Richard W. Bulliet
is a professor of history at Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...
who specializes in the history of Islamic society
The term Islamic Society has several different meanings:* A society in which Islamic culture is dominant.* Mosque, or Islamic Center - the place of Muslim prayer.:Category:Mosques - mosque category.:Category:Islamic organizations - of various types....
and institutions, the history of technology
Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...
, and the history of the role of animals in human society.
Early life and education
Bulliet grew up in Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...
. He attended Harvard, from which he received a B.A. in 1962 and a Ph.D. in 1967. He is the grandson of Clarence Joseph ("C.J.") Bulliet
Clarence Joseph Bulliet, or "C.J." Bulliet, was an American art critic and author.Bulliet grew up in Corydon, Indiana and graduated in 1904 from Indiana University. For nine years he pursued a journalism career in Indianapolis...
, the art critic and journalist.
Several of his books focus on Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...
but deal also with the larger Muslim
Islam . The most common are and . : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...
world, including The Patricians of Nishapur: a Study in Medieval Islamic History
(1972), Conversion to Islam in the Medieval Period: An Essay in Quantitative History
(1979), and Islam: the View from the Edge
(1994). His books on a broader view of Islamic history and society include Under Siege: Islam and Democracy
(1994) and The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization
(2004). His book The Camel and the Wheel
(1975) brings together his interest in the histories of technology, animal domestication, and the Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...
, dealing for example with the significant military advantage early Muslim armies gained from a slight improvement in the design of cloth camel saddles. He would return to the history of animal domestication with his Hunters, Herders, and Hamburgers: The Past and Future of Human-Animal Relationships
He is the writer and editor of books of more general interest as well, including The Columbia History of the Twentieth Century
(editor, 1998), The Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East
(co-editor, 1996), and The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History
(co-author, 1997). He has also written several novels which draw on his knowledge of international politics and the Middle East, and is a promoter of the validity of comics as an art form.
His first fiction book, Kicked to Death by a Camel
(1973), was nominated for an Edgar for "Best First Mystery". His other fiction includes Tomb of the Twelfth Imam
(1979), The Gulf Scenario
(1974), The Sufi Fiddle
(1991), and The One-Donkey Solution
Bulliet's current opinion pieces on the Middle East, as well as his latest writings on animal domestication and "post-domesticity," are syndicated by Agence Global.
According to an interview in Columbia
magazine's Fall 2007 edition, Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger credits Bulliet with the idea for inviting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
to speak on campus on September 24, 2007.
- Bulliet's Columbia Homepage
- Bulliet's address to the Dialogue among Civilizations, United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...
, New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...
, 5 September 2000
- Islam: The View from the Edge back cover matter
- Agence Global