Professor Emeritus Aaron Berman 70F Publishes New Book, “America's Arab Nationalists”
Author Aaron Berman 70F P08 P05’s latest work explores the history of Arab nationalist movements in the United States during the early twentieth century, examining interactions with both the American government and the broader Arab world.
Berman, a Hampshire College professor emeritus of history and alum, recently published the book America's Arab Nationalists: From the Ottoman Revolution to the Rise of Hitler. Examining the complex relationship between Arab nationalists, Americans, and the struggle for independence, Berman offers insights into a topic that has been largely unexplored by historians.
Through extensive archival research, Berman provides a detailed analysis of the internal dynamics of the Arab nationalist movement in the United States. The book sheds light on several influential Americans, including members of the small Arab-American community who intellectually, politically, and financially participated in the construction of Arab nationalism.
In an interview with the Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative, Berman discussed his desire for this book to shine a light on an under discussed piece of American history. “I hope that a general audience of American readers who have little understanding of nationalism in general and usually see its Arab version as threatening will learn that Americans played a role in the birth and development of the ideology,” he said.
Berman's research focuses on the history of Jewish and Arab nationalisms, as well as twentieth century United States political and intellectual history. He received his doctorate in American history from Columbia University. His first book, Nazism, the Jews and American Zionism explained how American Jewry’s understanding of their own history shaped the Zionist response to the extermination of European Jewry. At Hampshire, he served as dean of faculty and vice president for academic affairs.