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Jonathan FinerTwenty-five years ago, Hezbollah was a ragtag religious militia, founded under the thumb of Israel's long occupation of southern Lebanon and struggling against stronger rival groups for the hearts and minds of Lebanon's Shiite underclass. Today, Hezbollah is a political party, a social-service organization and a military power that emerged from a hard-fought standoff with the Israeli army last summer as the dominant player in Lebanon's politics and perhaps the most formidable nonstate actor in the Middle East.
Augustus Richard Norton's timely Hezbollah chronicles that dramatic evolution and its sweeping implications for the region and beyond. His lucid primer is the first serious reappraisal of the radical Shiite group since last summer's war shattered six years of relative calm on one of the world's most volatile frontiers.
—The Washington Post