Because I spent one year (1982-83) working in the U.S. Department of State, Edward Said wrote in a 1985 screed titled "Orientalism Reconsidered" that I place my expertise "wholly at the service not of knowledge but of an aggressive and interventionary State - the U.S. - whose interests Pipes helps to define."
Now, thirty-six years later, Said's admirer and biographer Timothy Brennan has taken this inaccuracy a step further in Places of Mind: A Life of Edward Said, writing about the debates between Said and his critics:
More than a public drawing of swords, these encounters were often bitterly personal, in part because Orientalism portrayed Lewis, along with State Department intellectuals like Fouad Ajami and, somewhat later, Daniel Pipes, as the modern descendants of the racialized scholarship his book set out to expose.
"State Department intellectuals"? I expect the foreign service officers will enjoy that description as much as I do. As for "racialized scholarship," that's pure hokum; I challenge Brennan to find a single instance of my ever interpreting anything through race.
Daniel Pipes is president of the Middle East Forum.