- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: Casbah Publishing (2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0983700915
- ISBN-13: 978-0983700913
- Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,003,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Surfing the Middle East: Deviant Journalism from the Lost Generation Hardcover – 2012
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More About the Author
Jesse Aizenstat is the author of "Surfing the Middle East: Deviant Journalism from the Lost Generation" He also co-produced with an Emmy-winning studio a revolutionary iPad app, titled "Surfing the Middle East."
He has written for many newspapers, blogs at The Huffington Post, and has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, and other news-related shows about culture and the Middle East.
Top Customer Reviews
Less the reader gets the idea from the above that this is another serious examination of the ongoing eternal crisis in the Middle East, then that is only part of this delicious memoir. Jesse Aizenstat is a young stud surfer from Santa Barbara, CA who after completing college in 2009 with a major in political science finds it impossible to find work. He had been to Israel and surrounding countries before, but his intense interest in Middle Eastern politics and shenanigans gave him the idea of combining his passion for surfing with his desire to return to the Middle East: his gimmick was to surf from Israel to Lebanon and the only magazine to whom he pitched his idea that would take him on was the Surfers Journal (!), and off he went via Birthright transport (his `in' by being Jewish) to Israel to begin his self-designed assignment. `Second to the American job economy, the other reason I embarked on this adventure was the cold hard fact that for most of my schooling life I'd been dismissed as a hopeless dumbass.Read more ›
Aizenstat has a gift for edgy description and for capturing the good ol'-fashioned irony that he encounters throughout his trip. Importantly, he is not above an honest appraisal of himself, his actions, and his interpretations of the behavior of the people with whom he encounters, allowing the reader to more fully appreciate the manic quality of his travels. The resulting story is both humorous and educational, with characters who are larger-than-life, but not easily dismissed as simple caricature.
This book is a must-read for students of the Middle East, international relations junkies, and people who simply love a great story with a wonderful narrative. Highly recommended.
As far as the writing itself, Aizenstat's approach represents something both new and old--it is an example of fast-paced, gripping guerilla journalism, something fit for new media formats such as blogs and e-books. It is raw, and adventurous without embellishment, giving readers a chance to read and experience Aizenstat's travels and learn something real about this part of the world. In addition, however, it holds true to the timeless practice of simply keeping a journal of one's travel and adventure, and of traveling not as a tourist propped up by a thick wallet and an English-speaking guide but as a young man full of curiosity, determination, and boldness.
As someone who has traveled to this part of the world before, I can confirm that Aizenstat has captured reality in his writing. He brings the reader the real experience and gives a valuable insight on the region that definitely deserves our attention. And besides, he went through the entire experience dragging along a surfboard, which makes an already interesting trip just that much more interesting!
To be fair to Aizenstat--whose idea to surf in Israel and Lebanon while immersing himself in the Gordian knot of what is happening "over there" as an American Jew was as excellently executed as it was extremely evocative in concept--I have spent the past eight years reading everything I can find written by or about Hunter S. Thompson (indeed, as I was reading Surfing the Middle East I was also reading Hey Rube, so the Doctor's typical dialogue and devices were foremost in my mind). Thompson's appeal is his intense Uniqueness, and any attempt to borrow from or otherwise emulate what he so carefully cultivated rubs me the wrong way. It's like trying to paint like Jackson Pollock and pass it off as in any way your own. I have watched with no small sorrow as Johnny Depp sinks into a not-so-subtle cartoon echo of his fallen hero. Sad.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent book with a gritty and real texture to the writing. A must read for any avid or recreational surfer, political scientist, or history enthusiast. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Eric M. Rosenberg
this might make a nice book for a student if you give them a pen and ask them to make corrections to sentence structure and style.Published 22 months ago by G. Damiani
This is one of those books I really enjoyed reading, though felt a little guilty at doing so. I mean, really, it's a story of a guy who puts a surfboard in some water in two... Read morePublished on July 28, 2013 by Murray Barnes
.Jesse has some good and thought provoking ideas, there is a bit of history involved to understand the issues and places. Read morePublished on May 15, 2013 by Paul Gale
This is an excellent book with unexepectedly wise observations on two very different and volatile countries. Read morePublished on September 21, 2012 by Nittany
This book is a great read. Being a lover of travel - the challenges, the intricacies, the outlandish situations, the reality that one's plans are so often skewed but work out... Read morePublished on September 18, 2012 by Jeffrey D Bochsler
There isn't much to add to all the positive reviews up here already, so all I'm saying is: surfing the middle east is a great read (surfer or not) and I totally enjoyed reading the... Read morePublished on September 2, 2012 by Daniel
Wow! What a fun but sometimes hair raising journey through the Middle East this book turned out to be. Loved every paragraph, every sentence, every word! Read morePublished on September 1, 2012 by Mel B.
Surfing the Middle East presents the ultimate dichotomy, a Californian surfer of Jewish descent making his way through the volatile regions of Israel, Palestine, Jordon and... Read morePublished on August 31, 2012 by Tracy Riva