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Notes on a Century: Reflections of a Middle East Historian
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Notes on a Century: Reflections of a Middle East Historian

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  198 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of What Went Wrong? tells the story of his extraordinary lifeAfter September 11, Americans who had never given much thought to the Middle East turned to Bernard Lewis for an explanation, catapulting What Went Wrong? and later Crisis of Islam to become number one bestsellers. He was the first to warn of a coming "clash of civilizatio ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published May 10th 2012 by Viking Adult (first published May 1st 2012)
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Aug 13, 2012 Buck rated it liked it
Shelves: life-writing
Bernard Lewis has acquired more languages than most people have sexual partners.

That lead-in was intended as hyperbole, until I did the math and realized it was potentially true in my case, depending on how you count languages (and sexual partners). So now I feel like a slacker in both departments.

Lewis published this memoir just a few months ago, at the inconceivable age of 96. True, he had a bit of help putting it together, but so what? Even supposing I make it to 96, I don’t plan on doing muc

Read by Buntzie Ellis Churchill
Playing Time........ 13:04:30

Description: Lewis was the first to warn of a coming "clash of civilizations," a term he coined in 1957, and has led an amazing life, as much a political actor as a scholar of the Middle East. In this witty memoir he reflects on the events that have transformed the region since World War II, up through the Arab Spring.
A pathbreaking scholar with command of a dozen languages, Lewis has advised American presidents and dined with politicia
A thoughtful reminiscence of a long and complex life spent on a long and complex part of history.

The book starts out with a charming biographical segment, continuing up to his service in the Second World War. It is filled with a combination of dry British and Jewish humor, and a lot of fun to read. From the 1930s onwards, it transitions more into his thoughts on the Middle East and its history.

His work in history is extremely interesting and I will have to refer to it later. His thoughts on lear
Patricrk patrick
Aug 25, 2013 Patricrk patrick rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Autobiographical account of the life of Bernard Lewis. He is a prominent historian of the mid-east. This book written when he is 95 reveals a man full of humor and wisdom. Makes me determined to read some of his actual histories.
Elliot Ratzman
Dec 29, 2016 Elliot Ratzman rated it it was ok
Bernard Lewis has the reputation among young scholars and leftists as the arch-Orientalist: the scholar who whispers dangerous things in the ears of power in order to conquer the Muslim East for the Capitalist West. So I thought I’d read the man’s memoirs to see what he had to say for himself. By all accounts from people who I spoke to, Lewis spent the last decade and a half spouting nutty racist pronouncements about the Arab/Muslim world—Big Conclusions apparently derived from a long life of st ...more
[b]The Short Version[/b]
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 pack
Gokhan Tura
tarihe ilgi duyan buradan özellikle orta doğu tarihine ilgi duyan buradan başlamalı...
Bob Costello
Oct 04, 2016 Bob Costello rated it it was amazing
Very interesting book about a very interesting man. Listened to it while driving -highly recommend.
Jul 10, 2013 Uwais is currently reading it
Went straight to chapter 10, "Orientalism and the Cult of Right Thinking" to see the last response to Said. I say last because Said is no longer with us to produce a response. I like Lewis, his earlier writings which I'm acquainted with leave one with so much admiration and yet the passages on Orientalism and Said are disappointing. There's little added here to what has already been mentioned in his earlier responses. In fact, Said is correct in saying Lewis simply cannot, does not and will not ...more
Mar 22, 2013 Jb rated it really liked it
Usually I find syntax of books written by history professors stuffy to read, but this narrative flows easily. “Middle Eastern” topic is interesting, one that’s not mainstream. (Brit Victorian snobbishness, “middle” from where? I’d prefer Eastern Mediterranean.) Some chapters are anecdotal travelogue, with wry wit interspersing the storyline. He recounts visits to various Eastern Mediterranean countries to give lectures, mixing with fellow academics and the populous. He outlines views regarding h ...more
Jun 20, 2015 Dave rated it it was ok
In hindsight, it is probably not too surprising. The book was written when Bernard Lewis was in his 90s. But, I had expected a discussion about the middle east from his personal perspective. What there was of that was very good, but brief. Much of the book was notes about himself, his views of his marriages and academic issues from his teaching experience. It was well worth reading through. Not many historians get to sit at the table with the world's decision-makers to impact possibly history in ...more
Alina Utrata
Aug 20, 2013 Alina Utrata rated it liked it
Shelves: reccomendations
Say what you want about Bernard Lewis, his autobiography is one of an adorable absent-minded but brilliant professor of middle eastern history. His anecdotes and side-stories are interesting and witty, revealing many insights about the regions he studied. It is also full of many one-line zingers, such as his recount of asking a Turkish general on Turkey joining NATO, to which he replied, "The real problem with having Americans as your allies is you never knowing when they're going to turn around ...more
Jan 21, 2013 Jess rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
This autobiography of a leading Middle East historian is fairly interesting. It has several intersting stories and provides insight to a little of American foreign policy in the Middle East. It isn't particularly entralling but does have an even or steady interest level throughout. The beginning is more so bio and the end is of more contemporary interest. This book has led me to want to read other academic works of Benard Lewis.
Adam DeVille, Ph.D.
Apr 02, 2013 Adam DeVille, Ph.D. rated it really liked it
Elegant, witty, insightful: here the nonagenarian historian Bernard Lewis, doyen of scholars and historians of Islam today, reflects on his long, rich, fascinating, and highly prolific life as a scholar.
May 21, 2012 GONZA rated it liked it
A lot of interesting information from almost a genius point of view. I was pretty overwhelmed by Bernard Lewis sometimes, and all the things he knew, that I lost contact with "the reality" of the book and what was it about.

Steve Gross
Aug 13, 2012 Steve Gross rated it it was ok
Bernard Lewis is the doyen of Middle East scholars. I expected him to have had a more exciting life, visiting and studying Middle East countries and offering sage advice. Unfortunately, not much of either in this autobiography.
Jan 01, 2014 John rated it liked it
The first half of the book, about the author's early days is a real slog to read through. But, the narrative becomes interesting when he started to relate his life to the current events in Middle East.
Feb 07, 2014 Erwin marked it as abandoned
wanted to like this but it was just too slow for me. didn't hold my attention. perhaps im not enough of a middle east scholar to appreciate this one.
Bill Baar
Feb 04, 2013 Bill Baar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a must read book for anyone interested in the Middle East, and the thoughts of a Historian about his craft. Wonderfully written book. Highly recommended.
Carol Kelley
I love Bernard Lewis. This was so good I checked it out three times and read very slowly, just to savor his writing style, choice of words, and dry humor.
Mark Rosenfield
Mark Rosenfield rated it it was ok
Dec 01, 2012
Roberto Lopez
Roberto Lopez rated it really liked it
Jan 20, 2014
Dan Bach
Dan Bach rated it it was amazing
Nov 08, 2012
Margarida rated it liked it
Jan 31, 2015
Martin Skalsky
Martin Skalsky rated it it was amazing
Oct 26, 2016
Brad rated it it was amazing
Jun 27, 2016
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Tsang Kam Man rated it liked it
May 25, 2014
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Jun 17, 2016
Greg Minshall
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Jan 05, 2017
Christopher Johnson
Christopher Johnson rated it really liked it
May 07, 2013
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Bernard Lewis is the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor of Near Eastern Studies Emeritus at Princeton University and the author of many critially acclaimed and bestselling books, including two number one New York Times bestsellers: What Went Wrong? and Crisis of Islam. The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Internationally recognized a ...more
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