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I just spent a few days reading a book about how the West textually created and defined the Orient during the last two centuries. Most of the book focused on texts from England and France. American writings came into view during the 20th century. Of all the classic texts on the Middle East reviewed and […]


The Crisis of Islam

I finally got back to Bernard Lewis’ The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror after making it through Oren’s much lengthier (and much better) tome. Lewis’ work is an amplification of a magazine article for The New Yorker, and it reads like one. There are few references and the cohesiveness of the argument […]


Power, Faith, and Fantasy

Michael B. Oren’s Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present documents the involvement of the U.S.A. in the Middle East from the first battles with Barbary pirates through our current war in Iraq. As Oren examines each period (demarcated by our wars), he describes the inter-connected roles of military […]


My first home-roasted, home-pulled shot of espresso

4:22 p.m. EST on October 2, 2007. I just wanted to note this time and date. Ahhhhhh. My first shot on Miss Silvia, added hot water to make it an Americano. Ahhhhh.

I may make more coffee posts later, but I wanted to take this short break from my new-found euphoria to document the moment.