Yasir Arafat: A Political Biography

Front Cover
Yasir Arafat stands as one of the most resilient, recognisable and controversial political figures of modern times. The object of unrelenting suspicion, steady admiration and endless speculation, Arafat has occupied the centre stage of Middle East politics for almost four decades. This is the most comprehensive political biography yet of this remarkable man.
Forged in the tumultuous era of competing traditionalism, radicalism, Arab nationalism and Islamist forces, the Palestinian movement was almost entirely Arafat's creation, and he became its leader at an early age. Arafat's elusive behaviour ensured that radical regimes saw in him a comrade in arms, while moderates backed him as a potential partner in peace.
Generations of politicians have come and gone but Arafat has outlasted them all. He has always survived but he has never achieved his goals.
This biography which covers the main events and dominant leaders of the Middle East, is a detailed and analytical account that follows Arafat as he moves to Kuwait, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia and finally to Palestine-ruled soil. It shows him as he rewrites his own origins, experiments with guerrilla war, develops a doctrine of terrorism and builds a movement, constantly juggling states, factions and world leaders.
While there has been no substitute for Arafat, the authors conclude, Arafat has been no substitute for Arafat, the authors conclude, Arafat has been no substitute for a leader who could make peace.

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About the author (2004)

Barry Rubin is Director of the Global and International Affairs Centre and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs.
Judith Rubin covers Middle Eastern Affairs for several newspapers.

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