Power, discount Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the outlet online sale Present outlet online sale

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Power, discount Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the outlet online sale Present outlet online sale
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“Will shape our thinking about America and the Middle East for years.”―Christopher Dickey, Newsweek

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. 68 black-and-white photographs, 4 maps

Review

A landmark achievement. --Walter Russell Mead, Council on Foreign Relations"

A tour de force, brilliantly researched and written, and extremely interesting as well as informative. --Henry Kissinger"

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"

Hugely ambitious, drawing on hundreds of original sources to create a finely balanced overview of this enormously complex subject. --Max Rodenbeck"

Michael Oren''s deeply researched and brilliantly written history will be a revelation to you. --Niall Ferguson, Harvard University, author of Colossus"

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"

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.

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4.6 out of 54.6 out of 5
270 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Erik
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Comprehensive
Reviewed in the United States on May 18, 2017
A full comprehensive, and very interesting account that truly brings the current IS involvement in the Middle East in perspective. Long, sometimes too long in certain discussions, not necessarily always an easy read. But definitely recommended for anyone who wants a good... See more
A full comprehensive, and very interesting account that truly brings the current IS involvement in the Middle East in perspective. Long, sometimes too long in certain discussions, not necessarily always an easy read. But definitely recommended for anyone who wants a good understanding of this often convoluted history and fractured relationship between the US and Middle Eastern societies.
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Ruben Misrahi
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Easy read. Needs to be updated after the "Arab Spring."
Reviewed in the United States on June 24, 2012
Michael Oren does a good job in two fronts: 1. Fills a vacuum in history for most Americans and for that matter, and particularly, for most Muslims. 2. As a historian, needed to respect facts over entertainment, I think he achieves both goals fairly well. If... See more
Michael Oren does a good job in two fronts:
1. Fills a vacuum in history for most Americans and for that matter, and particularly, for most Muslims.
2. As a historian, needed to respect facts over entertainment, I think he achieves both goals fairly well.
If asked, most people would date the relations between Americans and the Middle East to the last few decades. As Oren explains, nothing is farther from the truth. The relationship has certainly changed, but it has always been there. Initially through missionaries, merchants and explorers, and lately diplomatically and militarily.

This relationship, according to Oren has quite often been one-sided. After failing to convert Muslims, Americans established Universities and institutions that helped Middle Easterners integrate to modern life, often with great success.

In many ways, some aspects of this relationship has not changed. While the UK was paying "protection" money to the Barbary states so they would not attack their ships, when America became independent, its commercial ships became targets of the same pirates. The decision of whether to pay or fight was not an easy one, and in many ways reflects similar more recent situations. In any event, few people know that Tripoli (the Barbary States) was the first entity to declare war to America back in 1801.

Oren uses three elements to explain this relationship: Power, Faith and Fantasy. The increased power that America wielded is obviously a factor that plays a central role, but very different from the one wielded by the Europeans, who always saw in the Middle East a source for their resources. It can be said that more often than not, the US applied force was to rescue or improve the lives of Muslims.

Faith also played a central role in two ways. On one hand, missionaries risked everything to spread their faith and saw in the Holy Land a place whose rightful owner were the Jews. At the state level, Oren describes the decision making process of several US presidents, who often had to find a balance between pragmatism and beliefs.

The aspect that can arguably explain the US-Middle East relationship is what Oren calls Fantasy, represented in literature, movies and initially in international expositions. Oren argues that art reflects the perception that Americans have of the Middle East. Initially remote and sensuous, and more recently, permeated with fanaticism and terror. One can argue that a movie about terrorism as a historic document doesn''t have much value, but Oren is out there to put some "salt" on something that has been cooked already with facts, and that makes it more interesting.

Perhaps where the book is not as objective is in the more recent history. The author over-emphasizes the importance Arabs give to the presence of Israel in the Middle East as a source of many of the grievances. Since it was written before the "Arab Spring," it is clear to many that the biggest problems of Arabs and Muslims is not external, that their sufferings are often self-inflicted, and that they have forgotten what Americans have done for them in over 200 years.

All in all, it''s an easy reading for people interested in understanding a region that like it or not, in our time has become our virtual neighbor.
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Janfuq
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A new light on US history.
Reviewed in the United States on November 8, 2015
Finishing this superb treatise has left me nearly mute. How can one man know his subject so well and share the information so readily? After seizing upon original insights does one not keep them to one''s self and savor, at least awhile, their enlightening truths? Not so,... See more
Finishing this superb treatise has left me nearly mute. How can one man know his subject so well and share the information so readily? After seizing upon original insights does one not keep them to one''s self and savor, at least awhile, their enlightening truths? Not so, apparently, with this brilliant researcher, historian and storyteller. He shares his conclusions on every page, studded with the vocabulary of a Mensa fanatic.

I learned more U. S. History than expected. Not just facts, but subtle nuances and striking interactions which leap out at the intent reader. For no other author have I so lamented nearing the final pages of the book. Michael B. Oren is a joy to read in every work he has written. Having now read them all, I think I shall reread his latest, ALLY. It endears one to Oren and makes one hope that he has another book ready for the publisher.
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K. Moody
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A history of the founding of Israel and American headaches
Reviewed in the United States on December 5, 2013
Power, Faith, and Fantasy is a strong 4, weak 5 star book. Oren does an excellent job going over the history and bringing events together in a natural way, but Oren really centers his efforts on the founding of Israel and the frustrations of American presidents after that... See more
Power, Faith, and Fantasy is a strong 4, weak 5 star book. Oren does an excellent job going over the history and bringing events together in a natural way, but Oren really centers his efforts on the founding of Israel and the frustrations of American presidents after that founding in balancing the, often contradictory, interests of oil, fighting the Commies, defense of Israel, and still promoting democracy and human rights in the region (usually in that order).

What I found most interesting was the extent of American travels in the region and our general prestige in the area to a certain extent. The history of educational institutions founded by Americans and the relatively good natured religious missionary presence goes much longer back, essentially to the late 1700s, than I would have thought.

The frequency of minor military excursions into the region I also found fascinating, and was a different aspect of seeing them all compiled in the same book as opposed to reading about them separately. Also interestingly, it is astonishing how quickly the animosity is shifted from the British/French/Imperialists is turned toward the US following the end of WWII and founding of Israel. This is common knowledge almost now, but actually remarkable given our ''footprint'' in the region compared to hundred years ago (imagine, a US army occupying Egypt now). While US has certainly had its adventures in the region, they are nothing compared to the European incursions as late as 50 years ago (except Iraq, as it turns out).

I did find the book to be frustrating on some topics though. For example, following the Holocaust there were floods of refugees trying to leave Germany. Oren discusses the challenges in finding homes for them all, but doesn''t discuss why the US, considered a favored spot for many Jewish refugees (second only to Palestine), was still under immigration quotas and only allowed in a trickle of all displaced persons needing a new home. This is a big point, and one must wonder what would become of the Zionist movement, and the founding of Israel in particular, if the US were more willing to welcome Jewish displaced persons.

Maps were oddly lacking for a book on the Middle East. There were only 2-3 in the first few pages as reference, and were quickly forgotten. For a region that sees considerable changes in territory and control, sometimes differing from year to year, it was frustrating to not be able to follow changes as closely as I would have liked.

The book largely focuses around Israel, and the founding of it is really seen as a changing point and climax for the book, or at least the event where everything pivots. While not necessarily a bad thing, to title the book "America in the Middle East," and then focus so much on the Zionist movement and Israel, I had to change my expectations for the book. On buying the book, I was hoping to learn more about American involvement in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, etc. There was some of this in there, but it seemed to be of secondary importance to Israel.

In the end, it really is a fantastic book, but left some minor questions that should have been explored by the author but for some reason weren''t. But to say it covers all the Middle East is not entirely accurate. There is some discussion, and the last chapters go president by president in interactions with the Mid East, but not in depth (which, come to think of it, even the author admits in the opening chapter).
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B. Zimmer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Filling a Gap
Reviewed in the United States on April 25, 2007
Oren fills in a gap in our knowledge of U.S. history. In an interesting and flowing narrative, he traces U.S. involvement in the Middle East from the end of the Revolutionary War (and the Barbary pirates) to the present. He supports his narrative with 150 pages of... See more
Oren fills in a gap in our knowledge of U.S. history. In an interesting and flowing narrative, he traces U.S. involvement in the Middle East from the end of the Revolutionary War (and the Barbary pirates) to the present. He supports his narrative with 150 pages of footnotes. It must have taken him many years to put together the pieces of this story. It is a compelling book that is hard to put down because you keep saying to yourself, "I didn''t know that...And what happened next?" It''s a yellow-highlighter book that must be read in many sittings.

A main focus is the general lack of military involvement of the U.S. until the early 1980s, mostly because the U.S. purposefully tried to stay neutral in the ME and wanted to avoid confrontations. Various presidents, private individuals, missionaries, and government staff promoted various views over two centuries; thus, the U.S. often contradicted itself in its efforts to help Middle Eastern peoples achieve independence. It had to work with colonial Britain and France, prevent the Cold War Soviets from controlling the ME, adjust to various views on the Jews finding a homeland, and keep the doors open to trade. The U.S. developed from a country without any power and no navy to a major player, a fulcrum that tried to balance the vested interests and power of various countries.

Oren works hard to reinforce his theme of power, faith, and fantasy, but overworks the theme in the last one-third of the book. He doesn''t seem to take sides in historical recounting with the exception, possibly, of his views of recent events in the Middle East; these last pages are almost a tacked-on summary, necessarily incomplete and selective.
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Gary Mullennix
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Learned piece of historical writing
Reviewed in the United States on November 16, 2008
From the founding of the USA in 1776 and the Ottoman Empire to today''s Middle East, Oren writes clearly and compellingly about the USA and that area of the world. The detail is illuminating, the dispassionate scholarly approach is welcome, (there appears no political... See more
From the founding of the USA in 1776 and the Ottoman Empire to today''s Middle East, Oren writes clearly and compellingly about the USA and that area of the world. The detail is illuminating, the dispassionate scholarly approach is welcome, (there appears no political bias). It would be hard to imagine a better written or more complete history of the US and its continued involvement in the region. From the Ottoman Empire to its collapse in WWI, the ensuing colonial establishment by Europe and Russia, the massive need of the world for the oil of the region, the fated rise of Zionism, the battle waged to keep Russia from gaining control, the fall of secular control and the rise of fundamental Islam in many states, the continued failure despite so many efforts to bring peace to the area, the upsurge in militant Islam and the attacks on the USA and Europe, are all written about with enough detail to give the reader a clear sense of the continuing themes which reveal themselves and the very difficult challenges all American presidents since Wilson have had there.

From WWII''s end to today, all the names and events are woven into a very readable narrative. Any reader will be far better informed as a reward for 604 pages of text and the 128 pages of reference material to support the work.

As at the ball park, you can''t know the game without the program. This is a big help.
3 people found this helpful
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Brian Griffith
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
a rising momentum of events
Reviewed in the United States on March 5, 2012
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... See more
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 fateful 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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Howard R. Popper
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not to be missed
Reviewed in the United States on April 11, 2015
If you believe that reading the NY Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs or the Economist might help you understand the American State Department''s role in the MIddle East you haven''t a clue. If you''ve come to the impression the our "Allies"... See more
If you believe that reading the NY Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs or the Economist might help you understand the American State Department''s role in the MIddle East you haven''t a clue. If you''ve come to the impression the our "Allies" are reluctant contributors, here you will learn that that tradition began with Thomas Jefferson''s frustration try to get support against the predations of the Barbary Pirates. You may also compare a previous American administration''s inconsistent support for the Kurds with the current administration''s on again off again relation with Israel. You will also begin to discern the parallel paths of policy and attitude linking Zbigniew Brzezinski, Samantha Power, Valerie Jarret and Breckinridge Long. A masterful account of history lucidly written.
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Top reviews from other countries

DMJ MIAH
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 29, 2010
For a long time I have wondered about the link between Middle East and America, surely it can not be all hatred? This is an amazing book which is well thoroughly researched. The contribution of Islam goes to the core of the American constitution "all men are equal" a...See more
For a long time I have wondered about the link between Middle East and America, surely it can not be all hatred? This is an amazing book which is well thoroughly researched. The contribution of Islam goes to the core of the American constitution "all men are equal" a passage from the Quran. If the Muslim could receive America with an open arm after its independence from the British rule, the geopolitics of the world would have been shaped differently. Instead of promoting north African pirates if the Ottoman had a professional navel the Mediterranean would have had a different story to tell. The Arabs blame America as bias towards Israel, it was the ability of the American Jews to broker deals between USA and Middle East that handed the Jews with a powerful influence in American foreign policies. If anything Ottoman arrogance is to blame for much of the double standards that is often the accusation made towards the west. What this book does is explains brilliantly fact that are not known and only now is being revealed to the world What Went Wrong?: Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response An Englishman in Riyadh
For a long time I have wondered about the link between Middle East and America, surely it can not be all hatred?
This is an amazing book which is well thoroughly researched. The contribution of Islam goes to the core of the American constitution "all men are equal" a passage from the Quran.
If the Muslim could receive America with an open arm after its independence from the British rule, the geopolitics of the world would have been shaped differently. Instead of promoting north African pirates if the Ottoman had a professional navel the Mediterranean would have had a different story to tell.
The Arabs blame America as bias towards Israel, it was the ability of the American Jews to broker deals between USA and Middle East that handed the Jews with a powerful influence in American foreign policies. If anything Ottoman arrogance is to blame for much of the double standards that is often the accusation made towards the west. What this book does is explains brilliantly fact that are not known and only now is being revealed to the world
What Went Wrong?: Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response
An Englishman in Riyadh
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J. Rupp
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Uncle Sam im Morgenland
Reviewed in Germany on July 25, 2011
Der israelische Historiker und Diplomat Michael Oren, der mit „Six Days of War“ ein Standardwerk über den Sechstagekrieg verfasst hat, legt mit diesem Buch eine Gesamtdarstellung über die vielfältigen Beziehungen der Vereinigten Staaten mit dem Orient vor....See more
Der israelische Historiker und Diplomat Michael Oren, der mit „Six Days of War“ ein Standardwerk über den Sechstagekrieg verfasst hat, legt mit diesem Buch eine Gesamtdarstellung über die vielfältigen Beziehungen der Vereinigten Staaten mit dem Orient vor. Von der zweiten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts bis zum Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts reicht der zeitliche Rahmen, den der Autor dabei abdeckt. Um die Komplexität dieser Beziehungen in ihrer Gesamtheit erfassen zu können, gliedert Oren seinen Ansatz in drei Dimensionen auf, die sich sowohl wechselseitig ergänzen als auch in einem Spannungsverhältnis zueinanderstehen. Die "Macht“, der "Glaube“ und die "Phantasie“ bilden einen dreidimensionalen Raum, in welchem sich die Geschichte entfaltet. Oren behandelt in diesem historischen Raum eine Vielzahl von Gestalten und Persönlichkeiten. Zu ihnen gehören beispielsweise Abenteurer, Entdecker, Missionare, Diplomaten, Politiker, Schriftsteller oder auch ganz normale Touristen. Die erste machtpolitische Auseinandersetzung ergab sich hierbei am Anfang des 19. Jahrhunderts, als die gerade entstandene U.S. Navy gegen nordafrikanische Piraten und deren staatliche Unterstützer vorging. Der militärische Erfolg in den Barbareskenkriegen förderte das Selbstbewusstsein der noch jungen Nation. Zudem wurde der Orient für amerikanische Missionare zu einem gelobten Land. Die Missionierungsversuche blieben zwar weitgehend erfolglos, was die christlichen Kirchenvertreter allerdings nicht daran hinderte, zahlreiche Schulen und Hospitäler zu errichten. Außer dem Wort Gottes verbreiteten sie Grundsätze der amerikanischen Zivilreligion, zu denen Freiheit, Unabhängigkeit, Demokratie und eine nationale Identität zählten. Die Phantasie der Amerikaner am sagenumwobenen Morgenland wurde durch die Lektüre von ganz unterschiedlichen Texten angeregt. So sorgten die Bibel, Märchen, Romane oder Reiseberichte für eine romantische Verklärung des Orients in der "Neuen Welt“. Entsprechend groß war für viele Amerikaner die Ernüchterung, wenn sie direkt mit der harten Wirklichkeit in der Region konfrontiert wurden. Der Konflikt zwischen Phantasie und Realität akzentuierte sich im Verlauf des 20. Jahrhunderts noch deutlicher. Während die USA versuchten, sich gegenüber dem Osmanischen Reich neutral zu verhalten, geriet der Orient immer stärker in den machtpolitischen Strudel der europäischen Großmächte. Die geopolitische und geoökonomische Bedeutung der Region, für die sich nun der von Konteradmiral Alfred Mahan geschaffene Begriff des "Mittleren Ostens“ durchzusetzen begann, nahm stetig zu. Die Neutralität der Vereinigten Staaten geriet immer stärker unter Druck, bis sie schließlich während des Zweiten Weltkrieges aufgegeben werden musste. Im Folgenden gerieten die USA zwischen alle Fronten. Der jüdische Zionismus, der arabische Nationalismus und später ein sich rasch radikalisierender islamischer Fundamentalismus stellten eine ernste Herausforderung für die amerikanische Außenpolitik dar. Gleichzeitig musste sich diese auch noch mit der Eindämmung der Sowjetunion im Mittleren Osten beschäftigen und das alles, ohne die idealistischen Traditionen und Zielsetzungen der USA aus den Augen zu verlieren. In einem solchen Hexenkessel konnte dies lediglich teilweise gelingen. Selbst die amerikanische Filmindustrie, welche die ungebrochene Phantasie der Amerikaner jetzt am meisten beeinflusste, schwankte in ihren Produktionen zwischen Romantik und Terror hin und her. Der letzte Abschnitt seiner Arbeit, der zeitlich nach der Staatsgründung Israels einsetzt, wird von Oren nur noch oberflächlich ausgeführt. Diesen Abschnitt hätte der Autor ausführlicher abhandeln müssen, ohne in ein Zeitraffertempo zu verfallen. Auch wäre es gelegentlich wünschenswert gewesen, wenn Oren das Verhältnis der Vereinigten Staaten zum Mittleren Osten weniger idealistisch dargestellt hätte. Eine vertiefte realpolitische Analyse wäre durchaus angebracht gewesen. Diese beiden Kritikpunkte können den positiven Gesamteindruck aber kaum relativieren. Michael Oren ist es gelungen, dem Leser einen guten Überblick über das komplexe Verhältnis der USA zum Mittleren Osten zu geben. Sein Buch vermeidet vereinfachende Erklärungsansätze, wie den der "Israel-Lobby“ oder den der "Saudi-Lobby“, und ermöglicht einen besseren Einblick in die Materie. Schon aus diesem Grund ist es absolut empfehlenswert. Jürgen Rupp
Der israelische Historiker und Diplomat Michael Oren, der mit „Six Days of War“ ein Standardwerk über den Sechstagekrieg verfasst hat, legt mit diesem Buch eine Gesamtdarstellung über die vielfältigen Beziehungen der Vereinigten Staaten mit dem Orient vor. Von der zweiten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts bis zum Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts reicht der zeitliche Rahmen, den der Autor dabei abdeckt.
Um die Komplexität dieser Beziehungen in ihrer Gesamtheit erfassen zu können, gliedert Oren seinen Ansatz in drei Dimensionen auf, die sich sowohl wechselseitig ergänzen als auch in einem Spannungsverhältnis zueinanderstehen. Die "Macht“, der "Glaube“ und die "Phantasie“ bilden einen dreidimensionalen Raum, in welchem sich die Geschichte entfaltet. Oren behandelt in diesem historischen Raum eine Vielzahl von Gestalten und Persönlichkeiten. Zu ihnen gehören beispielsweise Abenteurer, Entdecker, Missionare, Diplomaten, Politiker, Schriftsteller oder auch ganz normale Touristen.

Die erste machtpolitische Auseinandersetzung ergab sich hierbei am Anfang des 19. Jahrhunderts, als die gerade entstandene U.S. Navy gegen nordafrikanische Piraten und deren staatliche Unterstützer vorging. Der militärische Erfolg in den Barbareskenkriegen förderte das Selbstbewusstsein der noch jungen Nation.
Zudem wurde der Orient für amerikanische Missionare zu einem gelobten Land. Die Missionierungsversuche blieben zwar weitgehend erfolglos, was die christlichen Kirchenvertreter allerdings nicht daran hinderte, zahlreiche Schulen und Hospitäler zu errichten. Außer dem Wort Gottes verbreiteten sie Grundsätze der amerikanischen Zivilreligion, zu denen Freiheit, Unabhängigkeit, Demokratie und eine nationale Identität zählten.
Die Phantasie der Amerikaner am sagenumwobenen Morgenland wurde durch die Lektüre von ganz unterschiedlichen Texten angeregt. So sorgten die Bibel, Märchen, Romane oder Reiseberichte für eine romantische Verklärung des Orients in der "Neuen Welt“. Entsprechend groß war für viele Amerikaner die Ernüchterung, wenn sie direkt mit der harten Wirklichkeit in der Region konfrontiert wurden.

Der Konflikt zwischen Phantasie und Realität akzentuierte sich im Verlauf des 20. Jahrhunderts noch deutlicher. Während die USA versuchten, sich gegenüber dem Osmanischen Reich neutral zu verhalten, geriet der Orient immer stärker in den machtpolitischen Strudel der europäischen Großmächte. Die geopolitische und geoökonomische Bedeutung der Region, für die sich nun der von Konteradmiral Alfred Mahan geschaffene Begriff des "Mittleren Ostens“ durchzusetzen begann, nahm stetig zu. Die Neutralität der Vereinigten Staaten geriet immer stärker unter Druck, bis sie schließlich während des Zweiten Weltkrieges aufgegeben werden musste.
Im Folgenden gerieten die USA zwischen alle Fronten. Der jüdische Zionismus, der arabische Nationalismus und später ein sich rasch radikalisierender islamischer Fundamentalismus stellten eine ernste Herausforderung für die amerikanische Außenpolitik dar. Gleichzeitig musste sich diese auch noch mit der Eindämmung der Sowjetunion im Mittleren Osten beschäftigen und das alles, ohne die idealistischen Traditionen und Zielsetzungen der USA aus den Augen zu verlieren.
In einem solchen Hexenkessel konnte dies lediglich teilweise gelingen. Selbst die amerikanische Filmindustrie, welche die ungebrochene Phantasie der Amerikaner jetzt am meisten beeinflusste, schwankte in ihren Produktionen zwischen Romantik und Terror hin und her.

Der letzte Abschnitt seiner Arbeit, der zeitlich nach der Staatsgründung Israels einsetzt, wird von Oren nur noch oberflächlich ausgeführt. Diesen Abschnitt hätte der Autor ausführlicher abhandeln müssen, ohne in ein Zeitraffertempo zu verfallen.
Auch wäre es gelegentlich wünschenswert gewesen, wenn Oren das Verhältnis der Vereinigten Staaten zum Mittleren Osten weniger idealistisch dargestellt hätte. Eine vertiefte realpolitische Analyse wäre durchaus angebracht gewesen.
Diese beiden Kritikpunkte können den positiven Gesamteindruck aber kaum relativieren. Michael Oren ist es gelungen, dem Leser einen guten Überblick über das komplexe Verhältnis der USA zum Mittleren Osten zu geben. Sein Buch vermeidet vereinfachende Erklärungsansätze, wie den der "Israel-Lobby“ oder den der "Saudi-Lobby“, und ermöglicht einen besseren Einblick in die Materie. Schon aus diesem Grund ist es absolut empfehlenswert.

Jürgen Rupp
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Mosheh Vineberg
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Phenomenal work! Captivating account of the East vs West clash of cultures
Reviewed in Canada on March 17, 2013
Michael Oren does a phenomenal job of researching and describing in vivid detail the historical events during the Ottoman Empire, in showing the roots of Muslim intolerance toward the West, and the early roots of terrorism, and the East''s rejection of the West. In line with...See more
Michael Oren does a phenomenal job of researching and describing in vivid detail the historical events during the Ottoman Empire, in showing the roots of Muslim intolerance toward the West, and the early roots of terrorism, and the East''s rejection of the West. In line with other great Historians on the clash of Muslim Countries with Judeo-Christian based ones, like Bernard Lewis'' work.
Michael Oren does a phenomenal job of researching and describing in vivid detail the historical events during the Ottoman Empire, in showing the roots of Muslim intolerance toward the West, and the early roots of terrorism, and the East''s rejection of the West. In line with other great Historians on the clash of Muslim Countries with Judeo-Christian based ones, like Bernard Lewis'' work.
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Isaac Markman
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Michael Oren is very good. he make you feel like in the place
Reviewed in Canada on July 1, 2016
Michael Oren is very good. he make you feel like in the place. He gives you all information regarding the issue. when he writes make you have a sensation that you are in the story.
Michael Oren is very good. he make you feel like in the place. He gives you all information regarding the issue. when he writes make you have a sensation that you are in the story.
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Cliff Pinto
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Highly recommended and comprehensive read by an ace historian.
Reviewed in India on December 5, 2014
Highly recommended and comprehensive read by an ace historian.
Highly recommended and comprehensive read by an ace historian.
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