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Tribes with Flags: A Journey Curtailed [Hardcover]

Charles Glass


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25 Jun 1990
The former Middle East correspondent of ABC News records his experiences on a journey which took him from the southern Turkish coast through Syria, Israel, Jordan and the Lebanon. The author visited farms, refugee camps and palaces in order to capture the full spectrum of Levantine life.

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Amazon.com: 2.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
2.0 out of 5 stars Lebonon Lite 1987 21 Nov 2011
By William Garrison Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
By Charles Glass. "Tribes With Flags: A Dangerous Passage Through the Chaos of the Middle East" (1990) a hardback published by Atlantic Monthly Press, and similarly titled "Tribes with Flags: A Journey Curtailed" (1992) a paperback version published by Picador Books; both 510 pages. In early 1987 the author intended on traveling throughout the Middle East, but half way through his travels he was "kidnapped by pro-Iranian terrorists in a Shiite Muslim suburb of Beirut and held for sixty-two days" before allegedly escaping while his guards were allegedly asleep. This book isn't an exhaustive analysis of the civil war between various religious groups in Lebanon, instead it is packed full of anecdotes that the author experienced during his only 4-month-long trip (before he was kidnapped), whereby he met many different and divergent political and religious figures - but with a strong emphasis on encounters with the local `fella' in learning of their regional clothing, food and customs. If you like travelogues, you may like this book. Mr. Daniel Pipes (founder of Middle East Forum) was much dissatisfied with this book, based upon his 24 April 1990 review in the Washington Times. In one of his more charitable paragraphs, Pipes opined: "The book consists mostly of reports on conversations, interspersed with revealing, if random, historical facts and quotes from texts, very much in the style of V. S. Naipaul. Glass is a perfectly competent writer and one capable of insights and even the occasional turn of phrase, but he lacks Naipaul's depth or wit. The occasional nuggets are nearly obscured by a thick dust of commonplace detail." A bit stale-dated now.
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