Avi Shlaim

Avi Shlaim (born October 31, 1945 in Baghdad, Iraq) is an Israeli-British dual citizen and historian and identifies ethnically as an Iraqi Jew. He is now a professor of International relations at Oxford and in 2006 was elected fellow of the British Academy. Shlaim is considered a key member of a group of Israeli scholars known as the New Historians who put forward revised interpretations of the history of Zionism and Israel. He is a regular contributor to The Guardian newspaper.

Shlaim studied history at Cambridge University, then studied International Relations at the London School of Economics. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Reading. He taught International Relations at Reading University, specializing in European issues. His deep academic interest in the history of Israel began in 1987, when he took a position as a British Academy Research Professor at St. Antony's College, Oxford, and served as an outside examiner on the doctoral thesis of Ilan Pappe, another important New Historian.

Shlaim's approach to the study of history is informed by his belief that "The job of the historian is to judge."


  • Collusion across the Jordan: King Abdullah, the Zionist Movement and the Partition of Palestine (winner of the 1988 Political Studies Association's W. J. M. Mackenzie Prize)
  • The Politics of Partition (1990 and 1998)
  • War and Peace in the Middle East: A Concise History (1995)
  • The Cold War and the Middle East (co-editor, 1997)
  • The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World (2001)
  • Lion of Jordan: The Life of King Hussein in War and Peace (2007)


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