Lebanon: Death of a Nation

Sandra Mackey, Author
Sandra Mackey, Author Congdon & Weed $22.95 (295p) ISBN 978-0-86553-204-5
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
With impressive no-nonsense clarity Mackey sorts out the tangled history of Lebanon leading up to the start of civil war in 1975 through 1988, breaking down the conflict into understandable categories and layers: Christian against Muslim, Left against Right, Lebanese against Palestinian, Israel against PLO, Syria against Lebanon. Identifying the Maronites, the Druze, the Sunnis and Shiites, the author ( The Saudis ) also defines what they represent. Underlying the progressively fractionalizing effect of the war, as Mackay makes clear, is the ``endemic schizophrenia'' produced by Lebanon's Western and Arab identities and its emergence as the place where centuries of Arab resentment toward the West has found voice and direction. The author is bluntly critical of the Lebanese for their unwillingness to accept responsibility for the fate of their country, which she calls ``a truculent parody of a nation.'' She stresses that the bloody anarchy in Lebanon is as much a tragedy for the West as for the Lebanese, since the war has all but closed the last Western gateway to the Arab world. (July)
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