Landau, Rom, 1899-1974

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Author, educator, expert on Morocco. Born (1899) in England. Educated in Europe -- chiefly in Germany. First trip to Morocco (1924) stimulated life-long interest in Islamic civilization. Developed acquaintanceships with many important Arab statesmen in years before World War II. Published books and articles in support of increased Arab independence. Published (with A.J. Arberry) standard work on 20th century Islam (1943). Member of Royal Air Force and British Foreign Office (1939-1945). Author of many works on Morocco (1948-1963). Biographer of first twentieth century kings of independent Morocco (1957, 1962). Taught at American Academy of Asian Studies, San Francisco (1953-56) which affiliated with University of the Pacific (1954). Became Professor Islamic Studies (1956-68). Served as Peace Corps Advisor for Morocco (1962-63). Retired to Marrakesh, Morocco (1968).

From the description of Middle East collection, 1840-1970. (University of the Pacific). WorldCat record id: 31695088

Romuald (Rom) Landau was born in an area of Poland that was then under Tsarist Russian control on October 17, 1899. He was a sculptor, author, educator, foreign service officer, and specialist on Arab and islamic culture. His particular area of interest was Morocco, and he authored numberous works about Morocco, mainly in the 1950s and 1960s. He was an art critic and book reviewer for several newspapers and periodicals, including The Spectator. Landau died in 1974.

From the description of The Rom Landau Collection, 1899-1965. (University of California, Santa Barbara). WorldCat record id: 48626402

Rom Landau (1899-1974) was a sculptor, author, educator and Arabist. Although born in Poland, he became a British citizen and served as a volunteer in the Royal Air Force during World War II. His particular area of interest was Morocco, and he authored numerous works about Morocco and the Middle East, mainly in the 1950s and 1960s. He taught Islamic Studies at the College of the Pacific in Stockton, CA, and was also an artist and art critic. His extensive knowledge of Arabic issues earned him a place on the Arab committee of the Intelligence Department of the British Foreign Office.

From the guide to the Rom Landau Papers, 1927-1979, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)

Romauld (Rom) Landau was born in England, October 17, 1899. He was a sculptor, author, educator (including University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA), foreign service officer, and specialist on Arab and Islamic culture. His particular area of interest was Morocco, and he authored numerous works about Morocco, mainly in the 1950s and 1960s. He also was an art critic and book reviewer for several newspapers and periodicals, including The Spectator . Landau died in 1974.

From the guide to the Rom Landau Collection, 1899-1965, (University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Department of Special Collections)

Biography / Administrative History

Rom Landau (1899-1974), author and professor of Islamic Studies, was born in England of Polish-German parents. He studied philosophy, art, and religion at various European schools and universities--notably in Germany--taking no degrees and spending his early years traveling and working as a sculptor. During the late 1920s and early 1930s Landau established a minor reputation in Europe as a writer. His themes were art history, Polish biography, and comparative religion. Landau's best known book from these years bears the title God is my adventure (Knopf, 1935). He was a co-founder of the World Congress of Faiths, London (1936).

Rom Landau first visited Morocco in 1924. From that time he became a student of Islamic civilization. Landau taught himself Arabic and spent as much time as he could afford living and traveling in North Africa and the Middle East. In 1937 he visited King Ibn Saud, King Abdallah of Jordan, and other secular and religious leaders of the Middle East. Landau subsequently published a book, Arm the Apostles (1938), about this trip in which he advocates arming the Arabs so that they might aid the British and French in the coming war with Nazi Germany.

Landau served in the Royal Air Force (1939-41) and was a member of the Arab Committee of the Intelligence Department of the British Foreign Office (1941-45) during World War II. During this period he published (with A.J. Arberry) the standard work Islam Today (Cambridge, 1943). Following the War, Landau returned to North Africa where he established close personal ties with Sultan of Morocco and other Arab leaders of liberation movements. Landau discreetly supported these groups although his interest in the cause of Arab independence would seem to have been motivated more by a traditionalist's wish to slow the modernization and Europeanization of the region than to improve the living standards of the common people.

Beginning in 1948 Rom Landau devoted his writing skills exclusively to Morocco and Moroccan affairs. Over the subsequent five year period Landau published Invitation to Morocco (1950); Moroccan Journal (1951); The Beauty of Morocco (1951); The Sultan of Morocco (1952); Morocco (for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1952); Portrait of Tangier (1953); and France and the Arabs (1953). Later he would publish a study of Moroccan drama (1956), biographies of King Mohammed V (1957) and Hassan II (1962), as well as a History of Morocco in the Twentieth Century (1963). Landau also wrote numerous essays and book reviews for The Reporter, The New Statesman, The Spectator, and other British and American periodicals of the day.

Following a lecture tour to the United States (1952-53) Landau settled in San Francisco where he was employed by Alan Watts' American Academy of Asian Studies. The Academy soon affiliated with the University of the Pacific, Stockton (1954), and Landau subsequently became a professor of Islamic Studies at the University (1956-68). In 1962-63 he supervised the Peace Corps training program that prepared volunteers for service in Morocco. Following his retirement (1968), Landau settled in Marrakesh, where he lived until his death.

From the guide to the Rom Landau Middle East collection, ca. 1920-1970, (University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Dept. of Special Collections)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Rom Landau Papers, 1927-1979 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
creatorOf Swaan, Wim. Wim Swaan photograph collection, 1951-1995. Getty Research Institute
creatorOf Landau, Rom, 1899-1974. The Rom Landau Collection, 1899-1965. University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Library
creatorOf Landau, Rom, 1899-1974. Correspondence : with Theodore Dreiser, 1931. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Landau, R.. Landau, R. : [photography bio file]. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
creatorOf Rom Landau Collection, 1899-1965 University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Department of Special Collections
referencedIn Ryberg, Percy Edward, 1908-. Percy Ryberg Papers, [1910s]-1984. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Landau, Rom, 1899-1974. Middle East collection, 1840-1970. University of the Pacific, William Knox Holt Memorial Library
creatorOf Rom Landau Middle East collection, ca. 1920-1970 University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Dept. of Special Collections
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Bourguiba, Habib, 1903- person
associatedWith Bourguiba, Habib, 1903-2000. person
associatedWith Bowen, Elizabeth, 1899-1973. person
associatedWith Coward, Noel, 1899-1973. person
associatedWith Day Lewis, C. (Cecil), 1904-1972. person
associatedWith Eden, Anthony, Earl of Avon, 1897-1977. person
associatedWith Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965. person
associatedWith Forster, E. M. (Edward Morgan), 1879-1970. person
associatedWith Galsworthy, John, 1867-1933. person
associatedWith Hassan II, King of Morocco, 1929- person
associatedWith Hassan II, King of Morocco, 1929-1999. person
associatedWith Huxley, Aldous, 1894-1963. person
associatedWith Keynes, John Maynard, 1883-1946. person
associatedWith Muḥammad V, King of Morocco, 1909-1961. person
associatedWith Nasser, Gamal Abdel, 1918-1970. person
associatedWith Noyes, Alfred, 1880-1958. person
associatedWith Online Archive of California. corporateBody
associatedWith Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962. person
associatedWith Ryberg, Percy Edward, 1908- person
associatedWith Shaw, Bernard, 1856-1950. person
associatedWith Spencer, Herbert, 1820-1903. person
associatedWith Spender, Stephen, 1909-1995. person
associatedWith Stevenson, Adali E. (Adali Ewing), 1900-1965. person
associatedWith Swaan, Wim. person
associatedWith Toynbee, Arnold, 1889-1975. person
associatedWith Walpole, Hugh, Sir, 1884-1941. person
associatedWith Walska, Ganna. person
associatedWith West, Rebecca, 1892-1983. person
associatedWith Woolf, Virginia, 1882-1941. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Algeria
Africa, French-speaking West - Politics and government - 1960-
Egypt - History - 1952-
Middle East - Economic conditions - 1945-
Pakistan
Africa, North.
Middle East - Politics and government
Tunisia - Description and travel
Tunisia - History - 1956-
Pakistan - Description and travel
Morocco - Description and travel
Morocco |- Kings and rulers
Africa, French-speaking West
Morocco - History
Tunisia
Algeria - History - Revolution, 1954-1962
Middle East
Morocco
Egypt
Morocco.
Subject
Arab countries
Middle Eastern periodicals
Landau, Romauld (Rom)--Archives
Authors, English
Islamic art
Islamic countries--Study and teaching
Islam--Study and teaching
Middle Eastern newspapers
Islamic countries--Civilization
Arabists
Art, Islamic
Israel--Arab conflicts
Arab--Israeli conflict
Islam
Literature--British
Berbers--Songs and music
Occupation
Photographers
Authors
Historians
Function

Person

Birth 1899-10-17

Death 1974-03

Britons

English

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