"I am in awe of the scope and structure of American Orient. As David Weir points out, bits of the story of American engagement with Asia have been told, in various disciplines. No one before him, however, has traced the entire chronological sweep, from the Founding Fathers to the latest New Age fads, giving balanced attention to politics, religion, scholarship, and art. The book seems to me a monumental achievement. It is timely, wise, idiosyncratic in only good ways, lively, well informed, fun to read.—Christopher Benfey, author of The Great Wave: Gilded Age Misfits, Japanese Eccentrics, and the Opening of Old Japan
""Weir builds on [Edward Said’s] analysis of the European 'otherizing' of the East by looking specifically at the role of the 'Orient' in American culture, history, and literature. . . . Written in an accessible style, the book is an excellent resource. . . . Highly recommended.""—Choice
""Weir argues that American cultural engagement with the East can be organized into a series of overlapping concerns--politics, theology, scholarship, aesthetics, modernism, and mass culture--the nature of which he periodically and judiciously qualifies.""—The New England Quarterly
""While American Orientalism is not a novel scholarly pursuit, the scope of Weir's book, not only in terms of periods covered, from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries, but also in the range of disciplines--philosophy, literature, poetry, religion, art, politics--is unprecedented. . . . Weir's scholarship is extremely learned, and yet his writing is readable and jargon-free.""—Studies in American Culture
""Weir's work should be noted for bringing together strains of American intellectual and religious history that have not been thoroughly explored. The temporal coverage of American Orient as well as the emphasis on India are also important contributions to the literature.""—Pacific Historical Review
""David Weir surveys a broad scope and diverse archive of thinkers who absorbed Asian elements to constitute themselves as American. He demonstrates how 'Eastern values, beliefs, and ideas are used to supplement American political, theological, or aesthetic interests.' The books strongest chapters draw on Weir's expertise in modernism to explore the Eastern engagements of a sequence of writers from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.""—American Literature"