From Beirut To Jerusalem - Thomas Friedman

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Thomas L. Friedman

Copyright © 1989 by Thomas L. Friedman

In From Beirut to Jerusalem, Thomas L. Friedman of The New York Times has drawn on his decade in the Middle East to produce the most trenchant, vivid, and thought-provoking book yet on the region.

No issue in international politics has been more hotly debated than the Arab-Israeli conflict. No part of the world has consistently made more headlines during the past forty years than the Middle East. And no reporter has illuminated both the Arab-Israeli conflict and the rhythms of Ufe in the Middle East with more immediacy and brilliance than Tom Friedman, twice winner of the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting-once for his coverage of Lebanon and a second time for his work in Israel.

Friedman is a master of the sharp anecdote and the telling detail that sum up a world of ideas in microcosm. He describes with intense vividness what it's like to live in a city gone mad like Beirut; he leads us on an unforgettable journey into the inner circle of Arab regimes to show how the game of Arab politics is really played; he examines the intifada and Israeli-Palestinian relations, the PLO, Israeli politics, the Lebanese factions, news reporting from the Middle East, and America's difficulty in understanding them. Extremism, terrorism, fundamentalism on right and left-Friedman puts all the operative currents into perspective with an inimitable specificity and clarity.

Each chapter is a stop on Friedman's own remarkable journey from Beirut to Jerusalem-a journey which he brings alive through anecdote, history, analysis, and autobiography. His book, he writes, "is about a young man from Minnesota who goes to Beirut and confronts a world for which nothing in his life had prepared him, a student of Middle East politics who discovers that the region bears little resemblance to the logical and antiseptic descriptions he found in most of his textbooks. It is about a Jew raised on all the myths about Israel who discovers that it isn't the summer camp of his youth but an audacious and still unresolved experiment to get Jews to live together in the midst of the Arab world. Lastly, it is a book about the people in Beirut and Jerusalem themselves, who, I discovered, were going through remarkably similar identity crises. Each was caught in a struggle between the new ideas, the new relationships, the new nations they were trying to build for the future, and the ancient memories, ancient passions, and ancient feuds that kept dragging them back into the past."

From Beirut to Jerusalem is a major work of reportage, a much needed framework for understanding the Middle East-yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN was boni in Minneapolis in 1953. He graduated from Brandeis University and held a Marshall Scholarship at St. Antony's College, Oxford, earning an M.Phil, in Modern Middle East Studies in 1978.

From 1979 to 1981, Mr. Friedman was UPI's Beirut correspondent. In 1982, he became the New York Times Beirut bureau chief, winning a 1983 Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. In 1984, he moved to Jerusalem as the Times bureau chief, and in 1988 won a second Pulitzer Prize for reporting. He became the Times chief diplomatic correspondent, covering the State Department and foreign affairs, in January 1989.

Mr. Friedman's honors include the Overseas Press Club Award (1980), the George Polk Award (1982), the Livingston Award for Young Journalists (1982), the New York Newspaper Guild Page One Award (1984), and the New Israel Fund Award for Outstanding Reporting from Israel (1987). He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for his work on this book. He lives in Washington with his wife, Ann,- and daughters Orly and Natalie.


Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following for permission to reprint previously published material:

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