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Beware of Small States: Lebanon, Battleground of the Middle East (Anglais) Broché – 2 juin 2011

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  • Broché: 496 pages
  • Editeur : Faber & Faber; Édition : Main (2 juin 2011)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0571237428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571237425
  • Dimensions du produit: 12,6 x 3,1 x 19,8 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Jonathan Randal le 29 mars 2013
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
De tous les livres sur le Liban, y compris le mine, ce livre est de loin le meilleur. Hirst
reussit a rendre comprehensible les maintes soubresauts de ce petit pays
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32 internautes sur 42 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A great book, with notable flaws 19 avril 2010
Par Iver E. Peterson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
My Phalangist friends here in Beirut say, Oh, Hirst - he is in the pay of Hezbollah. While I'm certain that's not so, it's true that Hirst is strangely admiring of armed and militant Islam and of the Iranian and Syrian cats-paw posing as protectors of Lebanon in the South of the country, and he is unnecessarily venomous towards Israel in several instances. For example, gestures toward peace are always sincere coming from Syria and other Arab authorities, and always false and depraved coming from Israel. And Hirst seems also unaware of - or indifferent to - how Hezbollah and its Syrian and Iranian paymasters stand in opposition to the wonderful country Lebanon once was, and still is in parts - tolerant, humane and hospitable. A Hezbollah cleric recently issued one of his periodic statements in the Shiite suburbs south of Beirut reminding women of the importance of keeping their hair covered - does the world really need more of that? And Hezbollah's retention of their own arms is stifling the development of a normal civic government in the country, with the Shiite factions in the government recently insisting that it would not discuss the matter of Hesbollah's private army unless the media stopped writing about the matter. Again, not what the Middle East needs more of.
But the book's slightly skewed point of view is easily outweighed by its many virtues. It is great history, full of amazing detail and thorough research. It tore the scales from my Zionist eyes about the depopulation of Arab villages during the 1947 war of independence, it puts the IDF at the center of the Sabra and Shatila massacre, and not the periphery where its officers had insisted it had been, and it exposes dozens of instances of indifference to Arab death and suffering by Israeli officers during Israel's frequent forays into Lebanon - instances the expose Israel's sins far more damningly than Hirst's occasional failure of journalistic perspective.
Another thing for us, pardon me, we English majors: Hirst knows how to write. His use of punctuation is masterful, and long, multi-part and complex sentences flow on in paragraph after paragraph in seamless clarity. He helps you read quickly without sacrificing meaning or subtlety. It may be inevitable that the chronological flow is sometimes hard to follow - I found myself writing dates in the margins to keep up - but the book is essential reading as a history not only of Lebanon, the little playground of great power ambitions, but of the whole, sad story of the Middle East since the end of World War II.
21 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
the ULTIMATE history of the Middle East from Ottoman transition to present! 21 mars 2010
Par Desertwriter - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
At first I was unsure how Hirst could top his heroic Gun and Olive Branch:Roots of Violence in the Middle East...thinking that for 3 decades, with updates and a long desired comprehensive collection of all three editions in one, published in 2003, with a new 50,000 word forward, which brought the reader from the late 1980s (2nd edition) to the present decade-- the period leading up to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, including insight into evangelistic Christian Zionism and their enmeshment --(concept of Zion and return for Jews)....the exclusion of the narrative of indigenous amended ...and events which led up to the British (who were in a "partitioning state of mind" across their Empire at that point in time)....Partitioning of Syria-Palestine-Transjordan-Levant along with the French as 'spoils" from their defeat (which would never have been possible in all likelihood, except for the unified power of the Arab clans from Hijaz and across the Arab world at the time )...conniving and treachery dealt via betrayal against the Arabs who longed for independence.
Here, in Hirst's latest opus...he picks up from that period...carefully documented presenting the reader with events and players within the Levant prior to 1919 Paris Peace conference --replete with Weizmann quotes and forward.
It must be read... an absolutely essential comprehensive "BIG PICTURE" epic history, in the same way that David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" did. .the era & series of events and schemes and epic historical narrative that will open minds & rip veils from the eyes of those who remain uninformed --whether as a result of inadequate public education in north america as well as the infinitely well oiled & funded propaganda machines that have driven North American ignorance for more than a century..
There is no question that this author is the "Laureate of M/E history"....not merely the Dean, as Hirst has long been considered. Put aside all current readings on the region...clear the decks...and desks, kindles, laptops but make time for this retrospective historical accounting, as no other will enrich, inform, educate and awaken. Brilliantly researched using regional archives and beyond. READ THIS BOOK...give it as a gift to family, associates and friends....Many Blessings to David Hirst for providing readers with blue print and text to finally arrive at this comprehensive beautifully written book, which hands Obama administration an unsparing review of what could lie ahead without the strictest adherence to the lessons of the past... & to Nation Press for publishing this stunner. Bravo!!
15 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Exciting surprise 7 avril 2010
Par JPeter Scott-Hansen - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Although I had a small part in researching this book by translating one of the source books, I had no idea how amazing the final book would become. This is a must-read for anyone who really is interested in understanding the background to the mess which continues to haunt us. There is plenty of blame to go around, but we here in the US seldom get enough of the real picture to make sound judgements--this goes for our various governments of all shadings. Thanks, David Hirst, for this valuable contribution.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Being aware of Hirst's bias 25 janvier 2015
Par Pablo Calahorra Gonzalez - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
I was looking for an updated account of the Lebanon troubled history, so when I knew of this book, written by a veteran journalist with decades of experience about reporting the area, I decided to buy it. I was aware of Mr Hirst critical points of view about the subject, but an alternate point of view is always refreshing and welcome, so far as the critics are supported by facts. Since the writer was a journalist I supposed this would be the case, specially since the book was hailed as an objective account of the last 40 years of lebanese history. I was wrong.
Despite Mr Hirst's mastery of the narrative style (the book is easy to read) and penchant for assuming unorthodox positions, the book fails in several accounts. First of all, it lacks a bibliography, despite having extensive footnotes. When you check the references you realize that most of the sources used lack impartiality and/or serious academic credentials. Most of them belong to rabidly antiamerican or anti israeli publications. I don't know if someone outside the pro-palestine partisans can take seriously something published by the "Institute for Palestine Studies", whose approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict is, well, somewhat biased. This pales when you see Nasrallah's ravings quoted as a serious source. I'm aware that references from communist or nazi sources are necessary to have an adequate vision of let's say cold war or WW2, but it is necessary to complement the raw quote with a critical sense as well as confronting them with other sources. And this, is something that Hirst does not do, taking them at face value. To put an example, this is like using nazi propaganda to write a serious history of the Eastern Front campaign.
Hence, the writer falls into a logical fallacy akin to the "post hoc ergo propter hoc". By the way Mr Hirst unashamedly quotes himself lots of times, presenting his opinions as historical facts.
The objectivity of Mr Hirst is just a pose, with the author using a blatantly different standard when the Palestinians, Syria, Iran or Hizbollah are affected (organizations and regimes well known by their human rights record), painting the West -but specially Israel's- actions in a biased way. This is specially unfortunate when the writer presents himself as impartial and his book as an objective account, something which is not. A quote of John Le Carre's "Secret Pilgrim" comes to my mind, something like: if you spent too much time in Lebanon you end considering Israel as the cause of all its problems. Clearly this seems to be the case for Mr Hirst. I repeat: everyone is entitled to have an independent opinion or sympathies for this or that cause, but in doing so, one should also be frank and recognize his bias, and not presenting his personal opinions as gospel truth.
Personally I found extremely disgusting Hirst continued justification or even lionization of almost everything "Hizbollah" does, let's not forget that we are dealing with a terrorist organization, considered as such by entities which can scarcely be considered pro-Zionist like the European Union or the Gulf Cooperation Council.
8 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
More Lebanon, Less Israel 5 septembre 2010
Par lmlm000 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I began this book because I wanted a book completely dedicated to the story of Lebanon- from independence to today. However, the book is instead a retelling of the Arab-Isreali conflict with Lebanon appearing more as a bit player rather than the main character. In fact, there are certain chapters that Lebanon is barely mentioned at all. Of course, to understand Lebanon's promises and perils one needs to understand it within the larger context of the Middle East, but the author tends to get distracted by the wider context at the expense of Lebanese internal politics. Why was the Lebanese state prone to failure? Was there anyway it could have avoided disintegration? Who were the major internal power players of Lebanon? How democratic is Lebanon? All these questions are touched upon but none are given serious analysis. Much of the book is a critique of Israel's policy with respect to her neighbors and Lebanon being simply the most troubled of those neighbors.

Having said all this, I thought the book did have some high points- as a history of the Arab-Israeli conflict the book is quite readable and makes some interesting points regarding the politics of the Middle East. Furthermore, Hirst `s writing is lively and detailed (the chapter on Sabra and Shatila is especially good). To be sure, Hirst blames Israel for most of Lebanon's woes and as a history it is biased but as a political work it makes some well-reasoned arguments (see Hirst's reasons for Hezbollah's rise and his discussion of Israel's more recent military ventures). All in all, the book is good as a well-reasoned critique of Israel but weaker as a discussion of the creation, disintegration, and continuing struggle of Lebanon.
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