Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Book about the History of the US's Middle East Involvement

At one of my favorite websites, Jewish World Review, Jonathan Tobin writes a book review of Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East 1776 to the Present by Michael B. Oren. Tobin says, "Until the release of this beautifully written and meticulously researched volume this month, there simply was no comprehensive history of American involvement in the region."

He goes on to say:

Oren, who is based at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, has written a book overflowing with colorful tales of American travelers, pilgrims, businessmen, missionaries, diplomats, soldiers and sailors who weren't merely observers of this pivotal area of the globe (the term for which was actually coined by the American naval strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan). Americans have, from the very beginning of our own history as a nation, played a crucial role in shaping the Middle East. And as Oren illustrates, we, in turn, have been influenced by this interaction.
This is a book that is going on my "to read" list--it sounds fascinating, and useful as well. The more all of us know about this region, the better we'll know what would be good and what would not be good and, of course, the better we'll understand what is going on in the Middle East.

Also at Jewish World Review is a much different article by Rabbi Yitzchok Tzvi Schwarz titled "Small Deeds...Eternal Impact". The article discusses the impact that even the smallest things we do can have. Uplifting reading and very much worth contemplating.

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