Bawer received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in English from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he also taught courses in literature and composition.
He moved from New York to Amsterdam in 1998, where he felt that he could live better as a gay man in a more liberal society. He then moved to Oslo in 1999, and throughout the years has translated several books from Norwegian to English. He currently lives with his partner in Oslo, Norway.
Bawer's works have appeared in journals such as The New Republic, The Nation, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The New Criterion, The American Spectator and The Hudson Review.
In A Place at the Table, Bawer argued for what he considers a centrist and mainstream political philosophy at odds with the gay left. In Stealing Jesus, Bawer leveled sharp criticism at evangelical, Pentecostal, and other strains of modern Christianity, including premillennialism and evangelical apologism for capitalism.
In While Europe Slept, Bawer writes that Europe's politically correct culture defends and protects the Islamic fundamentalism that is preying upon its liberal social systems. Bawer argues that Islamists use welfare and religious grants to fund extremist mosques and support imams with a violent past. Once established in Western European nations, Bawer maintains, the Islamists avoid integration and answer only to sharia law, while avoiding the legal systems of their host nations, allowing abuse of women, gays, Jews, and non-Muslims. In his conclusion, Bawer states that rising Muslim birthrates and "refusal" to integrate will allow them to dominate European society within 30 years, and that the only way to avoid such a disaster is to abolish the politically correct and multicultural doctrine that, according to him, is rife within the continent.
While Europe Slept was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award for 2006 in the criticism category, a circumstance that led to controversy. Eliot Weinberger, one of the board members of the Circle, when he presented the list of nominations for the award, stated that Bawer's book was an example of "racism as criticism." Following that, the president of the Circle, John Freeman, declared that "I have never been more embarrassed by a choice than I have been with Bruce Bawer's When Europe Slept. And claims its hyperventilated rhetoric tips from actual critique into Islamophobia." Bawer declared that comments such as those from Weinberger and Freeman came as no surprise, as he had been expecting a considerable amount of criticism from "politically correct" officials; in response, he stated that he had never criticized a race, only Islam as a "political ideology." J. Peder Zane, a member on the nomination committee, said Freeman "was completely unfair to Bruce Bawer" and insulting to the committee.
Since 2009, Bawer has also been an associate of the Oslo-based organisation Human Rights Service.
Far Right extremist Anders Behring Breivik, the perpetrator of the 2011 Norway attacks, cited Bawer's While Europe Slept in his manifesto. Bawer notes that all these citations were the result of Breivik's wholesale reproduction of Fjordman's essays.
In a review, Stephen Pollard described Bawer's 2009 book, Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom, as an argument that liberal appeasement is paving the way for a replacement of European civilization by Islamic culture.
Place at the Table: The Gay Individual in American Society by Bruce Bawer
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (October 1, 1994)
Amazon: Place at the Table: The Gay Individual in American Society
Bruce Bawer exposes the heated controversy over gay rights and presents a passionate plea for the recognition of common values, "a place at the table" for everyone.
Beyond Queer: Challenging Gay Left Orthodoxy by Bruce Bawer
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Free Press; 1ST edition (June 3, 1996)
Amazon: Beyond Queer: Challenging Gay Left Orthodoxy
Frustrated by ideologically, out-of-touch gay activist leaders and gay studies theorists, Bruce Bawer, Andrew Sullivan, Daniel Mendelsohn, David Boaz, and other writers take on the gay establishment, challenging them to rethink such issues as same-sex marriage and family life, religion, "outing", and activism.
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