Hezbollah: A History of the “Party of God”

Dominique Avon and Anaïs-Trissa Khatchadourian, trans. from the French by Jane Marie Todd. Harvard Univ, $24.95 (242p) ISBN 978-0-674-06651-9
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Avon and Khatchadourian, respectively a historian and a graduate student at France’s Université du Maine, attempt to dispel some of the mystique surrounding the famously secretive Hezbollah—a staunch ally of Iran and the most powerful political force in Lebanon—whose ability to confront Israel has helped it “[acquire] in Lebanese society... a reputation synonymous with pride.” (The U.S. and several other countries consider Hezbollah a terrorist organization.) The authors trace the militant Shiite Hezbollah’s origins to the Lebanese civil war and the overthrow of the Shah in Iran. In drily academic, sometimes telegraphic language, the first three chapters focus more on the political machinations that brought Hezbollah to power than on the group’s social programs, military tactics, or radical theology. Originally published in 2010, the book touches scantily on events since the assassination of the group’s leader, Rafic Hariri, and the authors rely too heavily on Hezbollah’s rhetoric to explain its motives and actions. The book’s second half consists of translations of various Hezbollah documents. In the end, not enough background information is provided for the general reader, while the specialist will find nothing new. (Sept.).
Reviewed on: 07/02/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
Open Ebook - 257 pages - 978-0-674-06752-3
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