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Pity the Nation: The Abduction of Lebanon (Nation Books) Paperback – October 24, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Nation Books
  • Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books; 4 edition (October 24, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560254424
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560254423
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 2.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fisk, a former Middle East correspondent for the London Times , details violence, sundry political factions, the 1982 invasion of Israel, the efforts of the multinational peace-keeping force and the taking of Western hostages. "A passionate and often angry book describing how Lebanon 'humiliated the West, brought shame upon Israel, corrupted the Syrians and destroyed itself,' " said PW .
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

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.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I hope that peace will prevail on earth.
Q8x10^9
It's easy to read and you won't regret neither the money nor the time you spent on this book..
"usakligil00"
Having examined many books on the topic, I found Fisk's book to be the best by far.
Nick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 86 people found the following review helpful By J. Michael Cole on July 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
Mr. Fisk's account of the wars that have ravaged the Lebanese society is peerless. Rarely have I read a book that so realistically depicted the sundry horrors of armed conflict. Further, the books provides the much-needed context to the current situation in the Middle East, and finally exposes all the suffering, the double standards, and key players that have made the region such a complex riddle. And while it covers a conflict that, for one reason or another, has long been forgotten, it successfully makes the reader aware of the fact that the seeds of discontent that were sown in 1948 are still growing to this day.
Besides a number of realistic depictions of the horrors of war, the book also dissects the notions of "terrorism" we generally take for granted and thereby shows how the use of language, as well as the manipulation of the media, will inevitably bias our understanding of what is, unarguably, an emotionally-charged situation. As with many a conflict, the book leads the reader to the conclusion that "solving" the Israeli-Palestinian issue will ultimately require nothing less than a region-wide (and honest) effort. Found many echoes of current US policy as well, where the "honest broker" gets sucked into a culture it does not fully comprehend. There are lessons to be learned from this book-lessons with immediate applicability-but somehow I have doubts that the powers that be in Washington have enough cognitive staying power, if not a sense of moral probity, to read it.
Absolutely brilliant, daunting in size but altogether satisfying. Anyone who wishes to reach a better understanding of the headlines emerging from the Middle East simply cannot afford not to read this book. Made me wanting more, horrors notwithstanding. If only Mr. Fisk could be more prolific...
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Albert Doyle on January 18, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As Fisk tells us this book is not an academic history of the wars in Lebanon but rather a personal narrative of a news reporter based on his mountain of notes, a profession in which he is just the best. This leads to some confusion for a reader who has to stay with him as he jumps from place to place, army to army, party to party, and even time to time. It also takes a strong stomach as he forces us to read about the reality of modern "war", the ugly brutality of what modern weapons can do in dismembering pitiful, innocent human beings. Over and over. As he says, "So far as armies and militias go, there are no good guys in Lebanon." While none of them including the PLO come out as heroes the Israelis certainly do not look good, not just in the brutality inflicted on the Lebanese but in their racist arrogance and lies they often told to cover up their actions. For exposing these Fisk was, as usual, subject to attack by the ubiquitous Israeli lobby in the US including the dreary and false charges of "anti-Semitsm". He is one of the few foreign reporters who has called attention to the Israeli practice of falling back on "the Holocaust" or accusations of anti-Semitism when caught out in one of their military outrages.

This book although a difficult read is particularly educational for Americans who may have opinions about Lebanon formed by the usually inadequate US media.

Fisk is British but lives in Lebanon. He was educated in Ireland and has somewhat Irish outlooks which I think give him a certain sympathy for those without power. I note that when on leave he went to the remote west of Ireland rather than the fleshpots of Europe!
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62 of 71 people found the following review helpful By "usakligil00" on February 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
I first started reading Fisk couple years ago from his columns in the Independent Newspaper. During the Second Gulf War he made so excellent observations and comments that my respect and admiration for him grew a lot.. When I wanted to read a book about the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict I knew exactly which address to go to: A journalist who has been living in Beirut for around 20 years, who is unbiased and intelligent enough to interpret what really is going on, a.k.a. Robert Fisk..
This book is truly marvelous, totally unbiased and very informative. If you want to get a good grip of what really is going on in the Middle East, you have to read this book.. It's easy to read and you won't regret neither the money nor the time you spent on this book.. This is the only book that made me burst into tears as I'm reading it.. I don't usually write comments, but with this book I felt like this is the least I can do.. More people should read this and open their eyes!!!
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Robert Fisk(Beirut correspondent for "The Independent) was recently the target of death threats and vicious emails for his honest and unbiased reporting from the Middle East.
"Pity the Nation" is a readable and riveting account of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, and the consequences of the same for the Palestinians, Lebanese and the rest of the Middle East. This is essential reading for understanding the current situation in the Middle East, and all the more timely considering the current US posture towards Iraq.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
...It is well worth the effort of tracking down. Many aspiring novelists would benefit from acquainting themselves with Fisk's powerful, unpretentious prose and the book itself is revelatory. On almost every page he tells you something that leaves you inwardly gasping. Forget all those recent books with Bin Laden on the cover. If you really want to read a book about Middle Eastern history and politics, this is the one to start with.
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