New Projects

My latest project, now underway, explores early American intellectual history in an attempt to understand the evolution of America as the world’s technological powerhouse. Today’s ubiquitous gadgetry and the visionary notion, shared by more than a few technologists, bloggers, and science fiction writers, of an ultimate fusion of man and machine give the impression of a contemporary phenomenon. I would suggest, rather, that the roots of American technological prowess lie in the intellectual, political, and practical origins of the Republic itself.

Columbia University Press recently published my new book, Islam Through Western Eyes, drawn from my PhD dissertation, “War without End? One Thousand Years of Anti-Islam Discourse.” This work explores the Western “idea” of Islam, from the Crusades to the war on terrorism and notes the remarkable continuity, persistence, and constancy of this view across a millennium, in seeming violation of our traditional notion of the history of ideas.  You can read The Boston Globe Review here.