Lewis, Bernard 1916-

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LEWIS, Bernard 1916-

PERSONAL: Born May 31, 1916, in London, England; immigrated to United States, 1974, naturalized citizen, 1982; son of Harry (in business) and Jane (a housewife; maiden name, Levy) Lewis; married Ruth Helene Oppenhejm, 1947 (divorced, 1974); children: Melanie, Michael. Education: University of London, B.A. (with first-class honors), 1936, Ph.D., 1939; University of Paris, diplome des etudes semitiques, 1937.

ADDRESSES: Home—Princeton, NJ. Office—Department of Near Eastern Studies, 110 Jones Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544; Institute for Advanced Study, Olden Lane, Princeton, NJ 08540.

CAREER: University of London, London School of Oriental and African Studies, London, England, professor of history of the Near and Middle East, 1949-74; Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, Cleveland E. Dodge Professor of Near Eastern Studies, 1974-86,

professor emeritus, 1986—; Cornell University, A. D. White Professor at Large, 1984-90; Annenberg Research Institute, Philadelphia, PA, director, 1986-90. Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, visiting member, 1969, long-term member, 1974—. Visiting professor at University of California, Los Angeles, 1955-56, Columbia University, 1960, Indiana University, 1963, University of California, Berkeley, 1965, College de France, 1980, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, 1983, and University of Chicago, 1985. Class of 1932 lecturer at Princeton University, 1964; Gottesman lecturer at Yeshiva University, 1974; Douglas Robb Foundation lecturer at University of Auckland, New Zealand, 1982. Testified before U.S. Senate committees on several occasions. Military service: British Army, 1940-41; served in Royal Armoured Corps and Intelligence Corps; attached to Foreign Office, 1941-45.

MEMBER: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Historical Society, American Oriental Society, American Philosophical Society, Council on Foreign Relations, Royal Historical Society, Royal Asiatic Society, Royal Institute of International Affairs, British Academy (fellow, 1963—), Institut d'Egypte (associate member, 1969—), Turkish Historical Society (honorary member, 1972—), Ataturk Academy of History, Language, and Culture (honorary member, 1984—), Societe Asiatique (honorary member, 1984—), Athenaeum Club, Princeton Club (New York City).

AWARDS, HONORS: Honorary doctorates from Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1973, and Tel Aviv University, 1979; citation of honor, Turkish Ministry of Culture, 1973; named fellow of University College, London, 1976; Harvey Prize, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, 1978; National Endowment for the Humanities fellow, 1990; Ataturk Peace Prize, 1998; George Polk Award, 2001.


The Origins of Ismailism: A Study of the Historical Background of the Fatimid Caliphate, W. Heffer, 1940.

Turkey Today, Hutchinson (London, England), 1940.

(Collector) Child Heroes of South Africa, illustrated by Joyce Ordbrown, Unie-volkspers Beperk (Cape Town, South Africa), 1940.

(Translator, with Elize D. Lewis) Tales from the Malay Quarter, M. Miller (Cape Town, South Africa), 1945.

A Handbook of Diplomatic and Political Arabic, Luzac (London, England), 1947.

(Editor) Land of Enchanters: Egyptian Short Stories from the Earliest Times to the Present Day, illustrated by Ali Nur, Harvill Press, 1948, reprinted, Marcus Weiner Publications (Princeton, NJ), 2001.

The Arabs in History, Hutchinson University Library, 1950, Harper (New York, NY), 1960, 6th edition, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1993.

Notes and Documents from the Turkish Archives: A Contribution to the History of the Jews in the Ottoman Empire, Israel Oriental Society (Jerusalem, Israel), 1952.

The Emergence of Modern Turkey, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1961, 2nd revised edition, 1968.

(Translator and author of introduction and notes) Solomon ben Judah Ibn Gabirol, The Kingly Crown (poem), Vallentine, Mitchell, 1961.

(Editor, with P. M. Holt) Historians of the Middle East, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1962.

Istanbul and the Civilization of the Ottoman Empire, University of Oklahoma Press (Norman, OK), 1963.

The Middle East and the West, Indiana University Press (Bloomington, IN), 1964.

The Assassins: A Radical Sect in Islam, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 1967, Basic Books (New York, NY), 1968.

(Editor, with P. M. Holt and Ann K. S. Lambton) The Cambridge History of Islam, Volume 1: The Central Islamic Lands, Volume 2: The Further Islamic Lands, Islamic Society, and Civilization, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1970.

Race and Color in Islam, Harper (New York, NY), 1971.

Islam in History: Ideas, Men, and Events in the Middle East, Library Press, 1973, revised and expanded edition, Open Court (Chicago, IL), 1993.

(Editor and translator) Islam: From the Prophet Muhammad to the Capture of Constantinople, Volume 1: Politics and War, Volume 2: Religion and Society, Harper (New York, NY), 1974.

History—Remembered, Recovered, Invented, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1975.

Studies in Classical and Ottoman Islam: Seventh to Sixteenth Centuries, Valorium Reprints (London, England), 1976.

(Editor and contributor) The World of Islam: Faith, People, Culture, Thames & Hudson (London, England), 1976, published as Islam and the Arab World: Faith, People, Culture, Knopf (New York, NY), 1976.

(With Amnon Cohen) Population and Revenue in the Towns of Palestine in the Sixteenth Century, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1978.

(Author of introduction and additional notes) Ignaz Goldziher, Introduction to Islamic Theology and Law, translated by Andras and Ruth Hamori, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1981.

(Editor and translator) Diwan, Poems in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Hebrew: Eighth to Eighteenth Centuries, Holmes & Meier (New York, NY), 1981.

The Muslim Discovery of Europe, W. W. Norton (New York, NY), 1982, reprinted, 2002.

(Editor, with Benjamin Braude) Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire: The Functioning of a Plural Society, Volume 1: The Central Lands, Volume 2: The Arabic-Speaking Lands, Holmes & Meier (New York, NY), 1982.

The Jews of Islam, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1985.

Semites and Anti-Semites: An Inquiry into Conflict and Prejudice, W. W. Norton (New York, NY), 1986.

The Political Language of Islam, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1988, reprinted, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2002.

Race and Slavery in the Middle East: An Historical Enquiry, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1990.

Islam and the West, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1993.

The Shaping of the Modern Middle East, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1994.

(Editor, with Dominique Schnapper) Muslims in Europe, Pinter (New York, NY), 1994.

The Middle East: Two Thousand Years of History from the Rise of Christianity to the Present Day, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 1995, published as The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last Two Thousand Years, Scribner (New York, NY), 1995.

Cultures in Conflict: Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the Age of Discovery, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1995.

(Editor) A Middle East Mosaic: Fragments of Life, Letters, and History, Random House (New York, NY), 1999.

The Multiple Identities of the Middle East, Schocken Books (New York, NY), 1999.

(Translator and author of introduction) Music of a Distant Drum: Classical Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Hebrew Poems, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2001.

What Went Wrong? Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2002.

(Translator and author of introduction) Keter Malkhut, The Kingly Crown, University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN), 2003.

The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror, Modern Library (New York, NY), 2003.

Coeditor of The Encyclopaedia of Islam, E. J. Brill, 1956—. Contributor to periodicals, including Foreign Affairs, Daedalus, Commentary, New Republic, New York Review of Books, American Scholar, and the New York Times Book Review.

Contributor to volumes such as The Legacy of Islam, 2nd edition, 1974, published as Politics and War in Islam, Program in Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University, 1975, and Wirtschaftsgeschichte des Vorderen Orients in islamischer Zeit, E. J. Brill, 1977.

WORK IN PROGRESS: "A history of the Holy Land and a book on Islam and democracy."

SIDELIGHTS: In the course of his lengthy career as a scholar and professor of Near and Middle Eastern history, Bernard Lewis has written, translated, and edited numerous articles and books, several of which have come to be considered Orientalist classics. Lewis first attracted the attention of fellow Orientalists with his doctoral thesis, The Origins of Ismailism, which was published with revisions in 1940; he proceeded to gain prestige when he spent a year among the Turkish archives—a rare opportunity for a Westerner—and has since sustained a reputation for innovative perspective, thorough research, and clear, informative prose.

Among Lewis's most acclaimed publications is the 1961 book The Emergence of Modern Turkey. In this work he studies the revolutionary changes that have occurred since the seventeenth century in Turkey's cultural, religious, social, economic, and political attitudes, beliefs, and practices. "Based on both Turkish and other sources," H. N. Howard explained in Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Lewis's Emergence of Modern Turkey "is a model study of the development of nationalism in the Near East and should be read because of its wider implications as well." Moreover, Howard noted, "it has some excellent illustrations of both the old and the new in Turkey." An American Historical Review critic also praised the book, deeming it an "authoritative contribution by a distinguished English historian, which fills a long-existing need for an interpretive study of developments in Turkey during the last two centuries." And a Times Literary Supplement reviewer concluded, "No book, until the present one by Professor Lewis, has enabled us to see the emergence of modern Turkey in full historical perspective."

Lewis again drew critics' accolades for editing the 1976 book Islam and the Arab World: Faith, People, Culture, published in Britain as The World of Islam. He also contributed two essays and an epilogue to the volume, which is comprised of pieces by scholars specializing in Islamic and Arabic cultures. According to Charles Issawi, reviewing The World of Islam in the Times Literary Supplement, "Bernard Lewis, one of the foremost Islamicists, has put together a first-class team gathered from four continents, who between them cover Islamic history and culture in a comprehensive and authoritative way. All but the most advanced experts in any given field can learn much from it." Yet, the critic continued, "This is a book not for specialists but for the general reader, … who will find here much information, lucidly and interestingly presented, and many insights into one of the world's major civilizations." Reviewing Islam and the Arab World in the New York Times, Alden Whitman described the collection as "a thinking man's guide to the faith, customs, culture and history of a large segment of the civilized world." Explained Whitman, "With the help of some thirteen ranking Islamicists and Arabists in the West, Professor Lewis has produced a splendid survey that is agreeably enriched by almost 500 photographs, reproductions, drawings and maps, 160 of them in color." Furthermore, observed David Pryce-Jones in the New Republic: "The general reader for once is not being solicited to vote for or against the Arabs, or indeed anyone. On the contrary, here is a free-for-all invitation to accompany a baker's dozen of professors on a tour of their subjects—though it is not for easy-riders or slackers."

Several critics commented on the range of topics covered by Islam and the Arab World as a whole, and on the depth and breadth of each individual essay, made especially remarkable by the complexity of a religion and culture that spans some twelve hundred years and several continents. As Whitman observed, "The basics of Islam as a religion are similar wherever it put down its roots," so it "is a culture of many common features." But, the critic remarked, Islam is "also of great diversity as a result of disparate geographic, ethnic and historical forces." Nonetheless, reviewers of Islam and the Arab World agreed that the essayists competently and informatively compress their vast topics into their allotted space and, as Whitman expressed it, together "manage to impose an order of sorts on the multinational constituents of Islamic culture."

Lewis also garnered praise aimed specifically at his contributions to Islam and the Arab World. Describing Lewis's introductory essay as "a brisk and compact history" of Islam "that is virtually a primer," Whitman noted that "Lewis employs to excellent effect his lucidity of style in explaining the Islamic faith and those who profess it." Pryce-Jones judged the essay to be "as masterly a survey of the rise of the great Muslim empires as is possible in a few thousand words." Issawi commended Lewis for his epilogue in which he brings modern-day Islam and its renewed wealth and power—based largely on the Middle East's vast petroleum resources—into focus. Lewis observes in his epilogue: "For the first time in centuries the Muslims have, in some measure, the power to choose their own form of government and to decide their own fate. The choices that they have made and are continuing to make will affect the course of history, for themselves and for many others, for a long time to come." Remarked Issawi, "This is a fitting note on which to conclude this informative, absorbing, lucidly written and beautifully illustrated book."

In his 1982 book The Muslim Discovery of Europe, Lewis presents the history of Muslim and European societies' knowledge of one another and their attitudes toward acquiring this knowledge, focusing in particular on the often-neglected Muslim perspective. R. W. Southern explained in his New York Review of Books critique of the book: Lewis "was prompted to write it when he observed that, while much had been written about the discovery of Islam by Europeans, there was no connected account of the parallel process of Muslim discovery of Europe. He has now provided one with precision and authority.… The book covers every side of Muslim life in its bearing on attitudes to Europe, and an extraordinarily wide range of Muslim historians, geographers, diplomats, administrators, and writers on trade and government is used to complete the picture." David Williams similarly remarked in Newsweek that The Muslim Discovery of Europe "is an attempt to cover more than a thousand years of East-West relations from the Muslim point of view and, predictably, it's filled with the rude shocks and occasional pleasant surprises that come with seeing ourselves as others see us." And according to Williams, "The rudest shock of all" rendered by Lewis's book "may be to learn how little the Muslims did see of 'the infidel' and how even less they cared."

Lewis speculates on the reasons for this Islamic indifference, as opposed to the European, and thus largely Christian, interest in Islamic culture, in The Muslim Discovery of Europe. For many years, as J. D. Gurney explained in the Times Literary Supplement, "It was, as Lewis recognizes, Christians who had greater need and also greater opportunity for understanding their neighbors." Their fear of Islam's military prowess and potential threat to Christianity in its claims to more recent and therefore more perfect divine revelation, and their desire to improve European standards of learning and living, led the Europeans to seek contact with Muslim society in order to meet its challenges and profit by its superior stores of scholarly and material riches. Moreover, the Muslims' very indifference allowed Europeans to travel and inhabit Islamic lands more freely than Muslims could European lands. As Lewis remarks: "The Christian attitude toward Islam was far more bigoted and intolerant than that of the Muslims to Christianity." But, Southern commented, it "should be added that the reasons for this intolerance, namely hatred of any kind of heresy or schism and the fear of Islam's strength, are the reasons also why Europeans were more interested in the nature of Islam than Muslims in the nature of Christendom."

European Christians thought that understanding the nature of Islam would enable them to defuse Islam's power by exposing its inadequacies as a religion. Islam, on the other hand, succeeded Christianity in its inception and therefore considered the Christian faith an inferior predecessor. Moreover, as Gurney explained, "Muslim civilization had been established through conquest and developed so rapidly that it could afford to feel arrogant towards the backward barbarians of Europe." But, Gurney continued, "as Lewis rightly points out, this explanation cannot hold good for the whole period" of history treated in The Muslim Discovery of Europe. "From the late fifteenth century onwards, the Ottomans shared a common frontier with an increasingly powerful enemy [Europe]. They had both the need and the opportunity for closer study; they failed to respond and their attitudes," which had been "assimilated into the Islamic heritage [and had] survived into a period when its earlier vigour had been sapped," became "dangerously obsolete."

Eventually, Lewis explains, Islam realized that significant technological developments, and with them increased military power, had made Europe a neighbor both to respect and to fear. Islamic interest in Europe grew, and by the eighteenth century, as Europe became increasingly secularized (i.e., as Europeans began to rely more on reason, logic, and scientific method as opposed to faith in divine revelation and tradition), studying European society and its resources became more acceptable. As Lewis observed: "Secularism as such had, of course, no special attraction for Muslims, quite the reverse; but an ideology which was non-Christian could be considered by Muslims with a detachment that was not possible for doctrines tainted with a rival religion. In such a secular or, rather, religiously neutral ideology, Muslims might even hope to find the talisman that would give them the secrets of Western knowledge and progress without endangering their own traditions and way of life."

In time, as some reviewers of The Muslim Discovery of Europe observed, adopting secular ways of thinking would prove a challenge to the religious authority of Islamic society and provoke Islamic theologians to resist Western influences. Lewis, however, takes his subject only as far as the Muslims' recognition of the West as a potential power with which to be reckoned. "When this was grasped, the real Muslim discovery of Europe starts," remarked Gurney. But, he concluded, "at this point the book disappointingly ends." Southern likewise commented that the unfolding of the attitudes of Islam toward Western thought after 1840 "deserves another volume," but he concluded that "no one is better qualified to write it than the author of this distinguished work." The critic also praised Lewis for the amount of "rare and exact information" that The Muslim Discovery of Europe provides within its roughly one-thousand-year scope and commented: "No doubt many more details can be added, but it is hard to believe that the general picture will be greatly altered by any future work.… What we are given is a remark able collection of new information, which will be of deep interest to students of European history."

In 1985's The Jews of Islam Lewis studies Islamic attitudes toward another cultural group as he recounts the history of the Jewish minority in Islam-dominated lands of the Middle East and North Africa from about the sixth century onward. Lawrence Rosen explained in the Times Literary Supplement: "In a masterful synthesis [Lewis] argues that until quite recent times there existed a symbiosis of Muslims and Jews quite unlike anything that ever developed in the West. Indeed, he suggests, we can speak of a Judaeo-Islamic tradition which may well have been stronger and deeper than the more familiar Judaeo-Christian." In setting forth this argument, Lewis cites observations written by Muslim and Jewish poets, scholars, and politicians on the often humiliating and discriminatory but nonviolent tolerance to which the Jews were subject. He also, according to Alain Silvera, who critiqued The Jews of Islam for the New York Times Book Review, examines various "interpretations of the Jewish experience under Moslem domination," giving them "greater relevance" by looking at the evolution of this experience "in terms of Islam's own distinctive chronology," rather than in terms of the corresponding European periods of history. "By doing this," continued Silvera, "he makes the shifting relations between Jews and Moslems more intelligible." One shift in particular that Lewis discusses in The Jews of Islam is the breakdown of the Judaeo-Islamic symbiosis in modern times, and he links this deterioration to the disruption of traditional Islamic society by the introduction, since the eighteenth century, of Western ideas and attitudes. As Rosen noted: "Muslims may have held their Jewish neighbors in contempt, Lewis concludes, but it was only when the pattern of tolerated protection was broken and Western theories of racial and religious hostility were introduced that the Judaeo-Islamic tradition was finally undermined and its history brought to an end." Silvera commented of Lewis's treatment of the later stages of Jewish-Muslim interaction: "The details for this more recent period, made familiar by an abundance of sources, are given shape and meaning by Mr. Lewis's emphasis on people's attitudes and perceptions. The Jews of Islam are no more, but their story over fourteen centuries is recounted here with sympathy, wit and authority." The critic concluded that The Jews of Islam "is an elegant and masterly survey. It is a measure of Mr. Lewis's gift for synthesis that all the many findings of recent scholarship, including his own in the Turkish archives, are made to fit into a coherent and plausible pattern."

In 1986 Lewis left his full-time teaching career at Princeton University to devote more time to his writing. While maintaining contact with students of the Near and Middle East through his post as A. D. White Professor at Large at Cornell University from 1986 to 1990, he went on to publish a number of other books, including Semites and Anti-Semites: An Inquiry into Conflict and Prejudice, Race and Slavery in the Middle East, Islam and the West, and The Political Language of Islam. Based on a series of lectures given in 1986, The Political Language of Islam delves into the meaning of such terms as jihad ("holy war") and faqih (legal scholar), which often refer to concepts alien to Westerner students of Eastern cultures. Covering the Arabic, Persian, and Turkish languages spoken in the more highly politicizes regions of the Middle East, the volume does not include the lesser-known languages spoken by inhabitants of the area's more remote regions. Lewis, instead, concentrates his study on the semantics and etymology of the written language of urban politics. In her critique of the volume for the American Historical Review, Marilyn Robinson Waldman took issue with the historian's relatively narrow approach, noting that Lewis's "reliance on textualized language raises a problem not limited to the Orientalist but in fact common to many historians of ideas," as the interconnectedness of texts from differing provenances or political persuasions must be assumed for comparisons between terms to be made at all. While noting that the volume contains "limitations and dead-ends," P. Edward Haley maintained in his review for the Los Angeles Times Book Review that "The Islamic political tradition emerges as far more complex, diverse, humane, and, therefore, worthy of respect than one would have imagined before reading [Lewis's] book."

Islam and the West, published in 1993, is an anthology of essays reprinted from scholarly journals and other periodicals that reflects what New York Times Book Review commentator Ira M. Lapidus referred to as Lewis's "great learning, his deep knowledge of Arabic philology, his masterly acquaintance with the history and culture of the Middle East, and his intimate familiarity with the relations of East and West." The collection is divided into three sections: encounters between East and West, the evolving European view of Islam, and the responses to that evolving viewpoint by Middle Eastern leaders. Within Islam and the West—particularly in the essay titled "The Question of Orientalism"—Lewis stages a counterattack on the anti-Orientalist movement that grew in U.S. academic circles during the 1980s and that views "Orientalists" in a derogatory light as what Lapidus called "agents of intellectual and political imperialism, scholars dedicated to a discourse that fosters oppression of Eastern peoples by Western." Although Lapidus acknowledged that Lewis's view of the Middle East was indeed "antagonistic," "he is correct in many of responses," diminishing the academic criticism against his approach by noting that scholarly study of the region began long before the rise of Western imperialism. "In examining the broader, Orientalist scholarly position, Lewis, unlike his critics, does not take a monolithic view," concluded New York Review of Books contributor Shaul Bakhash. "He does not conclude that because there was scholarship and there was empire, the two must converge.… He avoids dogmatic positions himself and sees dogma as something to be analyzed. It is this sense of nuance, of historical setting, of honesty to [historic] texts, that informs the essays in Islam and the West."

With 2003's The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror, Lewis offers a detailed analysis of "the violence [and] hostility to the West in the modern Islamic world," wrote Jasper Griffin in the Spectator. Lewis's book is aimed at those Americans who wondered in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States by Islamic fundamentalists, "Why do the Muslims hate us?," wrote Harry Levins in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "His answer: A lot of them don't, and those who do have motives that bear some looking at," Levins observed. "The Crisis of Islam examines these motives—some zany, some entirely rational. If the book offers no easy answers, it at least gives the general reader some easy-to-grasp insights into the nature of the problem," Levins remarked.

Lewis traces the origins and early history of Islam, "stressing the amazing early successes of the new faith from the deserts of Arabia," Griffin wrote. "A creed which was warlike from the beginning, founded by a prophet who was himself a conqueror and a statesman, it came from nowhere, and in 100 years it destroyed the Persian empire and conquered great parts of the empire of Byzantium," sweeping through North Africa, Egypt, Tunisia, and into France, Griffin remarked. In addition to martial prowess, "Islamic science and scholarship kept more of the legacy of Greece and were for centuries ahead of those of Europe," Griffin wrote.

During the last 300 years, however, Christianity resurged, "and the Christians, the despised Unbelievers, came back from apparent defeat and irrelevance to dominate the Middle East," remaking it to reflect their attitudes and desires, bringing in Western ways and foreign thought, creating new political states and dividing old ones, Griffin wrote. "Islam as such is not an enemy of the West, and there are growing numbers of Muslims, both here and there, who desire nothing better than a closer and more friendly relationship with the west and the development of democratic institutions in their own countries," observed Michael Potemra in the National Review. Lewis finds "no justification in Islamic doctrine and no precedent in Islamic history" for such radicalism as the September 11 attacks and the subsequent continued terrorism, Potemra stated.

Some critics expressed harsh views towards The Crisis of Islam. Siddhartha Deb, writing in the Boston Globe, called the notion that Islam is angry for losing its dominance in the world "an old and pernicious argument," and commented on the "stale rhetoric emanating from" Lewis's basic arguments. An Economist reviewer stated that the book "does little to help the reader to form even a rough view about how many Muslims are sympathetic to this bleak bin Ladenesque interpretation of Islam." Others, such as Potemra, found much more to appreciate about Lewis's volume. "Lewis provides an excellent brief summary for the nonspecialist of how what was once 'the leading civilization in the world' came to be seen by many as synonymous with all that is most sinister in the human heart," Potemra wrote. "And he does so with an intellectual sensitivity that makes his book a source of remarkable insights, and a joy to read."

Solving the problem will require direct contact between the West and the Islamic world, Lewis observes. Without deliberate and meaningful attempts by the West to cooperate with forward-looking Muslims, Lewis believes "the reactionaries could make dangerous demographic strides," Levins wrote. "Crisis is more than a good primer," Levins concluded. "It's also fair warning."

In a Wall Street Journal profile of Lewis, Tunku Varadarajan remarked that "Of all the scholars of Islam, Mr. Lewis is the one whom Muslims would do best to heed." Lewis, Varadarajan wrote, "will always be encyclopedic, original, and as near to irrefutable as a man can get in a field that is so combustible."

For a previously published interview, see entry in Contemporary Authors, Volume 118, 1986, pp. 282-288.



Bosworth, C. E., The Islamic World from Classical to Modern Times: Essays in Honor of Bernard Lewis, Darwin Press (Princeton, NJ), 1989.

Lewis, Bernard, Islam and the Arab World: Faith, People, Culture, Knopf, 1976.

Lewis, Bernard, The Muslim Discovery of Europe, Norton, 1982.


American Historical Review, April, 1962, review of The Emergence of Modern Turkey; December, 1991, Marilyn Robinson Waldman, review of The Political Language of Islam, pp. 1586-1587.

Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, March, 1962, H. N. Howard, review of The Emergence of Modern Turkey.

Boston Globe, June 8, 2003, Siddhartha Deb, "An Archaic View of the Making of Modern Islam," p. H8.

Economist, May 3, 2003, "How Many bin Ladens? Islam and the West," pp. 77-78.

Guardian (Manchester, England), April 19, 2003, "Faith, Hope, Not Much Charity," p. 3; September 6, 2003, Terry Eagleton, "September 11: Radical Islam's Fusion of the Primitive and the Progressive Is a Typically Modern Phenomenon," p. 14.

International Social Science Review, spring-summer, 2003, Charles W. McClellan, review of What Went Wrong? Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response, p. 59.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, June 12, 1988, P. Edward Haley, review of The Political Language of Islam, p. 15.

National Review April 7, 2003, Michael Potemra, "The War for Islam," pp. 53-54.

New Republic, November 27, 1976, David Pryce-Jones, review of Islam and the Arab World; August 16-23, 1982.

Newsweek, July 5, 1982, David Williams, review of The Muslim Discovery of Europe, p. 70.

New York Review of Books, November 4, 1982, R. W. Southern, review of The Muslim Discovery of Europe, p. 23; October 7, 1993, Shaul Bakhash, review of Islam and the West, pp. 42-45.

New York Times, September 18, 1976, Alden Whitman, review of Islam and the Arab World.

New York Times Book Review, July 21, 1985, Alain Silvera, review of The Jews of Islam, p. 20; May 30, 1993, Ira M. Lapidus, review of Islam and the West, pp. 8-9.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 4, 2003, Harry Levins, review of The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror, p. F12.

Spectator, April 12, 2003, Jasper Griffin, "Why Do They Hate Us?," pp. 35-36.

Times Literary Supplement, September 29, 1961, review of The Emergence of Modern Turkey; April 30, 1976, Charles Issawi, review of The World of Islam: Faith, People, Culture; March 11, 1983, J. D. Gurney, review of The Muslim Discovery of Europe; June 7, 1985, Lawrence Rosen, review of The Jews of Islam, p. 648; April 11, 2003, Francis Robinson, "Thoroughly Modern Muslims," p. 26.

Wall Street Journal, September 23, 2003, Tunku Varadarajan, "Lewis of Arabia," p. A24.


Barnes & Noble Web site,http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ (November 14, 2003), interview with Bernard Lewis.

Princeton University Web site,http://www.princeton.edu/ (November 14, 2003), biography of Bernard Lewis.*