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The War on Error: Israel, Islam and the Middle East Paperback – 7 Dec 2016


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Review

"The best antidote to academic assaults on Israel and false versions of Zionist history is Martin Kramer. These essays on Israel and on current Arab and Islamic politics show him at his best: a sharp, wise, and very funny guide. If you don't know Kramer, you're in for an intellectual feast."

--Elliott Abrams, senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

"Martin Kramer spans an unusual range. He is a first-rate historian of the modern Middle East who is as masterful with social media as he is with the traditional archive. This new collection of essays and papers deals with the most current issues in Middle Eastern politics and policies from a perspective that only a profound historian possesses. But Kramer is not encumbered by his academic baggage; he writes well and vividly. I sometimes disagree with him but I always read carefully and learn something new or different. I strongly recommend the book for the professional and the lay reader."

--Itamar Rabinovich, president of the Israel Institute and former Israeli ambassador to the United States

"[Kramer] fearlessly and eloquently exposes the myths, half-truths, and outright lies that pervade the public discussion, and so inhibit public understanding, of the region he knows so well."

--Michael Mandelbaum, Christian A. Herter Professor of American Foreign Policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

"Correcting error is the indispensable first step in stopping terror. No one writes better on the Middle East, its distorters and misinterpreters than Martin Kramer. He must be read--to be believed."

--Ruth R. Wisse, former professor of Yiddish and comparative literature, Harvard University

"What is the Talmudic spirit? It is to poke, probe and provoke, never to let received notions stand. Today's Middle East harbors more half-truths and willful misrepresentations than oil under its sands. Concepts like 'Orientalism' are ideologies posing as dispassionate scholarship. Islamism is a magnet for apologists blind to the region's cultural pathologies. Terrorism is transfigured into legitimate anti-colonialism, even though the Arab world has been independent for two, three generations. Martin Kramer has done the 'Talmudic' thing, exposing sloppy or mean-spirited thinking with an incisive mind and first-rate empirical research. This collection is required reading for anybody who prefers intellectual rigor to ideological obfuscation."

--Josef Joffe, fellow of the Hoover Institution and the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University

"Martin Kramer is a major scholarly contributor to the worldwide political debate about the contemporary Middle East. Not all will agree with his strong views, but they are always stimulating and challenging, and it is worth taking up such a challenge in the unprecedented chaos that the region has witnessed since 9/11, both within its ever-changing borders and in its complex relations with Europe and America."

--Gilles Kepel, professor at the Institut d'Etudes politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) and member of the Institut universitaire de France

"Martin Kramer, a preeminent and prolific scholar of the Middle East, provides expert and singularly clear-sighted insights into this crucial region. Whether writing about the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the West's relations with Islam, or the global struggle against terror, Kramer is at once deeply informed, courageous, and engaging."

--Michael Oren, member of Knesset and former Israeli ambassador to the United States

"The best antidote to academic assaults on Israel and false versions of Zionist history is Martin Kramer. These essays on Israel and on current Arab and Islamic politics show him at his best: a sharp, wise, and very funny guide. If you don't know Kramer, you're in for an intellectual feast."

--Elliott Abrams, senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

"Martin Kramer spans an unusual range. He is a first-rate historian of the modern Middle East who is as masterful with social media as he is with the traditional archive. This new collection of essays and papers deals with the most current issues in Middle Eastern politics and policies from a perspective that only a profound historian possesses. But Kramer is not encumbered by his academic baggage; he writes well and vividly. I sometimes disagree with him but I always read carefully and learn something new or different. I strongly recommend the book for the professional and the lay reader."

--Itamar Rabinovich, president of the Israel Institute and former Israeli ambassador to the United States

"[Kramer] fearlessly and eloquently exposes the myths, half-truths, and outright lies that pervade the public discussion, and so inhibit public understanding, of the region he knows so well."

--Michael Mandelbaum, Christian A. Herter Professor of American Foreign Policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

"Correcting error is the indispensable first step in stopping terror. No one writes better on the Middle East, its distorters and misinterpreters than Martin Kramer. He must be read--to be believed."

--Ruth R. Wisse, former professor of Yiddish and comparative literature, Harvard University

"What is the Talmudic spirit? It is to poke, probe and provoke, never to let received notions stand. Today's Middle East harbors more half-truths and willful misrepresentations than oil under its sands. Concepts like 'Orientalism' are ideologies posing as dispassionate scholarship. Islamism is a magnet for apologists blind to the region's cultural pathologies. Terrorism is transfigured into legitimate anti-colonialism, even though the Arab world has been independent for two, three generations. Martin Kramer has done the 'Talmudic' thing, exposing sloppy or mean-spirited thinking with an incisive mind and first-rate empirical research. This collection is required reading for anybody who prefers intellectual rigor to ideological obfuscation."

--Josef Joffe, fellow of the Hoover Institution and the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University

"Martin Kramer is a major scholarly contributor to the worldwide political debate about the contemporary Middle East. Not all will agree with his strong views, but they are always stimulating and challenging, and it is worth taking up such a challenge in the unprecedented chaos that the region has witnessed since 9/11, both within its ever-changing borders and in its complex relations with Europe and America."

--Gilles Kepel, professor at the Institut d'Etudes politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) and member of the Institut universitaire de France

"Martin Kramer, a preeminent and prolific scholar of the Middle East, provides expert and singularly clear-sighted insights into this crucial region. Whether writing about the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the West's relations with Islam, or the global struggle against terror, Kramer is at once deeply informed, courageous, and engaging."

--Michael Oren, member of Knesset and former Israeli ambassador to the United States



"[The War on Error] exposes the mistakes that historians, journalists, filmmakers, and others have made doing history in the region, and shows that our vision has only grown worse."

--Shepard Barbash, The Federalist

"There is no simple way of resolving the tension between scholarship and politics, but The War on Error, though a collection of mostly previously published essays, blog posts, and speeches, is held together by its attempt to demonstrate by example how the norms of scholarship are essential to clear thinking about the Middle East. The highest praise I have of a book that is praiseworthy in many other respects is that it carries into the public sphere the spirit of the scholarly enterprise as [Bernard] Lewis described it. . . . One treat of one gets from the War on Error is hearing Kramer pay tribute to people he admires . . . Kramer admires human beings who, though driven by passions--which we cannot get around--subject themselves to the discipline of seeking out, weighing, and reflecting on the evidence. In The War on Error, Kramer demonstrates his kinship with the people he admires. His book deserves to be widely read."

--Jonathan Marks, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East

"Kramer is not only a distinguished scholar of the Middle East who writes with an eye to the past as well as the present (and future), but also a gifted prose stylist."

--Lee Smith, The Weekly Standard

"The best antidote to academic assaults on Israel and false versions of Zionist history is Martin Kramer. These essays on Israel and on current Arab and Islamic politics show him at his best: a sharp, wise, and very funny guide. If you don't know Kramer, you're in for an intellectual feast."

--Elliott Abrams, senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

"Martin Kramer spans an unusual range. He is a first-rate historian of the modern Middle East who is as masterful with social media as he is with the traditional archive. This new collection of essays and papers deals with the most current issues in Middle Eastern politics and policies from a perspective that only a profound historian possesses. But Kramer is not encumbered by his academic baggage; he writes well and vividly. I sometimes disagree with him but I always read carefully and learn something new or different. I strongly recommend the book for the professional and the lay reader."

--Itamar Rabinovich, president of the Israel Institute and former Israeli ambassador to the United States

"[Kramer] fearlessly and eloquently exposes the myths, half-truths, and outright lies that pervade the public discussion, and so inhibit public understanding, of the region he knows so well."

--Michael Mandelbaum, Christian A. Herter Professor of American Foreign Policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

"Correcting error is the indispensable first step in stopping terror. No one writes better on the Middle East, its distorters and misinterpreters than Martin Kramer. He must be read--to be believed."

--Ruth R. Wisse, former professor of Yiddish and comparative literature, Harvard University

"What is the Talmudic spirit? It is to poke, probe and provoke, never to let received notions stand. Today's Middle East harbors more half-truths and willful misrepresentations than oil under its sands. Concepts like 'Orientalism' are ideologies posing as dispassionate scholarship. Islamism is a magnet for apologists blind to the region's cultural pathologies. Terrorism is transfigured into legitimate anti-colonialism, even though the Arab world has been independent for two, three generations. Martin Kramer has done the 'Talmudic' thing, exposing sloppy or mean-spirited thinking with an incisive mind and first-rate empirical research. This collection is required reading for anybody who prefers intellectual rigor to ideological obfuscation."

--Josef Joffe, fellow of the Hoover Institution and the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University

"Martin Kramer is a major scholarly contributor to the worldwide political debate about the contemporary Middle East. Not all will agree with his strong views, but they are always stimulating and challenging, and it is worth taking up such a challenge in the unprecedented chaos that the region has witnessed since 9/11, both within its ever-changing borders and in its complex relations with Europe and America."

--Gilles Kepel, professor at the Institut d'Etudes politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) and member of the Institut universitaire de France

"Martin Kramer, a preeminent and prolific scholar of the Middle East, provides expert and singularly clear-sighted insights into this crucial region. Whether writing about the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the West's relations with Islam, or the global struggle against terror, Kramer is at once deeply informed, courageous, and engaging."

--Michael Oren, member of Knesset and former Israeli ambassador to the United States



-[The War on Error] exposes the mistakes that historians, journalists, filmmakers, and others have made doing history in the region, and shows that our vision has only grown worse.-

--Shepard Barbash, The Federalist

-There is no simple way of resolving the tension between scholarship and politics, but The War on Error, though a collection of mostly previously published essays, blog posts, and speeches, is held together by its attempt to demonstrate by example how the norms of scholarship are essential to clear thinking about the Middle East. The highest praise I have of a book that is praiseworthy in many other respects is that it carries into the public sphere the spirit of the scholarly enterprise as [Bernard] Lewis described it. . . . One treat of one gets from the War on Error is hearing Kramer pay tribute to people he admires . . . Kramer admires human beings who, though driven by passions--which we cannot get around--subject themselves to the discipline of seeking out, weighing, and reflecting on the evidence. In The War on Error, Kramer demonstrates his kinship with the people he admires. His book deserves to be widely read.-

--Jonathan Marks, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East

-Kramer is not only a distinguished scholar of the Middle East who writes with an eye to the past as well as the present (and future), but also a gifted prose stylist.-

--Lee Smith, The Weekly Standard

-The best antidote to academic assaults on Israel and false versions of Zionist history is Martin Kramer. These essays on Israel and on current Arab and Islamic politics show him at his best: a sharp, wise, and very funny guide. If you don't know Kramer, you're in for an intellectual feast.-

--Elliott Abrams, senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

-Martin Kramer spans an unusual range. He is a first-rate historian of the modern Middle East who is as masterful with social media as he is with the traditional archive. This new collection of essays and papers deals with the most current issues in Middle Eastern politics and policies from a perspective that only a profound historian possesses. But Kramer is not encumbered by his academic baggage; he writes well and vividly. I sometimes disagree with him but I always read carefully and learn something new or different. I strongly recommend the book for the professional and the lay reader.-

--Itamar Rabinovich, president of the Israel Institute and former Israeli ambassador to the United States

-[Kramer] fearlessly and eloquently exposes the myths, half-truths, and outright lies that pervade the public discussion, and so inhibit public understanding, of the region he knows so well.-

--Michael Mandelbaum, Christian A. Herter Professor of American Foreign Policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

-Correcting error is the indispensable first step in stopping terror. No one writes better on the Middle East, its distorters and misinterpreters than Martin Kramer. He must be read--to be believed.-

--Ruth R. Wisse, former professor of Yiddish and comparative literature, Harvard University

-What is the Talmudic spirit? It is to poke, probe and provoke, never to let received notions stand. Today's Middle East harbors more half-truths and willful misrepresentations than oil under its sands. Concepts like 'Orientalism' are ideologies posing as dispassionate scholarship. Islamism is a magnet for apologists blind to the region's cultural pathologies. Terrorism is transfigured into legitimate anti-colonialism, even though the Arab world has been independent for two, three generations. Martin Kramer has done the 'Talmudic' thing, exposing sloppy or mean-spirited thinking with an incisive mind and first-rate empirical research. This collection is required reading for anybody who prefers intellectual rigor to ideological obfuscation.-

--Josef Joffe, fellow of the Hoover Institution and the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University

-Martin Kramer is a major scholarly contributor to the worldwide political debate about the contemporary Middle East. Not all will agree with his strong views, but they are always stimulating and challenging, and it is worth taking up such a challenge in the unprecedented chaos that the region has witnessed since 9/11, both within its ever-changing borders and in its complex relations with Europe and America.-

--Gilles Kepel, professor at the Institut d'Etudes politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) and member of the Institut universitaire de France

-Martin Kramer, a preeminent and prolific scholar of the Middle East, provides expert and singularly clear-sighted insights into this crucial region. Whether writing about the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the West's relations with Islam, or the global struggle against terror, Kramer is at once deeply informed, courageous, and engaging.-

--Michael Oren, member of Knesset and former Israeli ambassador to the United States

About the Author

Martin Kramer is the founding president of Shalem College in Jerusalem, Israel where he also chairs the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. He is the author and editor of several books, including Arab Awakening and Islamic Revival.

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