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Examines how popular culture has shaped the ways Americans define their "interests" in the Middle East. Author McAlister argues that U.S. foreign policy, while grounded in material and military realities, is also developed in a cultural context. American understandings of the region are framed by narratives that draw on religious belief, news media accounts, and popular culture. This book skillfully weaves readings of film, media, and music with a rigorous analysis of U.S. foreign policy, race politics, and religious history.--From publisher description.