Straddling the boundaries of politics and history, this discerning book allows the reader to dig through the rubble of Lebanon's wars and learn exactly what has befallen it. With its remarkable open society, its plural political system, its well-educated and sophisticated peoples, and its tolerant confessional outlook, Lebanon is only now recovering the independence it once had, albeit in the face of Syria. In view of recent Lebanese history, can an open and democratic state be recaptured by a people entangled in a largely authoritarian Arab state system?
Farid el Khazen's arresting book shows how Lebanon was led toward its fate by its neighbors, yet ultimately undid itself. The Palestine Liberation Organization's presence was of central importance to the breakdown of the state, while the porousness of the democratic system could not contain the problems and violence. The breakdown was less a civil war in the conventional sense than a series of little wars with outside interference.
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Farid el Khazen is Associate Professor of Political Studies at the American University of Beirut.Review:
Some works are works of a lifetime. And this book is in that tradition. Everything about this scholar's life has led him to this book. Lebanon has been his home and vocation and calling. No one else in our field of Middle Eastern Studies could or would produce a book of this weight and seriousness and knowledge. Its mine of information, its interviews with the protagonist in that drawn-out struggle over Lebanon, the rich, textured data are all testimonies to a voracious commitment to tell Lebanon's tale. Straddling the boundaries of politics and history, this able, knowing, discerning book has mini-histories of all of Lebanon's communities. It situates Lebanon in its region, and in the world, and tells of what became of a land without a strong state of its own in a world of other, more powerful states. Others have written of Lebanon's politics. The Breakdown of the State in Lebanon exceeds them all in power and integrity and knowledge and research and detail. A study that should make its way in Middle Eastern affairs as the definitive account of modern Lebanese politics.
--Fouad Ajami, Johns Hopkins University
In a massively researched, factually reliable, and politically centrist interpretation...[el Khazen] provides what will surely become the authoritative account of Lebanon's slide to war. As the title implies, el Khazen sees the weakening of the Lebanese government as the central development in the period following the 1967 Six-Day War...He is scathing on the press coverage of the PLO's role in the conflict--and also that of Western scholars--for their willingness 'to accept the Palestinian version of the story.'
--Daniel Pipes (Jerusalem Post 2000-12-01)
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Descrizione libro Harvard University Press, 2000. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110674081056