Robert Irwin, a British novelist and scholar of medieval Islam, is the Middle East editor of the Times Literary Supplement. His most recent novel is Wonders Will Never Cease.
The Met’s presentation of Jerusalem as a vibrant trade hub and cultural melting pot is seductive, but false.
One may wonder why we bother to have Middle East experts at all, since their record is hardly better than that of the Sovietologists. Bernard Lewis is an exception.