The Inner Sea: The Mediterranean and Its People

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Alfred A. Knopf, 1993 - Mediterranean Region - 575 pages
Known to the early cartographers as the Inner Sea, the Mediterranean is emerging anew today, its tastes and styles now almost universal. But even as its influence - in the form of everything from politics to cookery, art, design and organized crime - continues to grow throughout the rest of the world, the sea and its people are now witnessing the most dramatic changes in their history. Who are the new Mediterraneans? How do they see themselves and their future, and how will their world change ours? Robert Fox explores these questions in a journey to every country bordering the Inner Sea and the great islands scattered across its waters. In the past five years, he has seen the mountains of Morocco, the deserts of Syria, the sylvan wasteland of Albania, the monasteries of Athos, the slums of Naples, Gaza in riot, Beirut in civil war, Cairo in celebration. He presents each people and country - from France to Libya, from Greece to Malta, from Italy to Israel, and everyone along the way - as they see themselves, and he shares the lives and thoughts of poets and politicians, popes and peasants, bishops, brigands and barons. In Fox's animated and perceptive chronicles, we discover a world in fermentation, stirred by irresistible forces of change: the growth of populations in the south (owing to overwhelming waves of migration from North Africa), the ever-mounting pressures on a perilously fragile ecosystem, the revival of ancient religions in more fanatical form. Perhaps most alarming are the political changes. The Mediterranean has always been a varied human mosaic in which ties of tribe and custom have been more meaningful than national boundaries. But as Fox persuasively shows, the neworder now emerging after the end of the Cold War calls into question the very survival of the traditional nation-state - most notably in Yugoslavia, where long-suppressed ethnic rivalries have been unleashed, leading to full-blown war, and in Italy, where regional differences and the ever more powerful grip of organized crime threaten the dissolution of that nation. As the promise and menace of this fascinating world increasingly capture our attention, Robert Fox's lively and probing book will prove an indispensable guide.

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THE INNER SEA: The Mediterranean and Its People

User Review  - Kirkus

In his preface, veteran British journalist Fox expresses distaste for ``that otiose and overrated literary form, the finely written travelogue''—and certainly this earnest work evokes few of the ... Read full review

The inner sea: the Mediterranean and its people

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Journalist Fox has written an ambitious book, studying the diversity of this "untidy place with an untidy past'' and thereby discovering the common elements that bind together the Mediterranean ... Read full review


PrologueThe Sea and Its People
The Western Basin

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