Article Title

The Nation of Islam


That we have chosen to reproduce only six of the nine original thesis chapters is not primarily due to reasons of space. In the original work Sahib's empirical content is often subordinated to debates over methodological concerns-issues which may have been of compelling interest to sociologists a half century ago, but whichconsiderably distract from the subject of the NOI itself. For that reason the following sections have been omitted: an introductory chapter bearing on "The Nature of the Investigation "; a theoretical chapter on "Leadership and Emergence of the Cult," which, in our humble opinion, adds precious little to any understanding of NOI leadership; and a summary chapter setting forth the "Conclusions and Theoretical Implications" of the study. This section, too, may be safely ignored without injury to one's grasp of the material. Of course, those who wish to examine the methodical questions in their original flavor are encouraged to do so. One issue which may prove of greater concern to readers than these abridgments, however, is the fact that the shortened version of Sahib's thesis presented here has been lightly edited-mainly for grammatical reasons but occasionally for errors offact. While Dr. Sahib was undoubtedly fluent in his native language, the same cannot be said for his writing skills in English. For this reason one can only speculate as to whether the carefree syntax which often infuses the transcribed interviews of NOI members is mainly the product of the interviewer or the interviewee. Like most theses, Sahib': was hardly intended for publication in its original form) and would have required extensive revision had he submitted it) or sections thereof, to a journal or publishing house. As a general course, to have inserted brackets for the purpose of calling attention to editorial modifications would have rendered sections of the manuscript difficult to read, and for that reason we have usually opted not to do so. After briefly perusing the manuscript, some may wonder if it has been edited at all; one should note that only the more egregious passages have been allowed to fall beneath the editor's scalpel.