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From Babel to Dragomans


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Bernard Lewis is internationally recognised as an outstanding scholar and historian of Middle Eastern and Islamic history Bernard Lewis's work has become increasingly well known in recent years WHAT WENT WRONG? has sold over 35,000 in paperback and has been sold to 17 countries, spending 15 weeks in the New York Times bestseller list THE CRISIS OF ISLAM was a Sunday Times bestseller This book brings together his very best essays from a lifetime's work Includes unpublished material '[Bernard Lewis] is the best available guide to the fraught and mostly unequal relationships which have developed over such a long time between Muslims and non-Muslims...Lewis is, on top of everything else, a graceful writer' Sunday Telegraph

About the Author

Bernard Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. Born in London in 1916, he was Professor of Middle Eastern History at the University of London from 1949 to 1974. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages, including Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Indonesian. He is a member of the British Academy, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the Institut de France. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.


As this collection of writings and speeches from the last 40 years demonstrates once again, Lewis is probably the world's most erudite scholar of the Middle East. The pieces cover virtually all aspects of the region from medieval Turkish history to the roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and everything in between. Food for thought abounds: In one essay, Lewis notes that Islam and Christianity had different relations to Judaism because while Christianity wanted to replace Judaism, Islam was more comfortable incorporating Judaism into its traditions. The pieces are divided into three sections: past history, present history and reflections on the historical profession as it relates to the Middle East. The essays are more scholarly than Lewis's bestselling What Went Wrong? for instance, one focuses on etymology and the origins of propaganda in early Arabic states. As a whole, they demonstrate Lewis's long-held contention that Islam has been unable to modernize and a clash of civilizations with the West was inevitable. Lewis is considered one of the intellectual architects of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, so it is of interest that in one essay, he asks what the West should do to help bring about change in the Middle East, and answers, "As little as possible." (Confused readers should note that the essay was written in 1957.) As a result of its scholarly bent, this book may attract a narrower audience than his other recent works, but they reflect the thinking of a profound mind. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Historian Lewis (Cleveland E. Dodge Emeritus Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton; What Went Wrong?) has been one of the most prolific modern writers on the Middle East and Islam. Throughout his long career, he has made many of the intricacies of Middle Eastern history and Islamic civilization accessible to a broad audience of informed readers and academics in the West. In this latest book, Lewis offers a panorama of more than 50 previously published writings spanning more than four decades of academic life. Chapters in this volume come from scholarly publications, lectures, popular publications, and newspaper columns. The smorgasbord of topics covered includes medieval Islamic history, European encounters with the people of the Middle East, Pan-Arabism, Islam and the West, Ottoman history, and the contemporary developments in the Middle East and Muslim-Western relations. A very useful collection for both academic and large public libraries, even those that own his other books.-Nader Entessar, Spring Hill Coll., Mobile, AL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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