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Bernard Lewis, FBA is a British American historian specializing in oriental studies. He is also known as a public intellectual and political commentator. Lewis is the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. Lewis' expertise is in the history of Islam and the interaction between Islam and the West. He is also noted in academic circles for his works on the history of the Ottoman Empire.

Lewis-pre.jpg
Born (1916-05-31) 31 May 1916 (age 100)
London, England, United Kingdom
Academic work
Era 20th-century philosophy
Main interests Oriental studies, Western philosophy, Middle Eastern philosophy
Notable works
Influenced Fouad Ajami

Bernard Lewis, FBA (born 31 May 1916) is a British American historian specializing in oriental studies. He is also known as a public intellectual and political commentator. Lewis is the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. Lewis' expertise is in the history of Islam and the interaction between Islam and the West. He is also noted in academic circles for his works on the history of the Ottoman Empire.

Lewis served as a soldier in the British Army in the Royal Armoured Corps and Intelligence Corps during the Second World War before being seconded to the Foreign Office. After the war, he returned to the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and was appointed to the new chair in Near and Middle Eastern History.

In 2007 and 1999, respectively, Lewis was called "the West’s leading interpreter of the Middle East" and "the most influential postwar historian of Islam and the Middle East." His advice was frequently sought by neoconservative policymakers, including the Bush administration. Lewis, therefore, is generally regarded as the dean of Middle East scholars. However, his support of the Iraq War and neoconservative ideals have since come under scrutiny. Lewis' views on the Armenian Genocide have attracted particular attention. He acknowledges that massacres against the Armenians occurred but rejects its designation as genocide, claiming that "[the] Armenians want to benefit from both worlds" and accusing Armenians of trying to trivialize the Holocaust. He is also notable for his public debates with the late Edward Said concerning the latter's book Orientalism (1978), which criticized Lewis and other European writers. Lewis turned 100 in May 2016.