Notes on a Century: Reflections of a Middle East Historian and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
  • List Price: $28.95
  • Save: $2.89 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Like New | Details
Sold by Oneida Books
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: SAME many others list as 'New'... New Publishers Overstock (Remainder Mark). Eligible for Prime and FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $35.....
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Notes on a Century: Reflections of a Middle East Historian Hardcover – May 10, 2012


See all 14 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover, May 10, 2012
$26.06
$0.99 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Frequently Bought Together

Notes on a Century: Reflections of a Middle East Historian + The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years + The End of Modern History in the Middle East (Hoover Institution Press Publication)
Price for all three: $58.85

Some of these items ship sooner than the others.

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Life with Harper Lee
Invited to live as her neighbor, Marja Mills offer unprecedented insight into the reclusive author's life in The Mockingbird Next Door. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult (May 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670023531
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670023530
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 6.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #624,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

 
Notes on a Century is an extraordinary work: erudite, witty, and profound. In summing up his long life in pursuit of knowledge of the region that has fascinated him since childhood, Bernard Lewis has produced a book that will engage, inform, and entertain the scholar and layman alike.”
—Henry Kissinger


 
“Whether writing about the early history of the Arabs or the development of the modern Turkish state, Mr. Lewis has always been unusually alert to nuance and ambiguity; he is wary of his sources and tests them against other evidence. . . . He has evinced not only an unswerving commitment to historical truth and a hatred of what he calls ‘the falsification of history’ but also a passionate, at times obsessive, curiosity about other peoples, other places. . . . No matter how recondite or exotic his subject matter, he writes incisively and with unobtrusive elegance.”
Wall Street Journal


 
“Lewis has led a staggeringly productive life—publishing a jaw-dropping 32 books—and seems to have had more fun than any department worth of more somber professors. . . . We are fortunate to have this chatty memoir of reminiscences of scholarly discovery and stimulating encounters with everyone from Isaac Stern to Scoop Jackson to the shah of Iran.”
The Washington Post

 
“Few could produce a book as witty, erudite and humorous as this engaging autobiography, which, alongside these lighter characteristics, is also packed with learning and wisdom. It is no exaggeration to say that it is the distillation of a long, attentive and productive life as a scholar and engaged intellectual. . . . We did not need this book to tell us how impressive an intellect Mr. Lewis has or what a superbly informed historian he is, but it reminds us nonetheless of all this. As it does of what a charming and attractive personality he has been graced with, enabling him to draw attention so easily to what he has to impart.”
The Washington Times


 
“Thoughtful, outspoken words from a sage who has lived his share of history . . . In episodic, wittily composed chapters, Lewis addresses salient events in his career as a historian of the Near and Middle East. . . . He writes frankly of his long tenure at Princeton, the dicey Israel-Palestinian crisis, and the eclipse of secularism in the Muslim world.”
Kirkus Reviews


 
“Lewis looks back at his achievements as a founder of the discipline of Islamic history, a prodigious scholar and writer, and a tireless traveler who forged relationships with scholars and government leaders all over the world. . . . Here, he conveys the intellectual curiosity and power that has enabled him to transmit to both academics and general readers an understanding of the development of Islam as a faith and a culture along with the rise and decline of Islamic political power. With scholarly rigor and graceful, witty prose, he also offers insights about the nature of history, cultural identity, and literary values. This memoir by an intellectual committed to a relentless search for historical understanding of a complex society is highly recommended.”
Library Journal


 
“A much-needed corrective . . . Lewis’ understanding reflects more than the usual journalism or scholarship. As a British intelligence officer, a multilingual translator of Middle Eastern poetry, and a tireless traveler through remote regions, Lewis has actually participated in developments shaping the Middle East.”
—Bryce Christensen, Booklist (starred review)

About the Author

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.


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
5 star
12
4 star
5
3 star
5
2 star
1
1 star
0
See all 23 customer reviews
I am not sure exactly what bothers me about this book, but something just seemed off.
P. J. Day
His outstanding reputation for intellectual honesty and the success of his many books is well deserved.
robert spitalnick
That is due to his extremely readable style while he discusses arcane and obscure subjects.
A Forest Fan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 66 people found the following review helpful By lit-in-the-last-frontier on May 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The Short Version

Bernard Lewis is a renowned Middle Eastern historian approaching his century mark. In this his swan-song he gives a brief biographical sketch from his early years through the time he begins to achieve fame in his field, gives favorite anecdotes from a lifetime spent as confidant and advisor to rulers and statesmen and from his career in academia, and finally, answers some of his critics. While very different from his multitude of scholarly writings, this one is still packed with tidbits of analysis and history and well worth reading for both those familiar with Professor Lewis' earlier writings and those who are meeting this great mind for the first time.

The Long Version

This was perhaps one of my most anticipated pre-publication review manuscripts, and while it was very different from what I expected, it did not disappoint. A Middle Eastern scholar of great renown approaching his hundredth year, Professor Lewis is certainly no stranger to publication-he has thirty-two books, which have in their turn been translated into twenty-nine languages, to his credit. In the past decade and a half he has churned out a stunning dozen books which he himself gives explanation of in this book as a cleaning out of his files, the desire to finish, before he departs this earth, all the loose ends of research that he has left hanging about his cabinets. This book is very different. It truly is notes on a century.

The first section of the book reads almost like a biography, in which Professor Lewis gives an account of his youth, university years, initial jobs in academia, war service during the Second World War, and finally his return to teaching after the war.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Forest Fan on June 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Bernard Lewis is such a polished writer that I was able to read this volume in under a week. That is due to his extremely readable style while he discusses arcane and obscure subjects. The experiences of a lifetime are still fresh in the mind of this nonagenarian (or he at least keeps copious notes). About halfway through the book, I realized the book title was a statement of fact, and not a flight of poetic whimsy. These are the notes on a century of thought.

For anyone interested in fuller comprehension of how the Middle East works, doesn't work, and why it is the way it is, read this book. Why is the concept of religion and state so intertwined in the Muslim world? He explains through the historical perspective, which is the only true way of examining states and cultures. He does not tell you what he thinks, he says this is what happened historically.

Early in the book, he relates the fascinating story of a fellow scholar who during the 1950s released a study on the various ancient texts of the Holy Koran that were extant at ancient libraries. Early manuscripts of the Hadith (traditional oral saying of the Prophet) varied greatly in spelling, content and interpretation. This sort of work is common in Western society, to examine the past to better understand the future. The scholar found to his great surprise that Egyptian students burned the released book in bonfires, with their imams declaring it heretical. Lewis explains why this is not simply mob mentality, but has deep historical and religious motives. If you were ever inclined to watch the news coming out of the Middle East and just shake your head at what you saw, read this book, and find your worldview forever changed.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
23 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Mallow on July 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
No one in the West speaks with more justified authority regarding the Near East and Islam than Prof. Lewis, and he has been steadfast in countering the duplicity and mendacity of the "Orientalist" machine of Edward Said and disciples. So I was predisposed eagerly to anticipate whatever words of wisdom he might share in his waning years. Unfortunately, the "Reflections" contained here add very modest light to the content of his work; on the contrary, they are a rather tedious assemblage of anecdotes, many of a remarkably trivial nature, of an autobiographical sort. I attribute this outcome to a failure of his collaborator and editor. One suspects she took Prof. Lewis out to tea repeatedly, encouraged him to reminisce, and recorded everything. Worse, she seems to have included everything as well, without the discipline that might have transformed his rather remarkable life into an integrated "video." One has the rather unhappy experience of enduring a neighbor's slide show of a trip to Machu Picchu--interesting place, unique experience, and inept presentation.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Christian Schlect VINE VOICE on May 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An elderly Bernard Lewis recalls episodes of his personal life; talks of being a Jew; comments on the craft of the historian; explains some of the problems associated with language translation; settles a few still festering personal scores (such as with Edward Said); and gives the reader several penetrating insights on Islam and the daunting cultural politics of the Middle East.

His many days have seen the turmoil of 1930s Europe; World War II work for British Intelligence; an academic career move to Princeton and the United States; and the Gulf Wars, followed by 9/11.

While not a comprehensive memoir and with a somewhat uneven text, its title accurately expresses what the pages of this book deliver: notes and reflections of a Middle East historian. In sum a remarkable effort by a 95-year-old cultural treasure.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search