Bernard Wasserstein (born 22 January 1948 in London) is a British and American historian.
Bernard Wasserstein was born in London on 22 January 1948. Wasserstein's father, Abraham Wasserstein (1921–1995), born in Frankfurt, was Professor of Classics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His mother, Margaret (née Ecker, 1921–2017), was born in Budapest. He was educated at the High School of Glasgow and Wyggeston Boys' Grammar School, Leicester. He earned a BA in Modern History at Balliol College, Oxford in 1969 and a DPhil at Nuffield College, Oxford in 1974. In 2001 he was awarded the 'advanced research degree' of DLitt by Oxford University. His brother, David J. Wasserstein, is Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. His sister, Celia Wasserstein-Fassberg, is Professor of International Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Wasserstein was a Research Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford (1973–5). He taught at the University of Sheffield (1976–9) and Brandeis University in Massachusetts (1980–96), where he was Professor of History and Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He was President of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies (1996–2000) and Fellow by Special Election of St Cross College, Oxford. He was Professor of History at the University of Glasgow (2000–2003). From 2003 to 2014 he was Ulrich and Harriet Meyer Professor of Modern European Jewish History at the University of Chicago. He was a visiting fellow of the Institutes of Advanced Studies in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the National Humanities Center in North Carolina, the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies in Uppsala, All Souls College, Oxford, and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2007–8 and has also held fellowships of the American Philosophical Society, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for Humanities. In 2015–16 he was Allianz Visiting Professor of Modern Jewish History at the Ludwig Maximilians Universität, Munich. He is a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. He was a member of the London executive of the Leo Baeck Institute (1997–2003), President of the Jewish Historical Society of England (2000–2002), and a board member of the Menasseh ben Israel Institute, Amsterdam. In the spring of 2019 he was a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Urban History of East Central Europe, Lviv. His books have been translated into French, German, Romanian, Portuguese, Spanish, Hebrew, Chinese, Vietnamese, Hungarian, and Dutch. Now an emeritus professor of the University of Chicago, Wasserstein is retired from teaching but continues to engage in historical research and writing.
Wasserstein is a dual citizen of the United States and the United Kingdom. He is married to Shirley Haasnoot, a Dutch journalist and historian. He has one son and one daughter and lives in Amsterdam.
Awards and honours
- Crime Writers Association Golden Dagger Award for Non-Fiction, 1988.
- Yad Vashem International Book Prize, 2013.
- The British in Palestine: The Mandatory Government and the Arab-Jewish Conflict 1917–1929 (1978)
- Britain and the Jews of Europe, 1939–1945 (1979)
- The Jews in Modern France, edited with Frances Malino (1985)
- The Secret Lives of Trebitsch Lincoln (1988)
- Herbert Samuel: A Political Life (1992)
- Vanishing Diaspora: The Jews in Europe since 1945 (1996)
- Secret War in Shanghai (1999)
- Divided Jerusalem: The Struggle for the Holy City (2001)
- Israelis and Palestinians: Why Do They Fight? Can They Stop? (2003)
- Barbarism and Civilization: A History of Europe in Our Time (2007)
- On the Eve: The Jews of Europe Before the Second World War (2012)
- The Ambiguity of Virtue: Gertrude van Tijn and the Fate of the Dutch Jews (2014)
- A Small Town in Ukraine: The Place we came from, the place we went back to (2023)
- "Confessions of a Jewish Historian". The Yiddish Book Center’s Frances Brandt Online Yiddish Audio Library, March 2, 1989.
- "Bernard Wasserstein." Gale Literature: Contemporary Authors, Gale, 2013. In Context: Biography. GALE|H1000115288. Retrieved on November 26, 2020.
- "Bernard Wasserstein." Harriet & Ulrich E. Meyer Professor Emeritus of Modern European Jewish History and the College. The University of Chicago, Department of History. Archived from the original. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
- "Bernard (Mano Julius) Wasserstein." The Writers Directory, St. James Press, 2018. Gale In Context: Biography. GALE|K1649565224. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
- "Bernard Wasserstein." University of Chicago News. Archived from the original. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
- Pye, Lucian W. Review of Secret War in Shanghai by Bernard Wasserstein. Foreign Affairs, Vol. 79, No. 2, March/April 2000, pp. 175-176. JSTOR 20049704.doi:10.2307/20049704. Archived from the original.