Notes on a Century by Bernard Lewis

82%

10 Critic Reviews

He writes frankly of his long tenure at Princeton, the dicey Israel-Palestinian crisis, the eclipse of secularism in the Muslim world...Thoughtful, outspoken words from a sage who has lived his share of history.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of What Went Wrong? tells the story of his extraordinary life

After September 11, Americans who had never given much thought to the Middle East turned to Bernard Lewis for an explanation, catapulting What Went Wrong? and later Crisis of Islam to become number one bestsellers. He was the first to warn of a coming "clash of civilizations," a term he coined in 1957, and has led an amazing life, as much a political actor as a scholar of the Middle East. In this witty memoir he reflects on the events that have transformed the region since World War II, up through the Arab Spring.

A pathbreaking scholar with command of a dozen languages, Lewis has advised American presidents and dined with politicians from the shah of Iran to the pope. Over the years, he had tea at Buckingham Palace, befriended Golda Meir, and briefed politicians from Ted Kennedy to Dick Cheney. No stranger to controversy, he pulls no punches in his blunt criticism of those who see him as the intellectual progenitor of the Iraq war. Like America’s other great historian-statesmen Arthur Schlesinger and Henry Kissinger, he is a figure of towering intellect and a world-class raconteur, which makes Notes on a Century essential reading for anyone who cares about the fate of the Middle East.

 

About Bernard Lewis

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BERNARD LEWIS is the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor of Near Eastern Studies Emeritus at Princeton University, the author of many books, and is internationally recognized as the greatest historian of the Middle East.BUNTZIE ELLIS CHURCHILL served for twenty-three years as president of the World Affairs Council of Philadephia and for a decade hosted the daily radio show World Views.
 
Published May 10, 2012 by Penguin Books. 399 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Notes on a Century
All: 10 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Excellent
Mar 15 2012

He writes frankly of his long tenure at Princeton, the dicey Israel-Palestinian crisis, the eclipse of secularism in the Muslim world...Thoughtful, outspoken words from a sage who has lived his share of history.

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NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Dr. Mark Kass on Jun 19 2014

The key concept in this approach is the concept of justice as defined in the Muslim context. Here Dr. Lewis elicits the true measure of a historian’s response to the benefit of policy makers...For this and for other reasons we as historians are in debt to the life and work of Dr. Lewis.

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WSJ online

Below average
Reviewed by Eric Ormsby on May 18 2012

Sometimes Mr. Lewis strikes a jarring note, as when he makes what he admits is the "blatantly chauvinistic statement"...

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Warren Bass on Sep 14 2012

we are fortunate to have this chatty memoir, even if it is Lewis’s earlier classics that will truly endure.

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Library Journal

Excellent
Reviewed by Elizabeth Hayford on May 15 2012

This memoir by an intellectual committed to a relentless search for historical understanding of a complex society is highly recommended for both specialists and interested general readers

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Foreign Affairs

Below average
Reviewed by John Waterbury

those looking for a meticulous historical account of his career will be disappointed. His reflections are more lighthearted than profound, more anecdotal than analytic.

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Spectator Book Club

Excellent
Reviewed by Jonathan Mirsky on May 26 2012

A bruiser but not a bully, he is a throwback, a creature from the deep lagoon of past grand scholarship...with the authorities and areas one studied, and even war service in the region, counted for something.

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National Review

Excellent
Reviewed by David Pryce-Jones on Jun 11 2012

Easy to read, completely free from jargon, the book has the cheerful conversational fizz of someone able to give a good account of himself.

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Campus Watch

Excellent
Reviewed by Robert Fulford on Jul 28 2012

His readers will find in this memoir the same stylistic qualities we have enjoyed before. He writes with easy grace, he skewers his enemies with precision and he never neglects the chance to amuse us.

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Frogen Yozurt

Good
Reviewed by Editor on Sep 17 2012

Like America’s other great historian-statesmen Arthur Schlesinger and Henry Kissinger, he is a figure of towering intellect and a world-class raconteur, which makes Notes on a Century essential reading

Read Full Review of Notes on a Century

Reader Rating for Notes on a Century
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