Mark LeVine is a professor of history at the University of California, Irvine. He is also a musician. He received his B.A. in comparative religion and biblical studies from Hunter College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from New York University's Department of Middle Eastern Studies. He speaks Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, and Persian, as well as Italian, French and German.
LeVine is an accomplished rock guitarist and has played with noted rock and world beat musicians such as Mick Jagger, Chuck D, Michael Franti, and Doctor John. He recorded with Morroccan Hassan Hakmoun and the French Gypsy band Les Yeux Noirs on Ozomatli's album Street Signs which won the Grammy for Best Latin Rock/Alternative album in 2005.
In a review of LeVine's book Why They Don't Hate Us, the London Sunday Times writes, "LeVine is absolutely right and, indeed, quite brave to insist on the reality of complexity. Terrorism and war both tend to simplify world views and, without doubting their intellectual status, so do the utopians of the new right... Perhaps his book’s greatest virtue is that it introduces both the many shades of opinion and cultural complexity of the, largely, Arab world. In addition, LeVine is absolutely right to insist on the importance of culture... LeVine detonates the uneasy but nonetheless profound complacency that seems to have invaded politics."