Artillery of Fire: American Missionaries and the Failed Conversion of the Middle East
Author(s)Sharkey, Heather J
KeywordsNear and Middle Eastern Studies
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AbstractLucid and elegantly written, Ussama Makdisi's Artillery of Heaven accomplishes two big things. First, while examining 19th century American missionary encounters in the Arab Ottoman territories, it presents a model for a new kind of transnational history that sheds light on American engagement with the world. Second, and at a time when much of the Arab past has been "effectively demarcated ... as a forbidden no-man's land" because of fear of what "divisive narratives" of the past may dredge up (p. 219), it scrutinizes the raw history of the "multi-religious world" in the Ottoman region that is now Lebanon.