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Bring Down the Walls: Lebanon's Post-War Challenge Paperback – January 5, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0312293369 ISBN-10: 0312293364

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Product Details

  • Series: Lebanon's Post-War Challenge
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (January 5, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312293364
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312293369
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,237,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“There is much to commend in this book, particularly its very perceptive analysis of the way Catholic and Maronite politics operate in Lebanon.” —Middle East Policy

“Her book is a model of engaged journalism ... penetrating.” —Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Carole H. Dagher is Research Associate, the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and International Visiting Fellow at Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By paul michael wihbey on May 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"Bring down the Walls" is a truly unique contribution to the understanding of the sublime mosaic that is the Middle East. The author delves with expert understanding into the complexities of Lebanon's post-war efforts to renew itself and rejuvuate intercommunal relations. Unlike many other writers who approach Lebanon with a snide cyncism and stereotypical images of religious and political groups, author Dahger treats her subject with a compelling sense of humanity, realism and dignity. Combining her honed journalistic skills with an obvious scholarly aptitude, Dagher offers the reader that rare literary opportunity: to learn and enjoy at the same time. The book is replete with incisive first-hand accounts of dramatic efforts to rebuild the shattered spirit of Lebanon, and in particular that of its ancient Christian community. With equal skill and finesse,the reader is effortlessly transported inside the walls of the Vatican to listen in on the great deliberations of the historic 1995 Synod for Lebanon, or to Damascus and the discussion between the US Secretary of State and the President of Syria over Lebanon's future, or to Pope John Paul II's emotional and triumpiant 1997 visit to Lebanon; listen to the author's words, "The Popemobile dived into the bubbling cauldron of the jubliant crowd. It was strewn with rose petals and rice. His face turned red by the sweltering heat of May and by the emotion,the Supreme Pontiff scanned with tenderness and attention the faces and hands lifted toward him. He opened the window and reached out to a a child." (p.189) Not only is this a book sparkling with an abundance of literary gems, but it is an important and timely contribution to the fundamental issue of nation-building.Read more ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kirkus Reviews on May 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
To reclaim its legacy as a paragon of plurality, argues a research associate at Georgetown's Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Lebanon must first climb out of the morass of "isms" into which it has devolved through decades of civil strife and the meddling of others. Though relatively short, Dagher's book covers a lot of ground. It contains a historical overview of Lebanon's myriad communities as well as an analysis of the development of their mutual distrust. By exposing the nation's self-destructive, inter-communal misconceptions, the author aims to dispel them. Among her allies she numbers no less a figure than Pope John Paul II, whose 1997 visit to Lebanon is stirringly described by Dagher, who shows him standing outside a cathedral (with the sun setting into the Mediterranean as a backdrop) and imploring the country's youth to "bring down the walls erected in the painful past". Those walls, in the author's view, are founded on dogmatic ideologies: sectarianism, Maronitism, fundamentalism, pluralism, and pan-Arabism, to name a few. With unabashed passion, Dagher warns that if Lebanon fails in its multicultural mission, it spells doom not just for a nation uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between Christianity and Islam, but for the entire Levant, which looks to the "country of Cedars" as an oasis in a desert of expanding fanaticism. Her book is a model of engaged journalism, combining thorough research with intensity derived from a personal connection to the subject matter. Quoting numerous Christian and Muslim leaders who stress the importance of preserving diversity, she proves that pluralism is not her ideal alone; it is Lebanon's.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
"Bring down the Walls" is a truly unique contribution to the understanding of the sublime mosaic that is the Middle East. The author delves with expert understanding into the complexities of Lebanon's post-war efforts to renew itself and rejuvuate inter-communal relations. Unlike many other writers who approach Lebanon with a snide cyncism and stereotypical images of religious and political groups, author Dahger treats her subject with a compelling sense of humanity, realism and dignity. Combining her honed journalistic skills with an obvious scholarly aptitude, Dagher offers the reader that rare literary opportunity: to learn and enjoy at the same time. The book is replete with incisive first-hand accounts of dramatic efforts to rebuild the shattered spirit of Lebanon, and in particular that of its ancient Christian community. With equal skill and finesse,the reader is effortlessly transported inside the walls of the Vatican to listen in on the great deliberations of the historic 1995 Synod for Lebanon, or to Damascus and the discussion between the US Secretary of State and the President of Syria over Lebanon's future, or to Pope John Paul II's emotional and triumpiant 1997 visit to Lebanon, listen to the author's words, "The Popemobile dived into the bubbling cauldron of the jubliant crowd. It was strewn with rose petals and rice. His face turned red by the sweltering heat of May and by the emotion,the Supreme Pontiff scanned with tenderness and attention the faces and hands lifted toward him. He opened the window and reached out to a a child." (p.189) Not only is this a book sparkling with an abundance of literary gems, but it is an important and timely contribution to the fundamental issue of nation-building.Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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