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Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc; Unabridged edition (7 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400104440
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400104444
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 4.1 x 13.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,674,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"When a brilliant, lucid historian such as Michael B. Oren ... brings the past back to life ... it is a shaft of light in a dark sky." -- Robert Kagan "Hugely ambitious, drawing on hundreds of original sources to create a finely balanced overview of this enormously complex subject." -- Max Rodenbeck "Elegant and engaging... Had George W. Bush been abled to read this magnificent book before he launched Operation Iraqi Freedom... he might well have realized just how dangerous it has been to shoot first and ask questions later in the Middle East over the past 200 years." -- Douglas Little "A tour de force, brilliantly researched and written, and extremely interesting as well as informative." -- Henry Kissinger "A landmark achievement." -- Walter Russell Mead, Council on Foreign Relations --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Michael B. Oren, Senior Fellow at the Shalem Center, has written numerous works on the Middle East, including the New York Times bestsellers Six Days of War and Power, Faith, and Fantasy. He has taught at Harvard, Yale, and Georgetown universities, and currently serves as Israel's ambassador to the United States. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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IN 1776, SUDDENLY, AMERICANS WERE ON THEIR OWN. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By James Gallen TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 16 Jan. 2011
Format: Audio CD
Most Americans probably think that the American involvement in the Middle East began in the last forty years or so. A few might remember that it goes back to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. In fact, as detailed on the pages of "Power, Faith, Fantasy", The Middle East has been an important theatre of American foreign policy since the foundation of the Republic. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson had to deal with Barbary Pirates who molested the shipping of Christian countries in the 18th and 19th centuries. Whereas Adams followed the pattern of European countries in trying to buy protection by paying tribute, Jefferson chose a military response to free American hostages and put an end to the Mediterranean piracy. It was Jefferson's policy that compelled the re-establishment of the U.S. Navy.

Author Michael Oren does an excellent job of illustrating the various motivations that have driven American policy in the Middle East over the centuries. After the defeat of the Barbary States American interest in the Middle East was defined by Faith-based initiatives intending to restore the Jews to the Holy Land. Others established education institutions that transformed Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries. By the administration of Theodore Roosevelt, kidnapping was again the cause of contention as Roosevelt demanded that "This government wants Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead." As Roosevelt's projection of American power gave way to Wilsonian idealism, this minister's son was again driven by ideals of Faith and an unwillingness to jeopardize American citizens working in the schools previously established. This unwillingness prevented a U.S. declaration of war against the Ottoman Empire during World War I. The lack of involvement kept the U.S.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brian Griffith on 5 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
The book starts out slow and gradually gains velocity. Its heavy focus on the first century and a half of US history allows for story telling about many individual soldiers, missionaries, or adventurers who went to the Middle East. Then the entanglements grow more complicated, and the momentum of events builds. By the 1980s, the writing is a fairly breathless rush of momentous events. It's good to have it all flash before your eyes like this, but it's little more than a stream of headlines. Through the whole big story, Oren highlights what has been noble in America's efforts, while always including critical views. He does an excellent job of capturing America's part in the rise of Israel, and the difficult choices Americans made in response to a rising tragedy, as Jewish refugees fled from the bonfire of anti-Semitic Europe into the frying pan of an anti-colonial Middle East. As for recent conflicts, Oren seems cautious in judging his contemporaries. He seems to feel that presenting the big picture of the past will provide balance, and the present will be judged by future works of history. I would have liked to see more on America's relations with Saudi Arabia, and a greater discussion of the issues in political or military control of religious movements.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anon on 4 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed Oren's book "Six Days of War", so I decided to read this book (which is quite a heavy read). This book definitely exceeded my expectations, and in my opinion is his best book so far. Oren manages to successfully depict America's relationship with the Middle East, from the outset till the present. What I think is important about a work like this, is that it allows one to see the wider picture in a totality. This is something which is important in the current time, as people tend to make subjective observations about events, and then go on to make warped judgements. For example, Oren goes into great detail about the "Barbary Wars". This proves that it is not oil and the Israeli-Arab conflict, which have been driving violence in the Middle East, as some say. As a result of the Barbary Wars, the U.S.A was forced to commission a top class navy, and some could say this was the beginning of their rise to power. I highly recommend this book, if you are looking for a stimulating and enlightening read.
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