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From Beirut to Jerusalem: One Man’s Middle Eastern Odyssey Paperback – 19 Oct 1998
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‘Jubilantly intelligent – a dashing hybrid of autobiography and journalism… a lifeline to the sane, a beacon to the hopeful.’
Michael Coren, The Times
‘Friedman fills the yawning gap between verbiage and understanding with grace, precision and insight.’
‘A striking achievement.’
From the Back Cover
WINNER OF THE AMERICAN NATIONAL BOOK AWARD
In this lucid, incisive and memorable book, hailed on both sides of the Atlantic, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Thomas Friedman reaches deeper into the traumatic, complex recent history of the conflicts in the Middle East than any previous writer. 'From Beirut to Jerusalem' is wonderfully shrewd, suprisingly funny, and indispensable to anyone seeking a fuller understanding of the political causes and psychological effects of the seemingly endless litany of strife which besets this embattled region. This Second Edition has been fully updated to include an account of the nascent Middle East peace process begun in 1992.
"Jubilantly intelligent – a dashing hybrid of autobiography and journalism. Friedman's book is a lifeline to the sane, a beacon to the hopeful".
MICHAEL COREN, 'Sunday Times'
"Friedman's approach is both original and thought – provoking. His analysis of the changing shape of relations between Israel and the American-Jewish community is masterful …a striking achievement."
ANDREW GOWERS, 'Financial Times'
"A richly textured work, saturated with grim and appalling truths"
CHAIM POTOK ,' Washington Post '
" Friedman fills the yawning gap between verbiage and understanding with grace, precision and insight."
"A sparkling intellectual guidebook…an engrossing journey not to be missed."
WALL STREET JOURNAL
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Top Customer Reviews
The author is a journalist who spent time reporting in both Beirut and Jerusalem in the late 70's and the 80's. He is a Jewish American and is therefore sometimes accused of bias. I have an open mind on the topic and personally didn't detect any bias. Interestingly he has been accused on occasions of bias towards the Palestians as well!
The book covers the history of Israel and Palestine and also explains a little about the civil war that took place in the Lebanon. It looks at the views of both the Israelis and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and the rationale for the actions taken by both of them. The author also discusses how strange it was to see people going about their ordinary way of life amid bombing and gunfire. He talks at about the interesting people he met while living in the Middle East and how their lives have been impacted by the conflict.
Thomas Friedman has a wonderful way of writing which makes this book very easy to read and absorb. It is interesting, educational and in many places very amusing.
As it is not a recent book, it only covers events up to the early 90s. However I think it is a great introduction to the subject.
An American Jew pitching up to Beirut in the mid 80s sounds a disaster waiting to happen but the chronology provided by Friedman is well worth reading. Although perhaps lacking the detail to be a relevant source for academia I would recommend this to anyone else wanting an introduction to the history of the conflict and how it appeared soon after Rabin and Arafat shook hands, but before Rabin was assassinated.
It was interesting to read the different perspective of living in Beirut vs Jerusalem, but perhaps the most interesting was the suggestions towards the end for long-term peace. Much of his Friedman's expectation was surprisingly accurate!
Friedman and his wife first went to the Middle East in 1979, and for the next decade lived in the two cities that form the title to this book, splitting their time fairly evenly. As seems to be true of every 10 year period in the Middle East, it was tumultuous. "And all the news just repeats itself" is a line from a John Prine song, truer today than when he wrote it. Friedman has a chapter on the massacre in Hama, Syria, by the forces of the current ruler's father, which killed somewhere around 20,000 civilians. This was in 1982! And his account seemed to provide the first fair discussion of it. I was in Hama in 1989, and the "ghosts still talked, admittedly, sotte voce . Lebanon has always been one of the most complex cases in the area, and Friedman seems to select the perfect epigram for his chapter, from a fellow NYT correspondent: "There is no truth in Beirut, only versions.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
really interesting book for anyone with an interest in the middle east!Published 5 months ago by john queen
Told me so much that I didn't know about the fact that tribal loyalties are much stronger than national loyalties to the STATE. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Ken Buxton
Excellent first hand account of the Middle East during the 80s. Invaluable reading.Published on 2 Jan. 2015 by pierre_en_angleterre
I knew little about middle east but this book gives really good insight into the recent troubles and complexities Seemingly without bias. Read morePublished on 18 Sept. 2014 by Claire Tyrrell
Lots of detail but it's now out of date. Wish there could be an update to what is a very balanced and thorough analysis of the Middle East.Published on 23 Feb. 2014 by Mlle Konstantinova Polina
I enjoyed reading this book and felt it was overall a fair and accurate view of the situation in the region. Read morePublished on 2 Aug. 2013 by Averageman
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