From Beirut to Jerusalem

( 36 )

Overview

“If you’re only going to read one book on the Middle East, this is it.”---Seymour M. Hersh

One of the most thought-provoking books ever written about the Middle East, From Beirut to Jerusalem remains vital to our understanding of this complex and volatile region of the world. Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas L. Friedman drew upon his ten years of experience reporting from Lebanon and Israel to write this now-classic work of journalism. In a new afterword, he updates his ...

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Overview

“If you’re only going to read one book on the Middle East, this is it.”---Seymour M. Hersh

One of the most thought-provoking books ever written about the Middle East, From Beirut to Jerusalem remains vital to our understanding of this complex and volatile region of the world. Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas L. Friedman drew upon his ten years of experience reporting from Lebanon and Israel to write this now-classic work of journalism. In a new afterword, he updates his journey with a fresh discussion of the Arab Awakenings and how they are transforming the area, and a new look at relations between Israelis and Palestinians, and Israelis and Israelis. Rich with anecdote, history, analysis, and autobiography, From Beirut to Jerusalem will continue to shape how we see the Middle East for many years to come. 

A framework for understanding the region and its problems, each chapter is a stop on the author's own remarkable journey from Beirut to Jerusalem.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The most intelligent and comprehensive account one is likely to read.”---The New York Times Book Review

“A book that must be read by all who are concerned about the present and future of a part of our world to which Western civilization has always been, and will continue to be, vitally connected.”---The Washington Post Book World

“A sparkling intellectual guidebook…An engrossing journey not to be missed.”---The Wall Street Journal

“A complex, illuminating vision written with a novelist’s eye for the telling detail and a reporter’s knack for the revealing quote.”  –San Francisco Chronicle

“Perhaps no other book written for a popular audience has so successfully explained the unexplainable….This book is an annotated road map to the past, and a brilliant crystal ball for the future.”---St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Fascinating...Friedman has mastered his subject.”---Time

 

NY Times Book Review
From Beirut To Jerusalem is the most intelligent and comprehensive account one is likely to read.
Wall Street Journal
A sparkling intellectual guidebook...an engrossing journey not to be missed.
New York Times Book Review
From Beirut To Jerusalem is the most intelligent and comprehensive account one is likely to read.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
First published in 1989, Friedman's National Book Award-winning study of the Middle East is brought up-to-date with a new chapter examining critical events in 1995. Aug.
Library Journal
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' 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. -- David P. Snider, Casa Grande Public Library, Arizona

Library Journal
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' 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. -- David P. Snider, Casa Grande Public Library, Arizona

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250034410
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Publication date: 12/11/2012
  • Edition description: Revised and Updated
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 656
  • Sales rank: 198,536
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas L. Friedman

Thomas L. Friedman is an internationally renowned author, reporter, and columnist—the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes and the author of five bestselling books, among them From Beirut to Jerusalem and The World Is Flat.
 
He was born in Minneapolis in 1953, and grew up in the middle-class Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. He graduated from Brandeis University in 1975 with a degree in Mediterranean studies, attended St. Antony's College, Oxford, on a Marshall Scholarship, and received an M.Phil. degree in modern Middle East studies from Oxford.
 
After three years with United Press International, he joined The New York Times, where he has worked ever since as a reporter, correspondent, bureau chief, and columnist. At the Times, he has won three Pulitzer Prizes: in 1983 for international reporting (from Lebanon), in 1988 for international reporting (from Israel), and in 2002 for his columns after the September 11th attacks. 
 
Friedman’s first book, From Beirut to Jerusalem, won the National Book Award in 1989. His second book, The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization (1999), won the Overseas Press Club Award for best book on foreign policy in 2000. In 2002 FSG published a collection of his Pulitzer Prize-winning columns, along with a diary he kept after 9/11, as Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11. His fourth book, The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century (2005) became a #1 New York Times bestseller and received the inaugural Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award in November 2005. A revised and expanded edition was published in hardcover in 2006 and in 2007. The World Is Flat has sold more than 4 million copies in thirty-seven languages. 
 
In 2008 he brought out Hot, Flat, and Crowded, which was published in a revised edition a year later. His sixth book, That Used to Be Us: How American Fell Behind in the World We Invented and How We Can Come Back, co-written with Michael Mandelbaum, will be published in September 2011.
 
Thomas L. Friedman lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with his family.

Biography

When September 11 drastically reshifted America's focus and priorities, Thomas L. Friedman was the author readers turned to as a guide to the dynamics of the Middle East. In a mediascape crowded with pundits, the New York Times foreign affairs columnist and author has emerged as the preeminent commentator in his field, informed by his 20-plus years as a journalist covering the rapidly shifting politics in the region.

The title of his first book, From Beirut to Jerusalem, describes his trajectory as New York Times bureau chief in both cities in the '80s. He interrupted his journalism career in 1988 when the Guggenheim Foundation awarded him a fellowship to write a book about his experiences. The result was a personal narrative that described not only his harrowing experiences in Lebanon and Israel but also contained exposition about the roots of his interest in the Middle East, a visit to Israel that burgeoned into a full-blown obsession. Friedman himself put it best, in the book's prelude: "It is a strange, funny, sometimes violent, and always unpredictable road, this road from Beirut to Jerusalem, and in many ways, I have been traveling it all my adult life." From Beirut to Jerusalem won the National Book Award and spent a year on the Times bestseller list.

This road analogy is one of several Friedman will make over the course of a column or book. He reduces the intimidation factor of complex subjects by offering ample (but not copious) background, plain but intelligent language, and occasional humor. On Iraq's history before Saddam: "Romper Room it was not." On globalization: "If [it] were a sport, it would be the 100-meter dash, over and over and over. And no matter how many times you win, you have to race again the next day."

Friedman again offered complex concepts in appealingly dramatic terms in 1989's The Lexus and the Olive Tree, his distillation of the new global economy. He sets up the contrast between the old, Cold War system ("sumo wrestling") and the new globalization system (the 100-meter dash). Another part of why Friedman can be so readable is that he sometimes makes it seem as if his life is one big kaffeeklatsch with the scholars and decision makers of the world. In a chapter from The Lexus and the Olive Tree, he mentions a comment made by a friend who is also "the leading political columnist in Jordan." The day after seeing this friend, Friedman writes, "I happen to go to Israel and meet with Jacob Frenkel, then governor of Israel's Central Bank and a University of Chicago-trained economist." Thus another illustrative point is made. Friedman frames the world not just as he sees it, but also includes the perspective of the many citizens he has made it a point to include in the dialogue.

In 2002, Friedman won a third Pulitzer for his writing in the New York Times, and the demand for his perspicacity post-September 11 makes the release of Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11 almost a foregone conclusion. Breaking the book into before, during, and after, Friedman presents what he calls a "word album" of America's response to the tragedy. It is undeniably a changed world, and Friedman is undeniably the man to help readers make sense of it.

Good To Know

Friedman lives with his wife Ann and daughters Orly and Natalie in Bethesda, Maryland, a suburb of Washington.

In high school, Friedman became "insufferable" in his obsession with Israel, he says. He wrote in From Beirut to Jersualem: "When the Syrians arrested thirteen Jews in Damascus, I wore a button for weeks that said Free the Damascus 13, which most of my high-school classmates thought referred to an underground offshoot of the Chicago 7. I recall my mother saying to me gently, 'Is that really necessary?' when I put the button on one Sunday morning to wear to our country-club brunch."

As the chief diplomatic correspondent for the New York Times from 1989 to 1992, Friedman logged some 500,000 miles following Secretary of State James Baker and chronicling the end of the Cold War.

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    1. Hometown:
      Washington, D.C. area
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 20, 1953
    2. Place of Birth:
      Minneapolis, Minnesota
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Mediterranean Studies, Brandeis University, 1975; M.A. in Modern Middle East Studies, Oxford University, 1978
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

From Beirut to Jerusalem


By Thomas L. Friedman

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Copyright © 1990 Thomas L. Friedman
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-374-15895-9


Chapter One

Prelude: From Minneapolis to Beirut

In June 1979, my wife, Ann, and I boarded a red-and-white Middle East Airlines 707 in Geneva for the four-hour flight to Beirut. It was the start of the nearly ten-year journey through the Middle East that is the subject of this book. It began, as it ended, with a bang.

When we got in line to walk through the metal detector at our boarding gate, we found ourselves standing behind three broad-shouldered, mustachioed Lebanese men. As each stepped through the metal detector, it would erupt with a buzz and a flashing red light, like a pinball machine about to tilt. The Swiss police immediately swooped in to inspect our fellow passengers, who turned out not to be hijackers bearing guns and knives, although they were carrying plenty of metal; they were an Armenian family of jewelers bringing bricks of gold back to Beirut. Each of the boys in the family had a specially fitted money belt containing six gold bars strapped around his stomach, and one of them also had a shoe box filled with the precious metal. They sat next to Ann and me in the back of the plane and spent part of the flight tossing the gold bricks back and forth for fun.

When our MEA plane finally touched down at Beirut International Airport, and I beheld the arrival terminal's broken windows, bullet scars, and roaming armed guards, my knees began to buckle from fear. I realized immediately that although I had spent years preparing for this moment - becoming a foreign correspondent in the Middle East - nothing had really prepared me for the road which lay ahead.

In Minneapolis, Minnesota, where I was born and raised, I had never sat next to people who tossed gold bricks to each other in the economy section on Northwest Airlines. My family was, I suppose, a rather typical middle-class American Jewish family. My father sold ball bearings and my mother was a homemaker and part-time bookkeeper. I was sent to Hebrew school five days a week as a young boy, but after I had my bar mitzvah at age thirteen, the synagogue interested me little; I was a three-day-a-year Jew - twice on the New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and once on the day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). In 1968, my oldest sister, Shelley, spent her junior year abroad at Tel Aviv University; it was the year after Israel's dramatic victory in the Six-Day War - a time when Israel was very much the "in" place for young American Jews. Over the Christmas break of 1968 my parents took me to Israel to visit my sister.

The trip that would change my life. I was only fifteen years old at the time and just waking up to the world. The flight to Jerusalem marked the first time I had traveled beyond the border of Wisconsin and the first time I had ridden on an airplane. I don't know if it was just the shock of the new, or a fascination waiting to be discovered, but something about Israel and the Middle East grabbed me in both heart and mind. I was totally taken with the place, its peoples and its conflicts. Since that moment, I have never really been interested in anything else. Indeed, from the first day I walked through the walled Old City of Jerusalem, inhaled its spices, and lost myself in the multicolored river of humanity that flowed through its maze of alleyways, I felt at home. Surely, in some previous incarnation, I must have been a bazaar merchant, a Frankish soldier perhaps, a pasha, or at least a medieval Jewish chronicler. It may have been my first trip abroad, but in 1968 I knew than and there that I was really more Middle East than Minnesota.

When I returned home, I began to read everything I could get my hands on about Israel. That same year, Israel's Jewish Agency sent a shaliach, a sort of roving ambassador and recruiter, to Minneapolis for the first time. I became one of his most active devotees - organizing everything from Israeli fairs to demonstrations. He arranged for me to spend all three summers of high school living on Kibbutz Hahotrim, an Israeli collective farm on the coast just south of Haifa. For my independent study project in my senior year of high school, in 1971, I did a slide show on how Israel won the Six-Day War. For my high-school psychology class, my friend Ken Greer and I did a slide show on kibbutz life, which ended with a stirring rendition of "Jerusalem of Gold" and a rapid-fire montage of strong-eyed, idealistic-looking Israelis of all ages. In fact, high school for me, I am now embarrassed to say was one big celebration of Israel's victory in the Six-Day War. In the period of a year, I went from being a nebbish whose dream was to one day become a professional golfer to being an Israel expert-in-training.

I was insufferable. When the Syrians arrested thirteen Jews in Damascus, I wore a button for weeks that said Free the Damascus 13, which most of my high-school classmates thought referred to an underground offshoot of the Chicago 7. I recall my mother saying to me gently, "Is that really necessary?" when I put the button on one Sunday morning to wear to our country-club brunch. I became so knowledgeable about the military geography of the Middle East that when my high-school geography class had a teaching intern from the University of Minnesota for a month, he got so tired of my correcting him that he asked me to give the talk about the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula while he sat at my desk. In 1968, the first story I wrote as a journalist for my high-school newspaper was about a lecture given at the University of Minnesota by a then-obscure Israeli general who had played an important role in the 1967 war. His name was Ariel Sharon.

During the summer that I spent in Israel after high-school graduation, I got to know some Israeli Arabs from Nazareth, and our chance encounter inspired me to buy an Arabic phrase book and to begin reading about the Arab world in general. From my first day in college, I started taking courses in Arabic language and literature. In 1972, my sophomore year, I spent two weeks in Cairo on my way to Jerusalem for a semester abroad at the Hebrew University. Cairo was crowded, filthy, exotic, impossible - and I loved it. I loved the pita bread one could buy hot out of the oven, I loved the easy way Egyptians smiles, I loved the mosques and minarets that gave Cairo's skyline its distinctive profile, and I even loved my caddy at the Gezira Sporting Club, who offered to sell me both golf balls and hashish, and was ready to bet any amount of money that I could not break 40 my first time around the course. (had two racehorses not strolled across the ninth fairway in the middle of my drive, I might have won the bet.)

In the summer of 1974, between my junior and senior years of college, I returned to Egypt for a semester of Arabic-language courses at the American University in Cairo. When I came back to Brandies, where I was studying for my B.A., I gave a slide lecture about Egypt. An Israeli graduate student in the audience hackled me the entire time asking, "What is a Jew doing going to Egypt?" and "How dare you like these people?" Worse, he got me extremely flustered and turned my talk into a catastrophe I would never forget. But I learned two important lessons from the encounter. First, when it comes to discussing the Middle East, people go temporarily insane, so if you are planning to talk to an audience of more than two, you'd better have mastered the subject. Second, a Jew who wants to make a career working in or studying about the Middle East will always be a lonely man: he will never be fully accepted or trusted by the Arabs, and he will never be fully accepted or trusted by the Jews.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas L. Friedman Copyright © 1990 by Thomas L. Friedman. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

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( 36 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2003

    A Lesson to All: Expunging the Myths of both Sides

    The fact is Friedman uses his experience of local peoples and places to put some of the most important events in the development of the fault we call the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a greater historical/geographical context. It can be, if selectively read termed pro-Israeli or anti-Israeli (none daring the term pro-Palestinian). The reality is that the book condemns the slaughters of Sabra and the terrorism of Arafat. Beyond the insighful analysis of the political climate of Lebanon that no democratic power is apt to understand, the display of the way the people deal with these problems: the shellings, the street fights, the car bombs is an excellent psychological picture. Most important, however, is objectivity is in the juxtaposition of counterbalancing Middle Eastern myths: Israeli pioneering kibbutznic and Palestinian guerilla hero. Apart from what many say he blames arafat, not the Israeli's for failing to accept peace offers and destroying the prospects of his people by feeding them with false hope. He also, though, dissects the willingness of the modern Jewish settlers and their feeling of ownership. It is neither one-sided nor partisan, it is reality pure and simple. Until we accept this book, we will never solve the problem of Palestinian authority beause we do not understand the problem. (Previous comments denouncing the books mention respectively: that he says Jews were expelled from 'Palestine 2000 years ago' Granted the timing is slightly off but Jewish Diaspora's accepted starting point was the destruction of the Second Temple and the area was generically known to the people as Palestine - but the point his moot and irrelevant anyway. As to the understanding of Jewish historical/biblical claims it is very well handeled as he goes through the four Jewish groups in Israel. Lastly, it does not unnecessarily vilify the arab world or the palestinian masses. Nor oes it begrudge Israel her right to secure her borders. Rather it displays the horror of terrorism and destruction on both sides. The terrorists are wrong, but are the secretive kidnapping really right? I will not say, but the question is posed well and in clear context.)It is valuable to lend context, personal perspective, inside analysis and open up new areas of thought.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 11, 2012

    Important understanding of the Middle East

    Mr Friedman gives us a very detailed account of the Israel/Arab conflict in the Middle East while he was on assignment there for many years for the New York Times. Mr Friedman was stationed in Beirut and then Jerusalem. He, also, gives us the history behind the problems. An excellent book, well written. This is a must read in order to get a feel for the region and its challenges.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2003

    Awful. Objectivity Has Died.

    I had hoped that I would be able to obtain so much from this book, the cover being adorned with so many accolades about the depth and detail of this study, but instead I found it to be extremely frustrating and immeasurably selective. With the author being Jewish, I had anticipated a more learned assessment of Jewish history , especially in relation to the Jewish heritage pertaining to the Land of Israel as outlined in Scripture. I was mistaken on all counts. Much is made in this book about the contentious issues between Arab and Jew over the so called `West Bank' (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza, with considerable criticism being directed at the Israeli side for it's insistence upon security aspects, it's Jewish claim to the territories and alleged intransigence in fact of apparent Arab offers of `peace'. Yet I feel that there is insufficient recognition of the Arab intent and declarations to eradicate the Jewish presence not only from these territories but from the entire Middle East. I was dismayed at what the book describes as the expulsion of the Jews 'from Palestine by the Romans two thousand years ago'. Such basic ineptitude in relation to historic facts and terminology as this underlies so much in this work. The Romans changed the name of the Jewish state into Syria Palastina (eventually being 'anglicised' to Palestine) in 135AD when they expelled the Jews from their homeland, at the same time changing the name of Jerusalem to Aelia Capitolina. `Palestine' prior to that time did not even exist. The book also omits any reference to the continued presence of some Jews in the territories even since that time to the present day. In relation to the coverage of the conflict in the Lebanon, there is some very credible and commendable reporting, yet I feel at times as if the reporter only notices the missiles and bullets flying in one direction, omitting those being targeted at his fellow Israelis. I also feel a lack of any reference to the cause of the Israeli presence in the Lebanon in the first place. The intimidation and manipulation of the press during the Lebanon conflict by the PLO and others is illuminating, as is the coverage of the tribal fighting between various factions, yet these are only temporary breaks from the criticism directed at the Israelis. An attitude that even extends to the coverage of the outbreak of the Palestinian intifadas in 1987 where there seems to be an extended, ever present pleasure by the writer of condemning his own people. To describe this book as remotely objective or historically accurate is a distortion of stupendous magnitude, with extensive selective omission and misinformation on so many vital subjects. For those interested in objectivity, might I respectfully recommend Benjamin Netanyahu's book 'A Durable Peace; Israel And It's Place Among the Nations' in order that the Israeli side of the story can be obtained. It is certainly not included here. Thank you.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2002

    Highly Recommended!

    If journalism is the first rough draft of history, Friedman¿s version may require only a light edit from future generations. Concisely cutting through the relentless pattern of attack and counter-attack that has characterized the Middle East for more than 50 years, Friedman finds a balance between seemingly bloodthirsty enemies. He delves into the cultural development of the peoples of the region from tribal origins, analyzing how their early struggles for survival color current events. We from getAbstract recommend this book as essential reading for any thoughtful person who wants to better understand the historical obstacles to peace in the Middle East.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2013

    From Beirut to Jerusalem

    Gives a better understanding of the middle east.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2013

    very biased

    very biased

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  • Posted September 10, 2012

    Absolute drivel.

    Absolute drivel.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 10, 2011

    Excellent primer on the Middle East Conflict

    Having worked in Israel and with friends that live there, I felt I needed to understand more about the history of this tumultuos region. This book was recommended to me and I loved it. Mr. Friedman explains the conflict from history to current day with the attention to detail and absurd humor as only one who has lived there can. For exaple, one of my favorite quotes in the book from a Lebanese socialite, "Would you like to eat now or wait for the cease fire?" I think that sums up the tone of the book perfectly.

    From Beirut to Jerusalem brings the region to life for anyone to fully understand why the Middle East is the way it is.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2003

    Excellent writing, but....

    Mr. Friedman is an excellent writer , that is to say his style flows. While he is in my opinion a little to the left for my taste , he is intersting but is not the end all to the issue at hand .

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2003

    This book is a powerhouse of information!

    This book is a great insight into the conflicts in Lebanon and Israel. Though Jewish himself, the author is equally complimentary AND condemning of BOTH sides of the issue(s). Having lived there for 10 years, the author has filled this book with personal interviews and experiences, first-person insight and background information. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the conflicts in the Middle East! Well done, Mr. Friedman

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2002

    STILL LOOKING IT OVER...

    Shopping at AUTUMN LEAVES BOOKSTORE - HOMEWOOD, ILLINOIS... I bought this book calling it " a safari" ...me, searching for ABDEL GAMAL NASSER who traveled to and thru the countries focused upon in this book. It was recommended to me by the store owner who proclaimed himself to be a Jew with 20th century ideas. He thinks the killing should stop and that it was all "OLD HASH" that began the fighting.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2002

    Best Book About The Middle East

    From Beirut to Jerusalem is the best book I have since read about the Middle East. Once I started reading it I could not put it down. I have read other books about the Middle East, but none has captured the region more beautifully then Friedman's version! Friedman's own accounts give the book an authentic and authoritative interpretation about the many political and social facets that took place in both Beirut and Jerusalem during his ten-year journey throughout the region. I would recommend this book to anyone who is at all interested in the Middle East, as it is the best interpretation out there!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2002

    Excellent description of the conflict in Israel

    First of all, let me say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is extremely well written and the author has a flowing style that is easy to read. The only reason that I give it four stars instead of five is that he forces his liberal political views on the reader(A New York Times' reporter wouldn't do THAT, would he? Ha! Ha!) For example in the chapter 'Inside the Kaleidoscope' he writes that the Israelis didn't know what they were getting involved with in Lebanon, especially when they supported Gemayel one of the factions, but when the Americans do the same thing on page 204 he writes,'Reagan, Schultz, McFarlane, Weinberger, and Casey will all have to answer to history for what they did to the Marines. By blindly supporting Amin Gemayel...' So it's ok if the Israelis who actually border Lebanon and have had a few mortars lobbed into their country from there to be ignorant concerning the internal politics of Lebanon, but not the Republicans who are thousands of miles away. They should have known better. The last reviewer blasts the perceived the anti-Israel tone of the book, but the author actually goes to great lengths to suggest that Israel is not like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. From his own descriptions the only difference is the lack of mass killings. He describes night arrests, torture, spy networks, ID cards to force compliance, lack of economic freedom to name a few tactics used by Israel. Perhaps it's closer to South African apartheid. Remember even the 'good' Palestinians would have to live with some of these indignities. That being said, I think that he went out of his way to be as fair as someone possibly can who has obvious ties to the one side of the dispute (he's a Jewish-American). It's impossible for him to be completely unbiased, but he does an excellent job of telling the Palestinian side. I would recommend this book to anyone, despite my criticisms.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2002

    Excellent!!!!!

    This is the most objective book I have read on the Middle East. As a Lebanese American, I was able to appreciate the compassion Friedman has towards this area of the world and his reports on how the people in the middle feel. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about Lebanon or the Arab-Israeli crisis.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2002

    One-sided view pro-Israeli view of the conflict

    This book despite it being praised my the pro-Israeli camp, is very one-sided and doesnt thoroughly address the conflict. He uses as Noam Chomsky has said in his book Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel and the Palestinians : ' ...including gross falsification in the service of Israeli rejectionism. He repeated some of the fabrications he has help to establish, for example, that Palestinians 'refuse to come to terms with the existence of Israel, and prefer to offer themselves as sacrifices.' ' If you want a thorough, logical, and systematic analysis of the conflict in the middle east do not get Friedman's book, get Noam Chomsky's book. I also recommend you get the book by Norman Finkelstein who is the son of survivors of the holocaust called Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2001

    Easy read

    I started out reading the book because it was about a region I grew up in. I was raised in Israel and hungered for a word, or a picture about the place I call home. once I'd gotten into the book I didn't want to put it down. The words just flow together, and even when he used big words you didn't feel like pulling out the dictionary to get an understanding because if you'd continue to read, you'd get it. I wish I could meet the author. I myself am embarking on a writing career and could use some advice, and guidance. I started out writing a journal which I let my friend read and he was amazed, I then proceeded to detail my vacation where I went to Ft. Lauderdale, orlando and Nassau, Bahamas. Anyway back to the book. It is so good that my friend and I are reading it at the same time. He couldn't wait for me to finish and I can't either.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2001

    The finest book I know on the Middle East

    <br>Thomas Friedman got an M.S. in Middle Eastern Studies at Oxford before moving to Beruit and Jerusalem for 10 years and working as the New York Times Bureau Chief. He won two pulitzer prizes for his reporting and a National Book award for this book.<p> I have nothing to do with him or the publisher, but I believe this is one of the finest books I've ever read. It reminds me of how well-written and well-researched A Civil Action was. And not only did I love the authoritative content, but his sense of humor and humanity are great, and the writing is incredibly clear and interesting. <p>And I think it is as timely as non-fiction comes. I read it in 2001 and it applied to the Afghan situation as if it were written last month.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

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