Obituary Note: David Fromkin

David Fromkin, "a nonacademic historian whose definitive book on the Middle East warned the West against nation-building by partitioning antagonistic religious groups behind arbitrary boundaries," died June 11, the New York Times reported. He was 84. Fromkin's A Peace to End All Peace (1989) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

His other books include Europe's Last Summer: Who Started the Great War in 1914?; The King and the Cowboy: Theodore Roosevelt and Edward the Seventh, Secret Partners; In the Time of the Americans: FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Marshall, MacArthur--The Generation that Changed America's Role in the World; and Cradle and Crucible: History and Faith in the Middle East.

In 1994, Fromkin joined Boston University, where he was director of the Center for International Relations (now part of the Pardee School of Global Studies) and taught international relations, history and law. He was the founding director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Long-Range Future. He retired as professor emeritus in 2013.

Adil Najam, dean of the Pardee School, said, "He combined the exact sensibility that our international relations program sought: rigorous scholarship combined with a nuanced sense of policy in the real world. To us, his being a 'nonacademic historian' was never an issue; maybe even an asset."

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