Russell A. Berman

Senior Fellow

Russell A. Berman, the Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a member of the Working Group on Islamism and the International Order.

Berman specializes in the study of German literary history and cultural politics. He is a member of both the Department of German Studies and the Department of Comparative Literature at Stanford. He has served in numerous administrative positions at Stanford.

He is the author of numerous articles and books including Enlightenment or Empire: Colonial Discourse in German Culture (1998) and The Rise of the Modern German Novel: Crisis and Charisma (1986), both of which won the Outstanding Book Award of the German Studies Association (in 1987 and 2000, respectively). Hoover Institution Press published his books Freedom or Terror: Europe Faces Jihad (2010) and Anti-Americanism in Europe: A Cultural Problem (2004). His other books include Fiction Sets You Free: Literature, Liberty and Western Culture (2007), Cultural Studies of Modern Germany: Representation and Nationhood (1993), Modern Culture and Critical Theory: Art, Politics and the Legacy of the Frankfurt School (1989), and Between Fontane and Tucholsky: Literary Criticism and the Public Sphere in Wilhelmine Germany (1983). He has also published numerous articles in the Hoover Digest, most recently "Spoken Like a World Citizen" (spring 2011). His writings have also appeared in Defining Ideas and Advancing a Free Society.

Berman has received many honors and awards including a Mellon Faculty Fellowship at Harvard University (1982–83), an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (1988–89), and the Bundesverdienstkreuz of the Federal Republic of Germany (1997).

Berman received his BA in 1972 from Harvard and his doctorate from Washington University in 1979.

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Recent Commentary

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The Western Rift Over Iran

by Russell A. Bermanvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Europeans wants stricter terms in the nuclear negotiations than the Obama administration. 

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Academic Freedom and Academic Standards

by Russell A. Bermanvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Anti-Semitism and the case of Steven Salaita.

Headlong Retreat

by Russell A. Bermanvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Drones are no substitute for strategy and determination.

The New American Isolationism
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The New American Isolationism

by Russell A. Bermanvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Obama administration’s foreign policy will have dangerous consequences in the Middle East.

In Retreat: America's Withdrawal from the Middle East

In Retreat: America’s Withdrawal from the Middle East

by Russell A. Bermanvia Fellow Talks
Monday, May 5, 2014

Russell Berman, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, discussed US foreign policy in the Middle East in his talk entitled “In Retreat: America’s Withdrawal from the Middle East.” 

In Retreat: America's Withdrawal from the Middle East

by Russell A. Bermanvia Hoover Press
Thursday, May 1, 2014

Russell A. Berman explains how the US withdrawal from the Middle East could have long-term consequences, as other forces come forward to fill the gap. He details how the retreat began and how the reduction of the US commitment has, in turn, set off a wave of repercussions.

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Featured Commentary

The Goal of the Boycott

by Russell A. Bermanvia Los Angeles Review of Books
Monday, March 17, 2014

This is one of eight essays we published today on ”Academic Activism: Israelis, Palestinians, and the Ethics of Boycott.” Click here to read the others.    THE MOVEMENT to boycott, divest, and sanction (BDS) Israel presents itself as a nonviolent and grassroots … Continue reading →

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Iran, Syria And Obama's Disappearing Red Line For Assad

by Russell A. Bermanvia Investor's Business Daily
Friday, December 6, 2013

Even though Obama called for an end to Assad's rule in Syria, the administration did nothing to promote regime change because it didn't want to offend Iran.

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Obama’s Foreign Policy Legacy

by Russell A. Bermanvia Defining Ideas
Friday, September 13, 2013

Anti-Americanism is back in Egypt and Germany.

Syrian Refugees
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Not the Right Leader

by Russell A. Bermanvia The Caravan
Thursday, September 12, 2013

US diplomacy has lost the latest round in the Syria showdown. Just as the Assad regime embraced the proposal to place its chemical weapons under international control, it restarted its bombing campaign against rebel positions in Damascus.