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Pity the Nation: Lebanon at War Paperback – October 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 727 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 3rd edition (October 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192801309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192801302
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #266,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

`Review from previous edition Robert Fisk is one of the outstanding reporters of this generation. As a war correspondent he is unrivalled.' Edward Mortimer, Financial Times

`Overall Fisk makes enthralling reading, and his account of modern Lebanon stands out as the most interesting book on the war in recent years.' Amanda Mitchison, Sunday Correspondent

`Robert Fisk's enormous book about Lebanon's desperate travails is one of the most distinguished in recent times, as well as one of the most anguished and hard-bitten ... Fisk's reportage has a power which one expects but so often does not get from journalists. His account of the 1982 Israeli invasion is the best that has been published.' Edward Said, Independent on Sunday

`a truly tremendous book.' Time Out

`a hugely and immensely moving book.' New Statesman and Society

`a devastating witness to the failure of politics to guard mankind against itself.' Simon Jenkins, Sunday Times

`the sheer accumulation of eye-witness reports has a sort of unstoppable power to convince.' Patrick Seale, Observer

`Robert Fisk's poetically written Pity the Nation not only covers his experience of the war, but also digs for the heart of Lebanon.' Jeremy Atiyah, Sunday Telegraph

About the Author

Robert Fisk is a leading foreign correspondent in the Middle East - writing for The Independent, and The Independent on Sunday Newspaper.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 24 customer reviews
Those with an open mind will just be horrified.
John Nash
If you still contact Mr. Terry Anderson please send him my regards, and please tell him not to change his mind about the Lebanese people.
Sami Traboulsi
Good history book for non-lebanese and for those with little knowledge on the war.
relias@ucla.edu

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Sami Traboulsi on December 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Dear Mr. Fisk I'm a Lebanese citizen, my name is Sami, I live in Beirut near Ein El Mraissy where you used to live while you were in Lebanon.Yesterday, I just finished reading your amazing book (Pity The Nation), I read it in the Arabic version. I was born in 1975, and I was a child when the Lebanese war began, I only remember from it is the Israeli occupied of Beirut in 1982, and I remember that because the Israeli soldiers try to take my brother away (My brother died later in February 6, 1984, while he's coming back from his work, he was only 19). and I also remember the street battles between Amal and Hizb Allah in 1986 or 1987, and finally the war between the Syrians and Michael Aoun in 1989. Allow me to tell you how I liked you. I liked your style of writing, I liked your insistence to still in Lebanon with all the dangerous there, and with all the hard attempts to kidnapped you from some peopel you know them very well. Believe me, I wished to be more older than I'm now just to watch all the important events that you mentioned in the book. I didn't even imagine that all these things really happened in Lebanon, my father only say to me that there was a war in Lebanon, but with no details. Maybe because of what he saw of all the sad things in his life and the death of my brother. If you still contact Mr. Terry Anderson please send him my regards, and please tell him not to change his mind about the Lebanese people. And also if you still contact G. C. your Bolivian friend and Shahrazad Faramarzi from Iran too. Have you visited Lebanon recently?There are some changes here, but still the same things in South Lebanon as you know. Sami Traboulsi Technical Engineer Beirut, Lebanon December 3, 1999
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
I am lebanese and I lived in Lebanon during the 15 years of
war . I read the book and I think it contains an accurate
account of the main events in the war ,and a good description
of the people involved in the conflict (militias, foreign armies,
etc ) But I find Fisk is too harsh when he suggests that
all lebanese statesmen or politicians were feudal warlords,
or as he says , "mafiosi." Some were , and some others were
lawyers , bankers ,etc. It is true ,however , that most of these
became at some point allies of a warlord ,or were forced
to flee the country. Nevertheless, I think a reader would get a more
balanced view of Lebanon , if he reads *in addition* to this
book , Kamal Salibi's "A house of many mansions" or "crossroads
to civil war" . Salibi is infinitely more sympathetic than
Fisk to the idea of the creation of the Lebanese state, and I
think it is necessary to read both books to have a balanced view.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By John Nash on April 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
Robert Fisk has spent the last 25 years in Lebanon. He brings the skills of a dedicated reporter, the objectivity of an outsider and the knowledge of a local to the subject. The most compelling thing about this incredible book is the quantity and quality of eye witness testimony. Robert tells the story as only one who has been there can. Another striking thing about this book is Robert's desire to be exact and precise. Everything is cited and referenced.
If you hold a bias for one of the many sides in this sorry conflict you will probably find yourself nodding vigorously sometimes and shouting angrily at others.
Those with an open mind will just be horrified. Regardless of the ebb and flow of politics and war it is always the poor, the weak the silent that suffer. Robert gives them a feint voice.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By John Reed on June 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
Amazingly, and for the ultimate purpose of objectivity in reporting, Fisk spares his opinions and comments over what he saw and lived... he reported afterall. No matter how skeptical someone can be, he cannot deny all of Fisk's reports. Anyways, even by trusting 10% of what Fisk's has reported from Lebanon is utterly moving.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Ivano Stocco on August 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Robert Fisk's _Pity the Nation_ is both a sincere, difficult account of Lebanon's long and bloody civil war, and a revealing window into a truly inspirational writer-reporter.
Fisk risks life and limb, literally, as any person in the region taking cover from oncoming fire and shrapnel, caught in the midst of bombing, or unexpectedly halted by military men, to get the real story beneath "official" versions. In doing so he discloses the human, off-the-camera side of the war's principal leaders - who exposed seem small, often disagreeable - as well as its common folk, both participants and unwilling in-betweens, Israeli, Maronite, Druze, Syrian, and Palestinian.
For anyone desiring to understand the causes of war of this nature and the human and psychological elements behind it, as well as the bravery of one man who has tried to present the story to us honestly, _Pity the Nation_ is absolutely invaluable.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Robert Fisk's "Pity The Nation" is the most comprehensive, unbiased book ever written about the Lebanon's tragic civil war. Whereas most authors about this subject have written these books relying on newpaper clippings and rumours, and based on a very biased perspective, Fisk gets down and dirty from the beginning to the end. He has spent almost the entire period from 1975 until the war's conclusion in Lebanon, traveling from Beirut to Sidon to the Bekaa valley to the ignored villages of the south which were under occupation to Damascus, living out the war with the various militia's and the civilians, who took the brunt of the fighting. His detailed description of the rise and quick fall of the Phalangists and their leader, Bashir Gamayel America's ignorance towards what would bring peace to Lebanon, the links between the Shias' inspirational resurrection and Khomenei's revolution, Israel's bruatality, Syria's involvment and the misery of the Palestinian refugees is unparalleled in its depth and coverage. Fisk, through facing the realities of the situation, has a real understanding of the situation. The way he goes about describing the dire situation of the Lebanese and the Palestinians as well as the uncertainties he and his collegues feel about their safety in Lebanon, and the eventual kidnapping of Terry Anderson, makes this book read somewhat like a novel. Even if you know nothing about the Middle East, pick up this book.
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