Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Presentby Michael B. Oren
Pub. Date: 01/16/2007
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Power, Faith, and Fantasy tells the remarkable story of America's 230-year relationship with the Middle East. Drawing on a vast range of government documents, personal correspondence, and the memoirs of merchants, missionaries, and travelers, Michael B. Oren narrates the unknown story of how the United States has interacted with this vibrant and turbulent region.
About the Author:
Michael B. Oren is a senior fellow at the Shalem Center
- Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.90(d)
Table of Contents
Prologue: A Passage to Glory 3
Introduction: Recovering a Pivotal Past 9
Early America Encounters the Middle East
A Mortal and Mortifying Threat 17
The Hostile and Ethereal Orient 41
A Crucible of American Identity 51
Illuminating and Emancipating the World 80
The Middle East and Antebellum America
Confluence and Conflict 101
Manifest Middle Eastern Destiny 122
Under American Eyes 149
The Civil War and Reconstruction
Rebs and Yanks on the Nile 190
The Trumpet That Never Calls Retreat 210
American Onslaught 228
The Age of Imperialism
Empires at Dawn 257
Imperial Piety 273
Imperial Myths 297
A Region Renamed and Reordered 307
America, the Middle East, and the Great War
Spectators of Catastrophe 325
Action or Nonaction? 340
An American Movement Is Born 351
Arise, O Arabs, and Awake! 367
The First Middle East Peace Process 376
Fantasies Revived 398
Oil, War, and Ascendancy
From Bibles to Drill Bits 407
An Insoluble Conflict Evolves 420
A Torch for the Middle East 446
The Middle East and the Man from Missouri 475
In Search of Pax Americana
Harmony and Hegemony 505
The Thirty Years' War 550
Epilogue: A Profound and Visceral Gratitude 595
Illustration Credits 747
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This is a good starting point in gaining understanding of US/Middle East relations. Extremely readable, entertaining, with great descriptive passages that easily transport the reader back in time. I was very excited about the book until I found some factual errors that even a cursory edit should have caught...ie: the founder of the Mormon church was JOSEPH Smith. This makes me have niggling doubts about Oren's other conclusions, but I'll still recommend it as a springboard to other studies. Sylvia Hodges, McAllen,Tx
Written in a style that helps one get through its 600+ pages, this is an excellent survey of America's experience in the Middle East and a good initial read for someone interested in our experience there. Extremely detailed in the pre-WW II period although the postwar period seems a bit rushed. Especially good in its descriptions of the Barbary Wars of the early 1800s, the role of American missionaries in establishing major universities and medical institutions in the Arab World and Truman's postwar struggle with the issue of Israel. The comprehensive bibliography is a superb starting point for futher study. Unfortunately, my enjoyment of this book was diminished by its numerous errors involving minor points that had little to do with its overall theme (e.g. Marlon Brando's name on a list of Hollywood stars in 1940, three years before his first role in a high school play). Although this could be attributed to sloppy fact checking or editing, I still had nagging questions about what else in the book might be inaccurate.
At first glance, this book may seem like a tome of historical facts. But read the first few pages, and it becomes evident that it is more than just history. Rather, this book reads like a story its storyteller is a renowned historian whose attention to facts and details is, unfortunately, unique. In addition, it teaches (and reteaches) American history, Middle Eastern history, and world history. It is a reminder that every historical detail is related to something else and does not happen in a vacuum events and their consequences change the course of history forever. This book is a necessary read for everyone--skeptics, scholars, and the general public alike. It is time to see history in a balanced and factual light. This book provides that necessary perspective.
A meticulously researched and brilliantly narrated book, Oren's work puts America's involvement in the Middle East in its historical context, providing a much-needed perspective at a time when this involvement is at its height. If we are to truly understand the origins of this complex and unique involvement, 'Power, Faith, and Fantasy' is a must read. Writing with the factual precision of a historian and the flair of a novelist, Oren delivers an impressive account that spans over 230 years of American history. This is a compelling, informative, and indispensable read from a critically acclaimed historian.
Well written and well researched; should be required reading by all State Department personnel and White House staff.
Fabulous and well written. Kept my interest all the way.
A brilliant history of American relations in the MidEast. A necessary reference book, and a nice one to put on your bookshelf, for all students, policy-makers, and curious cats. Well-written, superbly-researched, and accurately portrayed, this book is an instant classic.
I really enjoyed this book, which finally clarifies why we are now in this mess. Just as Europe chose to pay off the bandits in the 1700s, they chose to do the same today. Excellent book. I highly recommend it.
Oren uses an interesting technique of looking at US-middle east relations through small biographies of various individuals who were personally involved in historical events. The problem with this technique is that many claims are often exaggerated, at times false, which damages the overall reliability of the historical account he provides. The scope of this book was certainly ambitious, and I was excited to read it, but the factual inconsistencies and poor editing (for which I do not blame the author), made my experience with this book frustrating. I would recommend looking elsewhere for a more reliable historical account.
So many of his 'facts' are pure fiction. The reference he makes to the Rev. George Bush, who wrote the book The Valley of Vision (among other works), being a forebear of our current President George Walker Bush and his father George Herbert Walker Bush is pure fiction! And include in his misstated 'facts' this one: John Smith founded the Mormon faith. Not true again! It was in actual fact Joseph Smith, Jr. It makes the reader question all of his so-called 'facts'. This work should be placed on the shelves in the fiction section. It is poorly researched and, although written with the voice of authority, it is not even close to being factually accurate!