Cover image for Pity the nation : the abduction of Lebanon
Pity the nation : the abduction of Lebanon
Fisk, Robert.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Atheneum : Maxwell Macmillan International, 1990.
Physical Description:
xx, 678 pages : maps ; 25 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
DS87 .F55 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Witness to the carnage of Beirut for more than a decade, journalist Fisk tells a story of betrayal and illusion, of a Western blindness and arrogance that has led, inevitably, to political and military catastrophe. Annotation(c) 2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Fisk, a British journalist, has written an eloquent account of Lebanon's recent wars, drawing upon some 15 years as a Beirut-based correspondent in the ravaged country. Fisk skillfully provides a chronology of events, analyzes the political background and multitudinous factions, and dramatically depicts the human suffering caused by the war. He cannot remotely be described as pro-Israeli, but he does attempt to put Israeli "faults" into perspective through a consideration of the modern Jewish experience, which is dominated by memories of the Holocaust. Overall, this is one of the better books on the subject. A valuable acquisition for most Middle Eastern or current-affairs collections. Alternate selection of the History Book Club. Bibliography; to be indexed. ~--Roland Green

Publisher's Weekly Review

Middle East correspondent for the London Times from 1976 until '87, Fisk has written a passionate and often angry book describing how Lebanon ``humiliated the West, brought shame upon Israel, corrupted the Syrians, and destroyed itself.'' In this detailed chronicle of massacre and counter-massacre, Fisk also recounts the amoeba-like proliferation of political factions, the 1982 Israeli invasion, the efforts of the multinational peace-keeping force, the bombings of embassies and military headquarters, and the assassination and abduction of Westerners. His scorn for U.S. policy in Lebanon is mild compared with his views on Israel's, especially the brutal behavior of the Israel Defense Force during the occupation. He provides evidence to support the theory that the IDF sent (rather than allowed) Christian Phalangist militiamen into the Sabra/Chatila refugee camps to murder hundreds of Palestinian civilians. In the end he pronounces Lebanon ``a place without hope.'' Currently a correspondent for the Independent , Fisk is one of only two foreign journalists based in Beirut. His book should be read by everyone interested in the Middle East. History Book Club alternate. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The labyrinthian tale of Lebanon's destruction has been told a number of times from a number of vantage points, but not since Ze'ev Schiff and Ehud Ya'ari's Israel's Lebanon War ( LJ 10/15/84) has such a powerful book appeared. Fisk, a highly honored British journalist who wrote for The Times (London) for 11 years and who still lives in Lebanon, conveys those appalling events of 1976-85 with the passionate intensity of someone outraged at the actions that have turned a country and people inside out. Fisk graphically portrays the Lebanese tragedy through interviews, anecdotal information, and thoughtful, incisive analyses. Thomas Friedman's From Beirut to Jerusalem ( LJ 7/89) and Charles Glass's Tribes with Flags ( LJ 4/1/90) are comparable efforts, but Friedman's work deals more with the psychological aspects of Arab versus Israeli; Glass has a more leisurely pace that belies Fisk's sense of urgency. Highly recommended for all libraries of any size.-- David P. Snider, Casa Grande P.L., Ariz. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.