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Post "Conflicted Legacy of Bernard Lewis": Martin Kramer
Created by John Eipper on 06/10/18 4:35 AM

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"Conflicted Legacy of Bernard Lewis": Martin Kramer (Luciano Dondero, Italy, 06/10/18 4:35 am)

"The Conflicted Legacy of Bernard Lewis" is an essay about the recently departed scholar, written by Martin Kramer, an American-Israeli professor at Shalem College in Jerusalem. He is himself a scholar of the Middle East, focusing on Islam and Arab politics.

The essay in Foreign Affairs is available here:  https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/martinkramer/files/the_legacy_of_bernard_lewis.pdf

Kramer argues that "Bernard Lewis, historian of the Middle East, was widely misunderstood. But no other person in our time has done as much to inform and influence the West's view of the Islamic world and the Middle East."

JE comments:  Was Lewis the "last Orientalist," as his detractors (such as the late Edward Said) claim, or the first real historian of the Middle East?  Kramer emphatically embraces the latter view. 

To be sure, Kramer is an ideological disciple of Lewis.  Both have been labeled neocons, proponents of a muscular engagement with the Middle East that goes beyond scholarship to include nation-building (in Kramer's words, "social engineering").  History has shown that this means war.

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