Al' America: Travels Through America's Arab and Islamic Roots

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Four out of ten Americans say they dislike Muslims, according to a Gallup poll. ""Muslims,"" a blogger wrote on, ""don't belong in America."" In a lively, funny, and revealing riposte to these sentiments, journalist Jonathan Curiel offers a tour through the little-known Islamic past, and present, of American culture. From highbrow to pop, from lighthearted to profound, this book reveals the Islamic and Arab influences before our eyes, under our noses, and ringing in our ears. Curiel demonstrates that many of America's most celebrated places retain vestiges of Arab and Islamic culture. Likewise, some of America's most recognizable music is indebted to Arab music. And some of America's leading historical figures, from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Elvis Presley, relied on Arab or Muslim culture for intellectual sustenance. Part travelogue, part cultural history, this book confirms a continuous pattern of give-and-take between America and the Arab-Muslim world.--From publisher description.