I have vented about Bernard Lewis before. So, allow me one more.
From the Jeffrey Goldberg piece in the Oct 31 NewYorker on Brent Scowcroft that everyone is talking about:
I really wish that I had hit Bernard Lewis between the eyes with a big stick, when I had the chance.
I sat behind him at a big conferency-thing last year. No stick. But I'm wishing I'd pulled a maggie thatcher and whacked him with a handbag. Many people in Turkey are still fond of his first book, but that's largely because it parrots many of the kemalist/modernization theory tropes about Ottoman decline & the brave new world of Turkish modernity. Sigh.
Yes, 'cuz the Kemalist model is the only model that works for Mr. Lewis. Aargh. This plus that NYT's Robert F. Worth's reading list makes me really tear my hair out.
It's not too late.
Sickening, but hardly surprising from Mr. Lewis. This is exhibit "A" for Said's complaint that it remains respectable to say things about Arabs that it wouldn't be about virtually every other "group"...