Appreciating Bernard Lewis

Last week, in Washington, I had the privilege of participating in a panel devoted to the late Bernard Lewis (it was titled “Appreciating a Scholar of Consequence”). Hats off to The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and its director, Robert Satloff, for organizing the first event in the United States to revisit the work of Lewis.

All of the panelists first met Lewis while studying in Princeton. The others were Katherine Nouri Hughes, whom Lewis inspired to write a marvelous historical novel set in the sixteenth-century court of Süleyman the Magnificent; and Michael Doran, who’s gone on to great things in Washington, in and out of government. (Also in attendance were son Michael Lewis and his wife Jessica; Buntzie Ellis Churchill, Lewis’s companion and sometimes co-author; Harold Rhode, a devoted friend; and many more.)

You can watch the whole thing here. (An hour and a half, comprised of a clip of Lewis with George Shultz when both received the Scholar-Statesman Award of The Washington Institute; three short presentations; and a discussion.) For those with less time, I’ve pulled out my own talk (fifteen minutes) and put it here. In my remarks, I asked what made Lewis so determined to keep on plugging, even into his nineties. Clue to the answer: 1940.

(And if you know Hebrew, I also spoke at a Tel Aviv University event in Lewis’s memory. A video my remarks is here. That address closely tracked my article on Lewis for the website of Foreign Affairs.)

I know of other planned events, and will report them as they occur.

May 1 deadline looms…

The deadline for the 2013 Washington Institute Book Prize approaches! It’s May 1, and the prize is a lucrative one: $30,000 for the Gold, $15,000 for the Silver, and $5,000 for the Bronze. Go here for the prize rules, past winners, and other vital information. Learn still more about the prize by watching the award announcement of the 2012 competition, in the clip embedded below. (The master of ceremonies is Robert Satloff, executive director of the Institute. If you don’t see the embed, go here.)

Washington Institute Book Prize: deadline looms!

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy has issued its last call for submissions for the 2012 fifth annual Washington Institute Book Prize. The prize is awarded to three outstanding new books that have illuminated the Middle East for American readers. Gold Prize is $30,000, Silver Prize is $15,000, and Bronze Prize is $5,000. The competition is open to new books published in the United States for the first time between May 1, 2011, and May 1, 2012. Read about past winners here.

Only publishers may submit books, so if you’re the author of an eligible book, get on the phone to your publisher now. Deadline is May 1.

And this year, the Institute has put out a two-minute promotional clip describing the prize and the 2011 winners. (Click here if you don’t see it embedded below.)