There have been any number of books that have worked hard at interpreting the melange called the Middle East. This one, however, makes a difference because it's so well written and captures the psychological mannerisms of the people of Lebanon and Israel--the first step to understanding some of the mysterious "why" that seems to elude the American public and government. Friedman's credentials are impressive: he spent six years of journalistic service for the New York Times in Beirut and Jerusalem, has won two Pulitzer prizes, and is now the Times 's chief diplomatic correspondent. His writing is vastly descriptive, incredibly illuminating, very educational, and marvelously persuasive. His advice to U.S. diplomats is that since "Middle East diplomacy is a contact sport," they must bargain as grocers, or, in other words, realize that everything has a price and the sale can always be made with enough hard work.
LIBRARY JOURNAL REVIEW
"If you're bewitched by the Mideast but bewildered by the region's complexity, this book is for you." Detroit Free Press
Winner of the National Book Award for nonfiction, this extraordinary bestseller is still the most incisive, thought-provoking book ever written abut the Middle East. Thomas L. Friedman, three-time Pulitizer Prize-winning journalist and Foreign Affairs columnist for the N.Y. Times, drew on his extensive experience in the region to write a book that The Wall Street Journal called "a sparkling intellectual guidebook . . . an engrossing journey not to be missed." As the conflict in the Middle East continues unabated, this seminal historical work reaffirms both its timeliness and its timelessness.
This historical account of the mideast is extremely relevant to U.S. position in Iraq.
An amazing journalist who knows his field--the landscape of the Middle East. I read this book after September 11. I will be rereading it and will post more opinions when I am finished.
From the dust jacket: "....(the author) describes with intense vividness what it's like to live in a city gone mad like Beirut; he leads us on an unforgettable journey into the inner circle of Arab regimes to show how the game of Araab politics is really played; he exmines the intifada and Israeli-Palestinian relations, the PLO, Israeli politics, the Lebanese factions, news reporting from the Middle East, and American's difficulty in understanding them. Extremism, terrorism, fundamentalism on right and left-Friedman puts all the operative currents into perspective with...clarity...".
Two time Pulitzer Prize winning author.