Fear and Faith in Paradise: Exploring Conflict and Religion in the Middle East

Phil Karber. Rowman & Littlefield, $39.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4422-1477-4
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Karber (The Indochina Chronicles), a travel writer whose previous books have explored Africa and Indochina, now turns his focus to the Middle East and parts of Muslim North Africa, chronicling for the reader his travels through Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Morocco, and Tunisia, where he attempts to understand the history and the culture of the region as a lens through which to view the turbulent political climate of the past decade. Karber is intrepid and inquisitive, with a lyrical prose style and a commendable eye for detail, and he has done copious background research, which makes the book rich with historical context; the density of historical exposition, however, can sometimes weigh down the larger travel narrative. Karber is ambitious in his efforts to both trace the history of religious and political conflicts in the region and explore the role of American intervention there, but with such a broad scope the book often falls short, leaving the reader alternately lost in trivia and subject to sweeping generalizations. Despite its flaws, however, the book is well worth reading, since it offers a fascinating glimpse into some underexplored countries and adds valuable color and context to the headlines. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/09/2012
Release date: 06/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-4422-1479-8
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