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Rich Rubenstein was educated at Harvard College (B.A. 1959), Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar (M.A. 1961), and Harvard Law School (J.D. 1963).  Before joining the George Mason faculty in 1987, he practiced law in Washington, D.C., taught political science at Roosevelt University in Chicago, and was professor of law at the Antioch School of Law. He is the author of eight books, including REBELS IN EDEN (1970), ALCHEMISTS OF REVOLUTION: TERRORISM IN THE MODERN WORLD (1985), and three books about religious conflict: WHEN JESUS BECAME GOD (1999), ARISTOTLE’S CHILDREN (2003), and THUS SAITH THE LORD: THE REVOLUTIONARY MORAL VISION OF ISAIAH AND JEREMIAH (2006).

Richard Rubenstein

Rich is an expert on American foreign policy, religious conflict, terrorism, and methods of resolving serious international and domestic disputes.  He teaches courses at ICAR on Critical Conflict Theory, Religion and Conflict, Popular Narratives of War and Peace, Political Violence, and other subjects.  He has lectured throughout the U.S.A. and Europe on topics ranging from the philosophy and practice of conflict resolution to the war on terrorism and current conflicts in the Middle East, and has appeared on numerous radio and television shows and in filmed documentaries discussing these issues.  He is a frequent speaker at churches, synagogues, mosques, and religious seminaries, as well as universities and NGOs.  He currently lives in Washington, D.C.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Lillian Hanson January 11, 2011 at 9:45 am

Prof. Rubenstein:

I would like to know more about your newly forming National Action Commission on Persistent Poverty and how I might participate in your discussions/workshops. Your reply will be most appreciated. Thank you.


Rich Rubenstein January 13, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Thanks very much for your expression of interest. Let me know where you are located and what your particular interests are, and we will arrange to talk further about this.


Rich Rubenstein January 25, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Dear Lillian,
I’m putting you on the list of people interested in this project. We will let you know as soon as
further activities are planned. Thanks very much for this expression of interest — and come
visit the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution the next time your are in DC.


kevin February 1, 2011 at 1:06 am

dear richard,
i heard your interesting discussion on both lenny lopate’s radio show a few weeks ago and on cspan the other night. i just wanted to inform you that military keynesim can be replaced (and many of the jobs associated with it) by developing a roosevelt-like alternative energy public works program (paid for by cutting in half the military industrial complex budget and imposing a minimal carbon tax on gasoline) which would reduce our reliance on foriegn oil and increase our national security.
“If” we had the political will and leadership to redirect our limited resources and used them to redirect individuals in (and those expected to enter) the MIC, as well as millions of our unemployed or underemployed, and both 1) retrofit our underused rust belt manufaturing assets to build solar panels, wind turbines and geothermal componets, and 2) trained these individuals to install rooftop solar systems on every sunshine appropriate building, turbines in the wind corridors and geothermal systems where it makes sense, the economic multiplier effect would be tremendous. “If” we did this we could bring down unemployment, reduce our carbon footprint and global warming, increase national security, and be a true world class leader. Will we? Only if “We the People” demand it.
Your thoughts?


david eberhardt February 27, 2011 at 3:38 pm

I believe I may have written you before- caught you on CSPAN the am of the 27th.
Where I come from? – I poured blood on draft records w Fr Berrigan in 1967.
I was waiting for more of a left perspective- but as I listened, I realized you are more friend than foe…I see you along with David Swanson- recent book -War Is a Lie- (no underline feature)- as some one I want to learn more from- I can use yr arguments and his wherever I go and I thank you for it.
How do we convert the so many Americans who are snookered by the wrong arguments- I hear them plenty evenhere in blue Baltimore- on am radio- on tv, etc.
Greetings, new mentor- along w Howard Zinn- you have wisdom.
My web site david eberhardt poetry and prose has my movement memoirs in detail.
Dan Berrigan is still alive and Plowshares Activists await trials in Tenn. and the state of Washington.


Hugh Aaron February 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm

I have just listened to your talk and discussion this morning on Book TV from the Cambridge Library. Yours is the first voice I’ve heard with whom I’m in entire agreement. As a WWII vet I opposed every war we’ve been in since “my” war. Indeed, I’ve written a novella and a play concerning what war does to otherwise noble people. Thanks for your sensible, and daring views.


Rich Rubenstein March 18, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Thanks, Hugh. I appreciate it very much.


Linda February 27, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Just heard you on Book TV. Great that you are bringing these awarenesses to the public. I’d like to weigh in on what I heard you say as to what you said about the Vietnam War anti-war movement not being rooted primarily in the draft, your referencing there being drafts in WWII and Korean War.

What I’ve not ever heard explored is this: Those of us born during or right after WWII grew up without our own culture for the most part. We listened to the music, wore the clothing and essentially saw the world just as our parents did. Except for early Disney, there were scant kids/teenager only films, radio or magazines.

When TV & Rock n’ Roll came on the scene in the early 50s, for the first time ever, youth had their own culture. We now had our own voice through music to express our generation. Having parents who had been so traumatized from the Depression and wars, we were the golden children from whom little was asked as parents were going to give us the childhood/teenhood they never had. We weren’t asked to get jobs to help the family out or serve in any capacity to help our country. As the film and magazine industry had the “smarts” to turn their attention to millions of kids ripe for the picking, we were overwhelmed with it all being about “us.” Out rolled the movies, clothes, school supplies, jewelry, you name it. We were our own now – not copies of our parents.

By the time the Vietnam War came, we also were separating from our parental idenitification by using drugs and birth control, now in existence, sex.

I was at San Francisco State when the draft came close to home and boys I knew were called up. There was a rush to marry to keep them from going and many of us did that.
From my perspective, those I knew weren’t resisting going because they didn’t believe in this particular war. They wouldn’t have gone to any war. The times were too good – the fun was too seductive, the freedom was an elixir.

War was for the parents. Don’t interrupt our good time.
It was about peace and love, rock and roll, sex and prolonged childhood – we being from parents for whom there had hardly been a teenagehood.

The concept of defending one’s country didn’t exist, for many, in the mentality of teenagers then.

While I was in CA and so my perceptions may be skewed towards that culture, this is in no way a blanket statement about a whole generation. Certainly there were brave and committed soldiers and nurses who went and gave their all for all of us. However, I stick by my thoughts that that the overall umbrella of why their was such an anti-war movement had, for most teenagers, less to do with politics and more to do with what I have discussed above.

The only addition to this is that those parents of ours who joined the anti-war movement were, in my opinion, heartsick at yet another generation having to go through what they went through.


Rich Rubenstein March 18, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Thanks for the interesting comment, Linda. I think there’s a lot in what you say, although there were many sensibilities at play in the anti-war generation. The separation from parents that you describe was part of the picture, but I think there was also an urge to recapture part of the WW II mentality, too, at least for many of the more politicized folks in the movement. The name “Mobilization” suggests this, since the last mobilization before the sixties was that of the forties. For some of us, at least, the movement was our “good war,” our chance to sacrifice for a noble cause, our fight against fascist-like violence and repression. How about this to think on: “The anti-war mobilization of the Vietnam years was the last act of World War II.”


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Alia Massoud April 12, 2017 at 4:07 pm

From Basic Books: CRUCIBLE OF FAITH by Philip Jenkins

Dear Professor Rubenstein,

I’m writing on behalf of Lara Heimert, the Publisher and History Editor at Basic Books, in regard to an important title we will be publishing this fall here at Basic—Crucible of Faith: The Ancient Revolution That Made Our Modern Religious World by Philip Jenkins, one of America’s foremost scholars of religion. We are hoping you might be willing to take a look at the page proofs with an eye to a possible blurb. Here is a short description of the project:

In The Crucible of Faith, Philip Jenkins argues that much of the Judeo-Christian tradition we know today was born between 250-50 BCE, during a turbulent “Crucible Era.” It was during these years that Judaism grappled with Hellenizing forces and produced new religious ideas that reflected and responded to their changing world. By the time of the fall of the Temple in 70 CE, concepts that might once have seemed bizarre became normalized-and thus passed on to Christianity and later Islam.
Drawing widely on contemporary sources from outside the canonical Old and New Testaments, Jenkins reveals an era of political violence and social upheaval that ultimately gave birth to entirely new ideas about religion, the afterlife, Creation and the Fall, and the nature of God and Satan.

If you share our enthusiasm for Crucible of Faith, we would be grateful for any words of endorsement that you might be able to provide by the end of May. May I send you a set of galleys?

Thank you very much for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.


Alia Massoud
Editorial Assistant | Basic Books
Perseus Books, a Hachette Book Group company
1290 Avenue of the Americas | New York, NY 10019
Facebook | Twitter | Fall 2016 catalog | Spring 2017 catalog


Jakob July 29, 2017 at 10:51 pm

Hello Sir

My name is Jakob and I’m from Denmark.

I have a request regarding your book “When Jesus became God”.
I would like to translate the book into Danish (in PDF-format) and upload both the English and Danish versions to my websites: http://www.kigosite.wordpress.com and http://www.hvemergud.wordpress.com.
The content of the sites are Christian Theology from a Biblical unitarian perspective.

Would this be ok?

(I could not find your email address, so I hope that is is ok that I contact you through your blog)



Rich Rubenstein August 26, 2017 at 6:33 pm

Dear Jakob, translating the book into Danish is ok with me, but I do not have the legal authority to give that permission. You need to contact the publisher, Mariner Books, in New York. Thanks for your inquiry.


Karl Smith July 12, 2018 at 3:30 am

Dear Richard. This is Karl F. Smith, Don Smith’s son from Chicago. The middle name was for Friedrich don’t you know? How many Red Diaper babies you know that were named after Marx & Engels for crying out loud? I was born in Dec. 1961 so you must be a pretty old fart by now but your relatively old book “Alchemists of Revolution” is fucking brilliant! I’ve been saying that for 30 years mind you but it’s particularly prescient since Osama Bin Laden’s been the richest lazy & frustrated intellectual to be able to afford a large scale plunder. But today you have the Black Block ruining movements and generating repression so the book is still as refreshing as when the Bolsheviks warned against the pitfalls of the Narodniks. Therefore I love you Brother and please write me before you pass onto literary eternity.. Sincerely. Karl F. Smith. yotapartsguy@gmail.com 520-977-0112


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