Tribes with Flags: A Dangerous Passage Through the Chaos of the Middle East

Charles Glass, Author
Charles Glass, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $22.95 (510p) ISBN 978-0-87113-267-3
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
In March of 1987, Glass, who speaks some Arabic and had covered the Middle East as a TV correspondent, began what he calls a literary and spiritual ramble through the countries of the Levant. His itinerary was a leisurely, spontaneous affair: visiting historical sites, chatting with people from all walks of life, comparing his impressions with those of earlier travelers such as Richard Burton, Benjamin Disraeli, Mark Twain. Curious about the various ``tribes'' who live in Turkey, Syria and Lebanon, Glass found attitudes to be remarkably divergent among people about their tormented world. His nonjudgemental tolerance here extends even to the Hizballah gunmen who brought his journey to an abrupt halt in Beirut and held him hostage (he had planned to continue on to Israel and Jordan). Glass's account of two months' captivity and his escape bring to an exciting conclusion this engrossing, informative, unusual travel book. Author tour. (Apr.)
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