With the Death of Bernard Lewis, the Age of Academic Giants Has Come to an End

Professional study of Middle East history now belongs to incompetents and political agitators.

Bernard Lewis in 2006. Ron Bull/Toronto Star via Getty Images.

Bernard Lewis in 2006. Ron Bull/Toronto Star via Getty Images.

Observation
June 6 2018
About the author

Michael Doran, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and the author of Ike’s Gamble: America’s Rise to Dominance in the Middle East (2016), is a former deputy assistant secretary of defense and a former senior director of the National Security Council. He tweets @doranimated.


As a graduate student at Princeton University in the mid-1990s, I grew to know and love Bernard Lewis, the preeminent historian of the Middle East who passed away on May 19, less than two weeks before his 102nd birthday. At the time, I was in my early thirties and he was a year or two short of eighty, though you would not have known it from the pace of his work—a pace with which I soon became familiar as his research assistant.

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More about: Academia, Bernard Lewis, History & Ideas, Middle East, Turkey