Beware of Small States: Lebanon, Battleground of the Middle East

Front Cover
Nation Books, Mar 30, 2010 - History - 496 pages
2 Reviews
Lebanon, a country no bigger than Connecticut, has become a battleground for the political, strategic and ideological conflicts of its neighbors and the great powers. It has come to reflect the broad historical experiences of the modern Middle East. Beware of Small States is an elegant and incisive history of Lebanon culminating with the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah and its aftermath. David Hirst—a former Middle East correspondent for The Guardian, whose tough, skeptical voice has earned him death threats and seen him banned from six Arab countries—crafts a narrative that is essential for anyone wishing to understand the current political climate of the Middle East.

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

The type of book one would expect from a journalist associated with The Guardian.
It is not a book for the naive or initiates to modern middle-eastern history, particularly that of post holocaust
Israel. These readers are referred to well acclaimed books by authors such as Sir Martin Gilbert and Paul Johnson as a solid knowledge foundation PRIOR to tackling Mr Hirst's work.
I knew I was going to have trouble with this book from page one...
Quote p1: "So passionate a devotee of Israel as the controversial American celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz" Indeed. This is hardly a responsible way to describe a Professor of the Harvard Law School whose proud curriculum vitae is well worth reviewing.(Wikipedia)
This is an evil book--an evil brewed from a hatred for Israel and her leaders, and seemingly obsessed with her (imagined?) aggressive, territorial ambitions. As noted by a previous reviewer, it is, in places, historically factually dubious both in content and omission.
Omissions such as the mufti of Jerusalem, Husseini being treated very carefully, rather than exposing him as a confidant of Hitler, and their planning an extermination center in Israel once the war was won.
Outrageous statements, such as bottom page 57 "The first Arab-Israeli war had set a pattern. By any serious reckoning the Zionists themselves had been the real aggressors". Could Die Volksischer Beobacher or Die Sturmer have said it any better?
Or, horrendous accusations against Israeli leaders as war-mongering tyrants, and accusing her soldiers of SS type atrocities, reflect the depths to which Mr Hirst descends in his pro-Palestinian, Hamas-type propaganda.
All in all a sad,sad book which I am battling through; It is not an easy read and needs to be questioned and evaluated at every turn. It is certain to inflame passions by expounding Mr Hirst's twisted ideologies.

Other editions - View all

About the author (2010)

David Hirst was for many years the Middle Eastern correspondent of The Guardian. His seminal book on the Arab-Israeli conflict, The Gun and the Olive Branch, was published in 1977 and in a massively updated new edition in 2003. He has been banned from six Arab countries and kidnapped twice in the course of his distinguished career. He writes regularly for The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, Toronto Globe and Mail, Daily Star (Lebanon), Al-Ahram (Egypt). He divides his time between Lebanon and Cyprus.

Bibliographic information