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

Publication Year



Power, Faith, and Fantasytells 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.

Table of Contents

Chronology -- Prologue: a passage to glory -- Introduction: recovering a pivotal past. Part one. Early America encounters the Middle East -- A mortal and mortifying threat -- The hostile and ethereal orient -- A crucible of American identity -- Illuminating and emancipating the world. Part two. The Middle East and antebellum America -- Confluence and conflict -- Manifest Middle Eastern destiny -- Under American eyes. Part three. The Civil War and Reconstruction -- Fission -- Rebs and Yanks on the Nile -- The trumpet that never calls retreat -- American onslaught -- Resurgence. Part four. The age of imperialism -- Empires at dawn -- Imperial piety -- Imperial myths -- A region renamed and reordered. Part five. America, the Middle East, and the Great War -- Spectators of catastrophe -- Action or nonaction? -- An American movement is born -- Arise, o Arabs, and awake! -- The first Middle East peace process -- Fantasies revived. Part six. Oil, war, and ascendancy -- From Bibles to drill bits -- An insoluble conflict evolves -- A torch for the Middle East -- The Middle East and the man from Missouri. Part seven. In search of Pax Americana -- Harmony and hegemony -- The thirty years' war -- Epilogue: a profound and visceral gratitude -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Acknowledgments -- Index.


“Will shape our thinking about America and the Middle East for years.”—Christopher Dickey, Newsweek

“Hugely ambitious, drawing on hundreds of original sources to  create a finely balanced overview of this enormously complex subject.--Max Rodenbeck , New York Times Book Review

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

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, Foreign Affairs

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 , Washington Post Book World

W.W.Norton & Co.
New York