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 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 not been told until now. Drawing on thousands of government documents and personal letters, featuring original maps and photographs, this book reconstructs the diverse and remarkable ways in which Americans have interacted with this alluring yet often hostile land. "Power, Faith, and Fantasy" is an indispensable work of history for anyone interested in understanding the roots of America's Middle East involvement today.