Cover image for Lebanon, a shattered country : myths and realities of the wars in Lebanon
Lebanon, a shattered country : myths and realities of the wars in Lebanon
Picard, Elizabeth.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Liban, état de discorde. English
Revised edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Holmes & Meier, [2002]

Physical Description:
x, 236 pages : maps ; 23 cm
Electronic Access:
Table of contents
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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DS87 .P5213 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Picard (National Center for Scientific Research, Paris, France) has written a remarkably clear, concise history of the conflicts in Lebanon that provides the reader with the historical, political, ethnic, and economic background, then brings these factors forward to the present. The present translation comprises a complete revision of the French original of 1988. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Author Notes

Elizabeth Picard is a research director at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In its first three decades modern Lebanon seemed unique among Arab nations, a stable, prosperous merchant republic with a freewheeling economy, also a model of democracy based on intercommunal harmony. But the Lebanese surface was deceptive; in 1975 its society began unraveling. What Picard calls "the war that dared not speak its name" devastated land and people, ending in 1990 "as illogically as it had begun." The devastation was both physical and psychological, introducing the term "Lebanonization" into politics to denote a state in disarray, battered by communal conflicts, and victimized by outside forces. The interplay of these forces and their effect on Lebanese social balance are brilliantly analyzed in Picard's insightful study. The book's great strength is its use of Lebanese history to describe Lebanon's growth, from Christian mountain refuge to the multiethnic, multireligious Greater Lebanon formed under French control and made into a republic in 1946. Picard examines the "wars that hid each other," Syrian and Israeli intervention, and the Palestinians as a key factor in the internal Lebanese struggle pitting group against group. She concludes that a viable Lebanese future must include reconstruction of Beirut as center, active Christian participation in national life, and balancing of freedom of religious identity with security of the state. Upper-division undergraduates and above. W. Spencer formerly, Florida State University

Table of Contents

List of Mapsp. vi
Prefacep. vii
1 The Search for Originsp. 1
2 A Land of Communitiesp. 9
3 The Choice of Greater Lebanonp. 23
4 The Merchant Cityp. 37
5 Patrons and Clientsp. 49
6 A "National" Pactp. 63
7 The Palestinian Factorp. 77
8 A Society in Crisisp. 89
9 War Violent and Rampant (1975-1981)p. 105
10 One War Hides Others (1982-1990)p. 121
11 A Consensus Destroyedp. 141
12 Which Lebanon?p. 155
13 In Search of Sovereigntyp. 179
Epiloguep. 201
Appendixp. 205
Notesp. 209
Suggested Readingp. 221
Indexp. 227