Hezbollah: A Short History

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Princeton University Press, 2007 - History - 187 pages
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Most policymakers in the United States and Israel have it wrong. Hezbollah isn't a simple terrorist organization--nor is it likely to disappear soon. Following Israel's war against Hezbollah in the summer of 2006, the Shi'i group--which combines the functions of a militia, a social service and public works provider, and a political party--is more popular than ever in the Middle East while retaining its strong base of support in Lebanon. And Hezbollah didn't merely confront Israel and withstand its military onslaught. Hezbollah's postwar reconstruction efforts were judged better than the U.S. government's response to Hurricane Katrina--not by al-Jazeera, but by an American TV journalist. In Hezbollah, one of the world's leading experts on Hezbollah has written the essential guide to understanding the complexities and paradoxes of a group that remains entrenched at the heart of Middle East politics.


With unmatched clarity and authority, Augustus Richard Norton tells how Hezbollah developed, how it has evolved, and what direction it might take in the future. Far from being a one-dimensional terrorist group, Norton explains, Hezbollah is a "janus-faced" organization in the middle of an incomplete metamorphosis from extremism to mundane politics, an evolution whose outcome is far from certain. Beginning as a terrorist cat's-paw of Iran, Hezbollah has since transformed itself into an impressive political party with an admiring Lebanese constituency, but it has also insisted on maintaining the potent militia that forced Israel to withdraw from Lebanon in 2000 after almost two decades of occupation.


The most accessible, informed, and balanced analysis of the group yet written, Hezbollah is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the Middle East.


 

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Thanks for this book it really shows and clarifies the truth about this organization that many people are trying to hide.great book from a
great person.

Contents

Prologue
1
Chapter 1 Origins and Prehistory of Hezbollah
9
The Rise of Shis Politics from the Midtwentieth Century to the Lebanese Civil War
14
The Role of Musa alSadr
18
The Resurgence of Amal
21
The Founding of Hezbollah
27
The Iraq Connection
30
The 1982 Israeli Invasion
32
Hezbollahcs Decision to Participate
98
Municipal Elections
103
The Revolt of the Hungry
105
The Rich Texture of Shu Institutions
107
From Celebration to War
113
The Changing Social Tapestry in PostCivil War Lebanon
120
Lebanoncs LoveHate Relationship with Rafiq Hariri and His Assassination
124
Setting the Stage for War
132

Hezbollah Emerges
34
The Hezbollah Worldview
35
Implementing the Design
41
Being a Shu Muslim in the Twentieth Century
47
Ritual and Identity
51
The Intersection of Ritual and Politics
58
Resistance Terrorism and Violence in Lebanon
69
Hezbollah and Terrorism
75
Occupation in Southern Lebanon
79
The Rules of the Game
83
The 2000 Israeli Withdrawal
88
Playing Politics
95
The Start of Hostilities July 2006
135
Prosecuting the War
137
Conclusion
145
Hezbollah in a Fractured Postwar Lebanon
152
What Next?
157
Glossary
161
Additional Reading
163
Sources Cited
169
Index
173
Acknowledgments
185
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About the author (2007)

Augustus Richard Norton is professor of international relations and anthropology at Boston University and a fellow of the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies. A former U.S. Army officer and West Point professor, he has conducted research in Lebanon for more than three decades.

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