A Privilege to Die: Inside Hezbollah's Legions and Their Endless War Against Israel

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Simon and Schuster, Sep 28, 2010 - History - 317 pages
2 Reviews
While Hamas and Al Qaeda are certainly dangerous to Israel and the West, Hezbollah and its millions of foot soldiers are the premier force in the Middle East.

Veteran Middle East correspondent Thanassis Cambanis offers the first detailed look at the surprising cross section of people willing to die for Hezbollah and its uncompromising agenda to remake the map of the region and destroy Israel.

Part standing army, part political party, and part theological movement, Hezbollah is made up not just of unemployed young men but also middle-class engineers, merchants, even nurses. Hezbollah’s widespread popularity rests on its ability to offer its followers economic reform, affordable health care, dependable electricity, efficient courts, and safe streets, as well as victory over Israel. Also unique to the party is its powerful doctrine of self-improvement, which challenges its members to fight ignorance, make money, and engage in safe sex. Millions of demoralized Middle Easterners have gravitated toward these principles, swelling the ranks of what is at heart a radical, militant group. They span economic class, include both fanatics and casual believers, and are sworn to the apocalyptic beliefs of the "Party of God." With its promise of perpetual war, Hezbollah has ushered in a militant renaissance and inspired fighters in Gaza, the West Bank, Egypt, Iraq, and beyond. Whatever their differences, their hatred of Israel and the United States binds them together.

To understand Hezbollah is to understand the fighters and engineers, the women who raise the martyrs, the scouts who plant trees, and the nine-year-old girls who take the veil over the objections of their less militant fathers. Cambanis follows a few Hezbollah families through the ups and downs of the 2006 war with Israel and the continuing preparations for another conflict, letting us listen in to Hezbollah members’ intimate discussions at the kitchen table and on the battlefield. Cambanis’s reporting puts a human face on the Party of God, so we might understand the ideological and religious roots of today’s conflict. His riveting narrative provides an urgent and important exploration of militancy in the Middle East.
 

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A PRIVILEGE TO DIE: Inside Hezbollah's Legions and Their Endless War Against Israel

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

If there's anything to unite the Arab world, it's opposition to Israel. If there's a group to do that unifying, writers former Boston Globe Middle East bureau chief Cambanis, it's the much-feared ... Read full review

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I would like to thank the author...I am the ex wife of the man Dergham and the mother of his children...Living in Lebannon was hell I only wish my ex wouldnt of made my daughter have to endure the hell that comes with living in Beriut.... Hopefully she will come to America where she belongs. Jacquelyn  

Contents

War Without
135
Acknowledgments
291
Index
307
About the Author
319
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Thanassis Cambanis is a journalist who has been writing about the Middle East for more than a decade. His first book, A Privilege to Die: Inside Hezbollah’s Legions and Their Endless War Against Israel, was published in 2010. He writes “The Internationalist” column for The Boston Globe and is a correspondent for The Atlantic. Thanassis regularly contributes to The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and other publications. He is a fellow at The Century Foundation in New York City. Thanassis lives in Beirut, Lebanon, with his wife, Anne Barnard, a reporter for The New York Times, and their two children.

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