Bernard Lewis  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Bernard Lewis, FBA (31 May 1916 – 19 May 2018) was a British American historian specializing in oriental studies. He was also known as a public intellectual and political commentator. Lewis was the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. Lewis' expertise was in the history of Islam and the interaction between Islam and the West. He was also noted in academic circles for his works on the history of the Ottoman Empire.

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. However, his support of the Iraq War and neoconservative ideals have since come under scrutiny.

Lewis was also notable for his public debates with Edward Said, who accused Lewis and other orientalists of misrepresenting Islam and serving the purposes of imperialist domination, to which Lewis responded by defending Orientalism as a facet of humanism and accusing Said of politicizing the subject. Lewis argued that the deaths of the Armenian Genocide resulted from a struggle between two nationalistic movements These views prompted a number of scholars to accuse Lewis of genocide denial and resulted in a successful civil lawsuit against him in a French court.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Bernard Lewis" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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