History is generally told from the perspective of the elite, if only because their records are the most likely to be preserved. But how do we learn about the every day life of people? Toufoul Abou-Hodeib tackles this question using the home as a material archive to present a cultural history of Beirut’s middle class in A Taste for Home: The Modern Middle Class in Ottoman Beirut. Using archival sources from 5 countries, Abou-Hodeib’s research places the home at the intersection of local and global transformations. A Taste for Home: The Modern Middle Class in Ottoman Beirut challenges history, brings women into the foregound and offers an alternative narrative of the social history of the Middle East.
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