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summary

Long before oil interests shaped American interaction with the Middle East, the U.S. had a strong influence on the late Ottoman and post-Ottoman region. Covering the period from approximately 1800 to the 1970s, Hans-Lukas Kieser’s compelling Nearest East tells the story of this intimate, identity-building relationship between the U.S. and the Near East.

 

Kieser chronicles how American missionaries worked to implement their belief in Biblical millennialism, enlightened modernity, and a modern Zion-Israel. Millennialism was part of an American identity that constituted itself religiously in the interaction with and the representation of the “cradle of Zion.” As such, "going Near East" was—at least to American evangelical Protestants—in some ways more important than colonizing the American West. However, many Ottoman Muslims felt threatened by the American missionaries perceiving their successful institutions as an estranging challenge from the outside.

 

Measuring the long twisted road from the missionary Zion-builders of the early 19th century to the privileged US-Israeli partnership in the late 20th century, Nearest East looks carefully on both sides of the relationship. Kieser uses a wide range of Ottoman, Turkish, French, German and other sources, unfamiliar to most Anglophone readers, to tell this story that will appeal to historians of all stripes.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. p. vii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-13
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  1. 1. The United States and the Near East, circa 1800
  2. pp. 15-33
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  1. 2. A Quest for “Zion” and Peace on Earth: Mission to the Bible Lands
  2. pp. 34-62
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  1. 3. Dream and Trauma: Missionary America and Young Turkey, 1908–1923
  2. pp. 63-97
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  1. 4. Oil, Palestine-Israel, and Empire of the Good
  2. pp. 98-136
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  1. 5. American Steps and Shortcuts to “Zion” after 1967
  2. pp. 137-152
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  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 153-164
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 165-196
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  1. Selected Bibliography
  2. pp. 197-200
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 201-213
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781439902240
MARC Record
OCLC
646066501
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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