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Extended Audio Sample Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present Audiobook, by Michael B. Oren Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (763 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael B. Oren Narrator: Norman Dietz Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2007 ISBN: 9781400174447
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This is the first comprehensive history of America's 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, and 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, 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 and 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. "This is a wonderfully rich and thought-provoking history." -Library Journal Starred Review Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • A tour de force, brilliantly researched and written, and extremely interesting, as well as informative. Henry A. Kissinger
  • “A tour de force, brilliantly researched and written, and extremely interesting, as well as informative.”

    Henry Kissinger

  • “Not only a terrific read but also proof that you don’t really understand an issue until you know its history.”

    Niall Ferguson, New York Times bestselling author of The Great Degeneration

  • “This engrossing, informative, and frequently surprising survey of US involvement in the Middle East over the past 230 years is particularly timely.”

    Booklist

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob Pearson | 2/10/2014

    " This is a great read of the history of the U.S. in the Middle East. Much of the material is not well-known to Americans. I was fascinated by the stories of American efforts in the late 1700's and early 1800's to deal with pirates in the Mediterranean. Equally interesting were the accounts of American missionaries and their struggles mainly to survive and also to convert local Muslims to Christianity. The great legacy of these efforts were the wonderful American secondary schools and universities that were established in Cairo, Beirut and Istanbul. Sons of the early missionaries and educators then became diplomats and business people throughout the region. I had never heard of the cooperation of former Confederates and Union generals in Egypt after the Civil War to build the Egyptian army and help modernize the state. As American influence grew, the clash of American principles and American interests became more certain and more pronounced. Written by a brilliant Israeli scholar and diplomat, the book shows a fine understanding of American values and of the contradictions that the application of those values can entail. Because of the author's focus, he skims a bit lightly on Israeli actions in the region when he comes to descriptions of the events since 1948, but in fairness, his purpose was to talk about the American action and perspective and not to have a survey of all the views of various states in the region. Any American, and anyone anywhere with an interest in the Middle East, will enjoy this book and its accurate, thoughtful and insightful observations. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Greg | 1/30/2014

    " I highly recommend this. Oren makes the patterns the occur over the course of the last two centuries frustratingly apparent. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ben Havlik | 1/28/2014

    " From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, this book traces the history of the United States' involvement in Middle East affairs. A great book for those looking to understand how we got to where we are today and how we can learn from our past mistakes when dealing with the peoples and cultures of the Middle East. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bob | 1/25/2014

    " One of the best studies of the Middle East that I have seen. He uses the three-fold lenses of the title to help us see US -- Middle East relations over the course of our history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie | 1/19/2014

    " Should be required reading for every president. Possibly for every American. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Champaign Public Library | 1/15/2014

    " The level of historical detail was just overwhelming. This was a tough book to get through and one i would not have read if it was not for book club. The author writes well but it was just too much detail for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Clay | 12/25/2013

    " Do you know when the "war on terror" started? If you didn't answer 1776 then you need to read this book. There is no better book on the subject of our history with the Middle East. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James | 11/28/2013

    " Great perspective of our relationship in the middle east. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Josh | 11/6/2013

    " Loved this book. He makes history interesting to read. The subject material is so unique and it explains so much about the current realities in the middle east. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shaun | 5/28/2013

    " This is an excellent book to give you an overall view of America's history in the Middle East. I found it fascinating and interesting. I recommend it to all who have an interest in this part of the world. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Trudy | 3/11/2013

    " Interesting book on the Middle East and how it came to be, or how we came to be so immersed in the Middle East. Many cultures juggling to fit into a small area--- "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill Simpson | 2/12/2013

    " If you want to know how the United States became involved in the Middle East, this is a excellent book to read. My understanding of the Middle East puzzle is much better, and I have learned more about the people in that area and why there is so much continued violence in this region. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nir | 2/3/2013

    " Great book about America's role in the Middle East "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Drew | 1/13/2013

    " highly recommend, especially for the history on America's relationship with the Middle East during the late 1700's and early 1800's. I was unaware of this complexity until now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marlasg Griffith | 11/25/2012

    " If you want to understand the genesis of the Arab/Israeli and America's role in in, this is the book for you. Its a challenging read, but worth it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 10/18/2012

    " For anyone interested in America's history with the Middle East this is the best and most thorough I have found. Also beautifully written "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joel | 9/10/2012

    " It was ok, I guess. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charissa | 6/3/2012

    " Everything we all need to know about our relationship with the Middle East (if you happen to be American). Crucial reading in these times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sam | 3/9/2012

    " in depth. heavy "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 63alfred | 2/9/2012

    " Great and very enlightening book for these times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lukas | 4/16/2011

    " If you read one book about the Middle East this year, make it this one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe | 4/4/2011

    " Excellent book - should be read by everyone; goes well with "Monsoon" and "The Post-American World". "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bob | 2/14/2011

    " A definitive book of America's history in the Middle East. A future reference book & not a read thru "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ghada | 2/5/2011

    " A very good book for Arabs to read to understand why they are perceived the way they are by the American public. For non arabs be carefull it has good information but it cannot be counted as a fair book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James | 2/4/2011

    " Great perspective of our relationship in the middle east. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott | 2/1/2011

    " An excellent examination America's long and complicated involvement with the middle east. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 1/14/2011

    " Excellent history of the United States often left out of history classes that adds insight to current affairs that would open many eyes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Trudy | 1/8/2011

    " Interesting book on the Middle East and how it came to be, or how we came to be so immersed in the Middle East. Many cultures juggling to fit into a small area--- "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrew | 12/26/2010

    " Just started today. We shall see where it leads. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 8/22/2010

    " Great and very enlightening book for these times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Greg | 6/15/2010

    " I highly recommend this. Oren makes the patterns the occur over the course of the last two centuries frustratingly apparent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 5/31/2010

    " This book is very interesting, very readable history of US foreign policy, missionary activity, oil drilling, and other mischief in the Middle East. A survey. "

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About the Author
Author Michael B. Oren

Michael B. Oren, an American-born Israeli historian and author, was Israel’s ambassador to the United States from 2009 to 2013. He has written two New York Times bestsellers—Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present and Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for history and the National Jewish Book Award. Throughout his career as a Middle East scholar, he has been a distinguished fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, a contributing editor to the New Republic, and a visiting professor at Harvard, Yale, and Georgetown. The Forward named him one of the five most influential American Jews, and the Jerusalem Post listed him as one of the world’s ten most influential Jews. He is a member of the Knesset and serves on its Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

About the Narrator

Norman Dietz is a writer, voice-over artist, and audiobook narrator. He has won six Earphones Awards and was named one of the fifty “Best Voices of the Century” by AudioFile magazine. He and his late wife Sandra transformed an abandoned ice-cream parlor into a playhouse, which served “the world’s best hot fudge sundaes” before and after performances. The founder of Theatre in the Works, he lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.