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Carenen publishes book on history of U.S. and Middle East

Published on January 25, 2021

Carenen publishes book on history of U.S. and Middle East

Book cover Caitlin Carenen, professor of history at Eastern Connecticut State University and assistant History Department chair, has published a new textbook titled “An Introductory History of the United States in the Middle East.” 

Publisher Cognella Publishers says the book is “organized into 10 chapters and progresses chronologically, highlighting relations between the United States and the Middle East from the turn of the century to the present. Students explore the culture, social issues and politics of the United States in order to better understand the motivations behind American involvement in the Middle East.”

Carenen's research interests include American foreign policy, religious history and the Arab-Israeli conflict. She says she wrote this book because nothing like it existed. She became frustrated trying to find a text that covered this topic and time period. She believes it is a sad reality that most undergraduates do not know a time when the United States was not at war in the Middle East and that few students really understand the complicated history of the region.

Carenen She believes that academicians have an obligation to explain what happened and why. “It really comes down to two issues: religion and resources,” said Carenen. “Our own religious ideology informs how the United States engages the world and certainly the oil resource is a powerful motivator. The Middle East continues to be an important region in geo-politics, so I hope this text helps students and anyone interested in the subject to gain a better historical perspective. This contribution is a natural fit.”

In her textbook, students will learn how American ideas of manifest destiny and empire led to consistent intervention in the Middle East, especially after WWII. Dedicated chapters articulate the goals and motivations of the United States in the Middle East during early oil exploration, the World Wars, the Cold War, the Iranian Revolution, the oil crises of the 1970s, the Iran-Iraq War, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the modern war on terrorism.

The book is available on Amazon. Carenen published her first book with NYU Press in 2012 (The Fervent Embrace: Liberal Protestants, Evangelicals, and Israel). She is currently under contract for her third book, "A History of Terrorism in America," in 2023.

Written by Dwight Bachman