America and the Middle East have been intertwined for more than 230 years—the first war fought by the newly independent Unites States was against Arabic-speaking Muslims, George Washington had a Middle East policy and Thomas Jefferson listed America’s relations with the region as his No. 1 international concern. Even iconic literary figures such as Herman Melville, Washington Irving and Mark Twain were singularly interested in the region. In his new book, Michael B. Oren argues that Americans today still have a poor understanding of their connection with the region.
Oren will discuss and sign his book “Power, Faith and Fantasy: America in the Middle East 1776 to the Present” at noon on Thursday, Feb. 7
, in the Mary Pickford Theater on the third floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave., S.E., Washington, D.C.
The event, part of the Books and Beyond author series sponsored by the Center for the Book, is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed. The author used many Library of Congress collections in writing his widely praised volume, including the papers of Amin Rihani, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Henry Morgenthau, James M. Landis, Oscar Straus and Jefferson.
Oren discussed the book soon after its original publication in a popular presentation at the 2007 National Book Festival. The new paperback edition of “Power, Faith, and Fantasy” (W.W. Norton, 2008), which includes a new afterword by the author, will be available for purchase at the Books and Beyond event.
Oren is a senior fellow at the Shalem Center, an academic research center in Jerusalem. He is the author of the best-selling “Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East” (Oxford, 2002), which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; a history of the 1956 Sinai Campaign (Cass, 1993); and dozens of scholarly and popular articles on history and the politics of the Middle East. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, Commentary and The Wall Street Journal.
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