Muslims of the Heartland: How Syrian Immigrants Made a Home in the American Midwest


Product Details

New York University Press
Publish Date
5.9 X 8.9 X 0.7 inches | 0.75 pounds

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About the Author

Edward E. Curtis IV is the William M. and Gail M. Plater Chair of the Liberal Arts and Professor of Religious Studies at the IU School of Liberal Arts in Indianapolis. A recipient of Mellon, NEH, Fulbright, and Carnegie fellowships, Curtis is author of Muslim American Politics and the Future of US Democracy, Muslims in America: A Short History, and editor of The Practice of Islam in America: An Introduction and the Encyclopedia of Muslim-American History.


"Draws on rich archival sources to create a vivid portrait of Syrian communities in the Midwest from 1900 to the 1950s ... A fresh portrayal of American history and identity."-- "Kirkus Reviews"
"As charming as it is serious, Edward Curtis's Muslims of the Heartland reveals vibrant human dimensions of Syrian Muslim immigrant life in the modern American Midwest, from North Dakota and Iowa to Detroit. Deftly weaving quantitative records, newspaper sources, and fascinating oral interviews into intimate family histories, Curtis has crafted a vivid history of immigrants too long ignored, and in America's least-studied region."--Jon Butler, author of God in Gotham: The Miracle of Religion in Modern Manhattan
"A fascinating and highly readable history of Syrian Muslims in the Midwest in the first half of the twentieth century. With its detailed stories that importantly illuminate US racial politics, Curtis challenges the idea that Arab Muslims are newcomers to the rural Midwest and helps us imagine the Arab Muslim heartland for the first time."--Evelyn Alsultany, author of Arabs and Muslims in the Media: Race and Representation after 9/11
"Edward Curtis IV has long been one of our surest guides to the lived experience of American Muslims, his work so crucial in challenging enduring, often dangerous stereotypes. Muslims of the Heartland introduces readers to an even broader story: the rich worlds of diverse Syrian communities with deep roots in the American Midwest. Beautifully written, Curtis's book deepens our appreciation of the complex human history of the American Midwest."--Edward T. Linenthal, Former Editor, Journal of American History
"A wonderful book, casting invaluable light on our own eventful and complicated times in America, as well as on the history which Edward Curtis so richly and rivetingly explores."--Leila Ahmed, Victor S. Thomas Research Professor of Divinity, The Divinity School, Harvard University
"This book would make an excellent addition to an undergraduate course on Arab American Studies or American Studies syllabi and will serve as a poignant reminder to contemporary Muslims that Islam has been a key part of America's religious landscape throughout the twentieth century."-- "Mashriq & Mahjar: Journal of Middle East and North African Migration Studies"
"Scrupulously researched and annotated, this book is written with a broad audience in mind despite being published by an academic press. Focusing on the life stories of 15 real men and women, it is a very intimate and easy read."--B. D. Singleton, California State University--San Bernardino "Choice"
"Providing an accurate portrait of how the travails of discrimination coexisted with social harmonization--and the role religion played in that process--is a significant challenge, but Curtis is a skilled guide."--J. A. Schillinger "The Christian Century"