Friday, March 5, 2010

"Beware of Small States" by David Hirst

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"Beware of Small States" by author David Hirst is an intense narrative of the challenges facing Lebanon and its history of conflict. Hirst puts Lebanon in the bigger context of the Arab-Israeli war and details Israel's fixation of Lebanon, a country it has fought to dominate many times.

Banned in six Arab countries, and kidnapped twice during Lebanon's civil wars, Hirst is also a former Middle East correspondent for the prestigious Guardian Newspaper.

A lengthy book and easy to read, Hirst offers a detailed understanding of Lebanon and explores the rise of Hizbollah and the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip. If you can understand Lebanon's history and challenges, you can understand the larger regional conflicts in the Middle East, Hirst argues. He does a good job of bringing history together and exploring its impact on today.

The Middle East has been overwritten but Hirst's book helps bring understanding to a complex region.

Beware of Small States: Lebanon, Battleground of the Middle East
By David Hirst
Nation Books, April 1, 2010
428 Pages