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1 Beaverton World History- Middle East

Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present

by

Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The history of America's political, military, and intellectual involvement in the Middle East from George Washington to George W. Bush.

From the first cannonballs fired by American warships at North African pirates to the conquest of Falluja by the Marines — from the early American explorers who probed the sources of the Nile to the diplomats who strove for Arab-Israeli peace — the United States has been dramatically involved in the Middle East. For well over two centuries, American statesmen, merchants, and missionaries, both men and women, have had a profound impact on the shaping of this crucial region. Yet their story has never been told until now. Drawing on thousands of government documents and personal letters, featuring original maps and over sixty photographs, this book reconstructs the diverse and remarkable ways in which Americans have interacted with this alluring yet often hostile land stretching from Morocco to Iran, from the Persian Gulf to the Bosporus.

Covering over 230 years of history, Power, Faith, and Fantasy is an indispensable work for anyone interested in understanding the roots of America's Middle East involvement today.

Review:

"In this engaging if unbalanced survey, the author of the acclaimed Six Days of War finds continuity in U.S. relations with the Middle East from the early 19th-century war against the Barbary pirates to today's Iraq war. As America's power grew, he contends, strategic considerations became complicatedby the region's religious significance, especially to the Protestant missionaries whose interests drove U.S. policyin the 19th century and who championed a Jewish state in Palestine long before the Zionist movement took up that cause. Meanwhile, Oren notes, Americans' romantic fantasies about the Muslim world (as expressed in Mideast-themed movies) have repeatedly run aground on stubborn, squalid realities, most recently in the Iraq fiasco. Oren dwells on the pre-WWII era, when U.S.-Mideast relations were of little significance. The postwar period, when these relations were central to world affairs, gets shoehorned into 127 hasty pages, and the emphasis on continuity gives short shrift to the new and crucial role of oil in U.S. policy making. Oren's treatment views this history almost entirely through American eyes; the U.S. comes off as usually well intentioned and idealistic, if often confused and confounded by regional complexities. Oren's is a fluent, comprehensive narrative of two centuries of entanglement, but it's analytically disappointing." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"In this engaging if unbalanced survey, the author of the acclaimed Six Days of War finds continuity in U.S. relations with the Middle East from the early 19th-century war against the Barbary pirates to today's Iraq war. As America's power grew, he contends, strategic considerations became complicatedby the region's religious significance, especially to the Protestant missionaries whose interests drove U.S. policyin the 19th century and who championed a Jewish state in Palestine long before the Zionist movement took up that cause. Meanwhile, Oren notes, Americans' romantic fantasies about the Muslim world (as expressed in Mideast-themed movies) have repeatedly run aground on stubborn, squalid realities, most recently in the Iraq fiasco. Oren dwells on the pre-WWII era, when U.S.-Mideast relations were of little significance. The postwar period, when these relations were central to world affairs, gets shoehorned into 127 hasty pages, and the emphasis on continuity gives short shrift to the new and crucial role of oil in U.S. policy making. Oren's treatment views this history almost entirely through American eyes; the U.S. comes off as usually well intentioned and idealistic, if often confused and confounded by regional complexities. Oren's is a fluent, comprehensive narrative of two centuries of entanglement, but it's analytically disappointing. Photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"We often hear that Americans know little about other nations; a bigger problem is that we know too little about ourselves, our history and our national character. When it comes to U.S. foreign policy, in particular, we were all born yesterday, unaware of how present policies and attitudes fit into persistent historical patterns. So when a brilliant, lucid historian such as Michael B. Oren does bring... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Michael Oren offers a sweeping chronicle of America's Middle Eastern policies and perceptions, arguing that the lands of the Ottoman Empire...have long loomed large to Washington and to the wider American populace, helping to define America's sense of itself and its role in the world." Wall Street Journal

Review:

"Oren knows how to tell a story, turn a phrase and tweak a delightful detail....Perhaps inevitably, the most memorable moments in Power, Faith and Fantasy catch Americans behaving badly." Balitomore Sun

Review:

"Oren is at his best when describing American involvement in the twentieth century as the U.S. replaced Britain as the dominant 'imperial' power in the area. Appealing to both scholars and general readers." Booklist

Book News Annotation:

Beset by privateers and bereft of protection by the British navy, the newly founded USA had a pressing interest in diplomacy with Algeria and other havens for pirates. Slightly later the new nation, its self-confidence greatly grown, provided a steady stream of Orientalists and missionaries seeking documents, relics, and souls to save. Oren (history, Shalem Center) points out that American involvement in the Middle East started at the moment there was an America. He details the various people who sought to explore the Middle East, exploit it, explain it to the folks back home, make it into America's image, and save it from itself. He explains the rampant fantasies about the Holy Land, the piety mixed freely with imperialism, the movements founded in America that helped to shape the destiny of Israel, and the fact that oil is a relatively new element. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

"Will shape our thinking about America and the Middle East for years."--Christopher Dickey, Newsweek

Synopsis:

This best-selling history is the first fully comprehensive history of America's involvement in the Middle East from George Washington to George W. Bush. As Niall Ferguson writes, "If you think America's entanglement in the Middle East began with Roosevelt and Truman, Michael Oren's deeply researched and brilliantly written history will be a revelation to you, as it was to me. With its cast of fascinating characters--earnest missionaries, maverick converts, wide-eyed tourists, and even a nineteenth-century George Bush--Power, Faith, and Fantasy is not only a terrific read, it is also proof that you don't really understand an issue until you know its history."

About the Author

Michael B. Oren is a Senior Fellow at the Shalem Center. A visiting professor at Harvard and Yale Universities, Oren is the author of the best-selling Six Days of War. He lives in Jerusalem.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393058260
Author:
Oren, Michael
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Author:
Oren, Michael B.
Subject:
Middle East
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Military - United States
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Middle East - General
Subject:
International Relations - General
Subject:
Middle East Foreign relations.
Subject:
United States Foreign relations.
Subject:
US History-General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20070131
Binding:
Hardcover
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
68 black-and-white photographs, 4 maps
Pages:
832
Dimensions:
9.6 x 6.5 x 1.7 in 2.525 lb

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Middle East » General History
History and Social Science » Military » US Military » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Middle East

Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present Used Hardcover
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Product details 832 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393058260 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this engaging if unbalanced survey, the author of the acclaimed Six Days of War finds continuity in U.S. relations with the Middle East from the early 19th-century war against the Barbary pirates to today's Iraq war. As America's power grew, he contends, strategic considerations became complicatedby the region's religious significance, especially to the Protestant missionaries whose interests drove U.S. policyin the 19th century and who championed a Jewish state in Palestine long before the Zionist movement took up that cause. Meanwhile, Oren notes, Americans' romantic fantasies about the Muslim world (as expressed in Mideast-themed movies) have repeatedly run aground on stubborn, squalid realities, most recently in the Iraq fiasco. Oren dwells on the pre-WWII era, when U.S.-Mideast relations were of little significance. The postwar period, when these relations were central to world affairs, gets shoehorned into 127 hasty pages, and the emphasis on continuity gives short shrift to the new and crucial role of oil in U.S. policy making. Oren's treatment views this history almost entirely through American eyes; the U.S. comes off as usually well intentioned and idealistic, if often confused and confounded by regional complexities. Oren's is a fluent, comprehensive narrative of two centuries of entanglement, but it's analytically disappointing." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this engaging if unbalanced survey, the author of the acclaimed Six Days of War finds continuity in U.S. relations with the Middle East from the early 19th-century war against the Barbary pirates to today's Iraq war. As America's power grew, he contends, strategic considerations became complicatedby the region's religious significance, especially to the Protestant missionaries whose interests drove U.S. policyin the 19th century and who championed a Jewish state in Palestine long before the Zionist movement took up that cause. Meanwhile, Oren notes, Americans' romantic fantasies about the Muslim world (as expressed in Mideast-themed movies) have repeatedly run aground on stubborn, squalid realities, most recently in the Iraq fiasco. Oren dwells on the pre-WWII era, when U.S.-Mideast relations were of little significance. The postwar period, when these relations were central to world affairs, gets shoehorned into 127 hasty pages, and the emphasis on continuity gives short shrift to the new and crucial role of oil in U.S. policy making. Oren's treatment views this history almost entirely through American eyes; the U.S. comes off as usually well intentioned and idealistic, if often confused and confounded by regional complexities. Oren's is a fluent, comprehensive narrative of two centuries of entanglement, but it's analytically disappointing. Photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Michael Oren offers a sweeping chronicle of America's Middle Eastern policies and perceptions, arguing that the lands of the Ottoman Empire...have long loomed large to Washington and to the wider American populace, helping to define America's sense of itself and its role in the world."
"Review" by , "Oren knows how to tell a story, turn a phrase and tweak a delightful detail....Perhaps inevitably, the most memorable moments in Power, Faith and Fantasy catch Americans behaving badly."
"Review" by , "Oren is at his best when describing American involvement in the twentieth century as the U.S. replaced Britain as the dominant 'imperial' power in the area. Appealing to both scholars and general readers."
"Synopsis" by , "Will shape our thinking about America and the Middle East for years."--Christopher Dickey, Newsweek
"Synopsis" by , This best-selling history is the first fully comprehensive history of America's involvement in the Middle East from George Washington to George W. Bush. As Niall Ferguson writes, "If you think America's entanglement in the Middle East began with Roosevelt and Truman, Michael Oren's deeply researched and brilliantly written history will be a revelation to you, as it was to me. With its cast of fascinating characters--earnest missionaries, maverick converts, wide-eyed tourists, and even a nineteenth-century George Bush--Power, Faith, and Fantasy is not only a terrific read, it is also proof that you don't really understand an issue until you know its history."
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