From Babel to Dragomans

Interpreting the Middle East

by

Bernard Lewis is recognized around the globe as one of the leading authorities on Islam. Hailed as "the world's foremost Islamic scholar" (Wall Street Journal), as "a towering figure among experts on the culture and religion of the Muslim world" (Baltimore Sun), and as "the doyen of Middle Eastern studies" (New York Times), Lewis is nothing less than a national treasure, a trusted voice that politicians, journalists, historians, and the general public have all turned to for insight into the Middle East.Now, this revered authority has brought together writings and lectures that he has written over four decades, featuring his reflections on Middle Eastern history and foreign affairs, the Iranian Revolution, the state of Israel, the writing of history, and much more. The essays cover such urgent and compelling topics as "What Saddam Wrought," "Deconstructing Osama and His Evil Appeal," "The Middle East, Westernized Despite Itself," "The Enemies of God," and "Can Islam Be Secularized?" The collection ranges from two English originals of articles published before only in foreign languages, to previously unpublished writings, to his highly regarded essays from publications such as Foreign Affairs and The New York Review of Books. With more than fifty pieces in all, plus a new introduction to the book by Lewis, this is a valuable collection for everyone interested in the Middle East.Here then is a rich repository of wisdom on one of the key areas of the modern world--a wealth of profound reflections on Middle Eastern history, culture, politics, and current events.
  • Oxford University Press; May 2004
  • ISBN 9780198038634
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format
  • Title: From Babel to Dragomans
  • Author: Bernard Lewis
  • Imprint: Oxford University Press

In The Press

"Lewis has long been considered the West's leading interpreter of Mideast culture and history, and this collection only solidifies his reputation. --National Review "Bernard Lewis's 2002 study, What Went Wrong?, shed much welcome, if controversial, light on the divergent courses of Islamic and Western civilization. Now in a new collection of essays, Lewis teases out the implications of his earlier argument in a wide range of settings, from traditional Middle Eastern feasts and rituals to the anti-Western propaganda campaigns of al Qaeda."--Chris Lehmann, The Washington Post "For more than four decades, Lewis has been one of the most respected scholars and prolific writers on the history and politics of the Middle East. In this compilation of more than 50 journal articles and essays, he displays the full range of his eloquence, knowledge, and insight regarding this pivotal and volatile region.--Booklist
"Historian Lewis has been one of the most prolific modern writers on the Middle East and Islam. Throughout his long career, he has made many of the intricacies of Middle Eastern history and Islamic civilization accessible to a broad audience of informed readers and academics in the West. In this latest book, Lewis offers a panorama of more than 50 previously published writings spanning more than four decades of academic life. Chapters in this volume come from scholarly publications, lectures, popular publications, and newspaper columns. The smorgasbord of topics covered includes medieval Islamic history, European encounters with the people of the Middle East, Pan-Arabism, Islam and the West, Ottoman History, and the contemporary developments in the Middle East and Muslim-Western relations."--Library Journal
"As this collection of writings and speeches from the last 40 years demonstrates once again, Lewis is probably the world's most erudite scholar of the Middle East. The pieces cover virtually all aspects of the region--from medieval Turkish history to the roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and everything in between. Food for thought abounds....Reflects the thinking of a profound mind."--Publishers Weekly
"For more than four decades, Lewis has been one of the most respected scholars and prolific writers on the history and politics of the Middle East. In this compilation of more than 50 journal articles and essays, he displays the full range of his eloquence, knowledge, and insight regarding this pivotal and volatile region....The breadth of the subject matter covered is immense. Topics as diverse as Islamic architecture, the prevalence of Persian culture throughout the region, Ottoman-European relations, and the causes of jihadist terror are explored. Lewis has never shrunk from controversy, and many of his views presented here are widely disputed by other scholars both within and outside the Middle East; but for both scholars and layreaders, the writings of Lewis remain essential."--Booklist
"The press of world events has transformed Bernard Lewis into the most public sort of intellectual, well into the emeritus phase of his scholarly career. His 2002 study, What Went Wrong?, shed much welcome, if controversial, light on the divergent courses of Islamic and Western civilization at a moment when the question could not be more urgent. Now in a new collection of essays, From Babel to Dragomans, Lewis teases out the implications of his earlier argument in a wide range of settings, from traditional Middle Eastern feasts and rituals to the anti-Western propaganda campaigns of al Qaeda."--Chris Lehmann, The Washington Post

About The Author

Bernard Lewis is Cleveland E. Dodge Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Emeritus, at Princeton University. His most recent books are The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror and What Went Wrong?, both national bestsellers and the latter a New York Times Notable Book for 2002.