy of Social Justice in Islam last week from the library and I'm already 2/3 finished with it. I plan on getting Milestones too when I can find it.

I was browsing through Amazon and I ran across Wahhabism by Hamid Algar and it looks like a fascinating book judging by the reviews. But I haven't seen it discussed here or anywhere else online. Have you read it before, if so, would you recommend it?

Posted by: LJ at August 6, 2004 01:04 PM

Thanks for the kind words.

I wrote quite a bit about Social Justice in Islam on Paleo-ideofact (the blogspot incarnation) -- Zack Ajmal of Procrastination has an index of the posts here.

I've read Hamid Algar's book on Wahhabism -- I think Stephen Schwartz treated the subject with far more depth and intelligence in The Two Faces of Islam.

I wrote about Algar's book here and here.

Algar, by the way, is the apologist par excellence for the Iranian theocracy -- maybe I'll dig out his book on the subject and post something about it...

Posted by: Bill at August 6, 2004 03:19 PM