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.
Lewis is a widely read expert on the Middle East and is regarded as one of the West's leading scholars of that region. His advice has been frequently sought by policymakers, including the Bush administration. In the Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing, Martin Kramer, whose PhD thesis was directed by Lewis, considered that over a 60-year career Lewis has emerged as "the most influential postwar historian of Islam and the Middle East."
Lewis' views on the Armenian Genocide have attracted attention. He acknowledges that massacres against the Armenians occurred but does not believe it meets the definition of genocide. 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 Orientalists.
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