In letter to New York Times, Danforth takes issue with Saudi book, characterizations

In his letter to The New York Times, Dana Professor of Anthropology Loring Danforth takes issue with comments journalist Karen Elliott House makes in her book On Saudi Arabia.

Anthropology major Devin Tatro ’14 talks with Saudi men at a desert farm in the Eastern Province during a Short Term trip last spring to Saudi Arabia led by Dana Professor of Anthropology Loring Danforth. This was a rare moment in Saudi society: women talking with men publicly, and not asked to wear the abaya. Photo: Ana Bisaillon ’12.

Danforth’s letter is in response to a review by Michael J. Totten of On Saudi Arabia published in the Times. Danforth takes issue with Totten’s review for not criticizing “House’s portrayal of Saudis as passive, somnolent, undereducated, docile and unquestioningly obedient. These generalizations oversimplify what is in fact a very complex, diverse and rapidly changing society.”

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