Harvard Law professor Noah Feldman is a highly respected public intellectual known for his ability to frame and explain complex legal issues. Called “one of the stars of his generation” by Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, he writes a weekly column for Bloomberg News, specializing in real-time analysis of today’s big legal cases. Esquire named him one of the “75 most influential people of the 21st century.”
The Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Feldman teaches constitutional and international law and is a Senior Fellow of the Society of Fellows at Harvard University. He speaks four languages, including Arabic and Hebrew, and is an expert on Islamic philosophy and law, the separation of church and state, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
One of New York magazine’s three most influential contemporary idea-drivers, Feldman clerked for Supreme Court Justice David Souter and served as a senior constitutional adviser during the drafting of Iraq's constitution. He speaks widely on international affairs and what he calls "the intersection of ideas and real world power politics.”
According to Harvard Law’s William Rubenstein, “When Noah Feldman opens his mouth words flutter out like butterflies loosed from a net. The effect is luminous, but the substance concrete. Few people know as much about as many things, fewer still are able to articulate their knowledge with the style, insight, and passion that Noah – with little apparent effort – commands.”
Publishers Weekly called his book Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR’s Great Justices "a first-rate work of narrative history that succeeds in bringing the intellectual and political battles of the post-Roosevelt Court vividly to life." His previous books include The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State, Divided by God, and After Jihad. He is at work on a biography of James Madison.
In 2013, Random House released his latest book, Cool War: The Future of Global Competition, a thought-provoking look at U.S.-China relations. Most recently, he co-authored Constitutional Law, Eighteenth Edition.
Feldman is the director of the Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law at Harvard Law. A graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School, he earned a doctorate in Islamic thought from Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.
- Noah Feldman: Muslim and Western Views of Sharia (2012)
- Colbert Report: Feldman discusses "Cool War"
- CNN: 'Scorpions' & the Supreme Court (2010)
- TEDtalk: Politics and Religion are Technologies (2008)
- Feldman on 'Madison and Frankfurter: Friends, Enemies, and the Meaning of the Constitution' (2014)
- Feldman discusses the US and China's race for economic dominance (2013)
- TEDx: Feldman on Revolution/Arab Spring (2012)
- Aspen Institute interview: FDR's "Scorpions" (2011)
Constitutional Law expert Professor Noah Feldman unpacks the marquee decisions of the day, from Obama’s health care plan to immigration laws to what violates free speech. Feldman specializes in real-time analysis of the big Supreme Court cases for Bloomberg and The New York Times Magazine.
What’s in store for 2016, and what does it mean for you? In this speech, Feldman explains the Supreme Court’s process from the inside out, introducing you to the personalities of the justices and the many angles of each issue.
The rise of ISIS and the success of secular democracy in Tunisia are bookends marking alternate futures for the Islamic world. Can Islamic government coexist with peace and democracy?Read More >
Can ethics be taught or only demonstrated by example? This debate is as old as ethics itself, but it has an answer: leaders can promote ethics by sharing their decision process even as they take ethical action. This talk explores case studies of leadership ethics and power, from Aristotle to Abraham Lincoln to Indira Gandhi.Read More >
We are entering a new historical era. The US and China are not only economically interdependent and intertwined, but also deeply in competition for geopolitical power. The combination is unprecedented and will impact business, war, and peace for at least the next half century. This talk charts a future that will affect everyone.Read More >
The face of the Middle East has changed fundamentally with the collapse of Syria and the rise of ISIS. Meanwhile, Iran is on the brink of nuclear power. How will these new configurations affect the region, the world, and the future of energy? Are we in a 30-years war?Read More >
The greatest justices of the Supreme Court have not been the consensus builders but rather those who stuck to their principles – even when it meant conflict with each other. This talk tells the story of how the great justices’ mutual contempt spurred them to competitive greatness. It proposes that in some contexts, teamwork doesn’t produce the best results: competition does.Read More >
Our founding fathers began as close allies, with Washington and Jefferson, Hamilton and Madison all working together for a constitution that would avoid partisanship. Within a decade factions had formed. Jefferson and Madison pitted against Washington and Hamilton, and from their enmity came the first political parties. Noah Feldman asks how can we get anything done in a world of partisanship? He answers the question through the founding fathers’ struggles – and their willingness to adopt each others’ ideas even in the midst of battle.Read More >
The Monotheistic Faiths: Who Says They Are The Same?
Even though Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have common origins, these religions have fought some of the bloodiest wars of history against one another. Noah Feldman explores and compares the themes of each tradition: law for Judaism, love for Christianity, and justice for Islam. It offers possibilities for religious dialogue and warnings about its limits.
Divided By God? Religion And Government In America
Americans are among the most religious people on earth, and our politics are infused by religious values and language. Yet our country’s constitution separates church from state. This talk explores how successive generations of Americans have dealt with the deep question of how religion and politics should interact, offering practical solutions to the conflict between evangelicals and secularists.
Will anti-Semitism ever end? To what extent is anti-Israel sentiment a cover for anti-Semitism? Is there a difference between historic anti-Semitism as it existed before the Holocaust and modern anti-Semitism since 1948 and the state of Israel? This talk addresses these hard questions with sensitivity and without blame or rancor.Read More >
- Cool War: The Future of Global Competition
- Sullivan and Feldman's Constitutional Law, 18th Edition
- Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices
- The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State
- Divided by God: America's Church-State Problem--and What We Should Do About It
- After Jihad: America and the Struggle for Islamic Democracy