Tower of the Sun: Stories from the Middle East and North Africa

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Belmont Estate Books, Nov 18, 2014 - Africa, North - 270 pages
Prize-winning author Michael J. Totten's gripping first-person narratives from the war zones, police states, and revolutionary capitals of the Middle East and North Africa paint a vivid picture of peoples and nations at war with themselves, each other, and-sometimes-with the rest of the world. His journeys take him from Libya under the gruesome rule of Muammar Qaddafi to Egypt before, during and after the Arab Spring; from the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights in Syria on the eve of that country's apocalyptic civil war to a camp on the Iran-Iraq border where armed revolutionaries threaten to topple the Islamic Republic regime in Tehran; from the contested streets of conflict-ridden Jerusalem to dusty outposts in the Sahara where a surreal conflict few have even heard of simmers long after it should have expired; and from war-torn Beirut and Baghdad to a lonely town in central Tunisia that seeded a storm of revolution and war that spread for thousands of miles in every direction. Tower of the Sun is a timeless close-up of one of the world's most violent and turbulent regions that will resonate for decades to come. Praise for Tower of the Sun "A decade in the making, Tower of The Sun is not just an authoritative, intimate and lively reconnaissance of the tectonic upheavals shaking the earth from North Africa's Maghreb to Iraqi Kurdistan. It's also a masterpiece of clear-eyed political analysis and literary journalism in the travel-diary style of Paul Theroux." - Terry Glavin, author of The Sixth Extinction "Totten...practices journalism in the tradition of George Orwell: morally imaginative, partisan in the best sense of the word, and delivered in crackling, rapid-fire prose befitting the violent realities it depicts." Sohrab Ahmari, Commentary "I can think of only a certain number of people as having risen to the intellectual and journalistic challenges of the last few years, and Michael J. Totten is one of them." Paul Berman, author of Terror and Liberalism "Michael J. Totten, to my mind, is one of the world's most acute observers of Middle East politics. He is also an absolutely fearless reporter, both physically-he has explored the darkest corners of Middle East extremism-and morally." Jeffrey Goldberg, author of Prisoners

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About the author (2014)

Michael J. Totten is an award-winning journalist and prize-winning author whose very first book, The Road to Fatima Gate, won the Washington Institute Book Prize. His novel, Resurrection, has been optioned for film. He has taken road trips to war zones, sneaked into police states under false pretenses, dodged incoming rocket and mortar fire, stayed in some of the worst hotels ever built anywhere, slipped past the hostile side of a front line, been accused of being a spy, received death threats from terrorists, and been mugged by Egyptian police officers. When he's not doing or writing about these things, he writes novels. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and The New Republic among numerous other publications, and he's a contributing editor at World Affairs and City Journal. He has reported widely from the Middle East, the former Soviet Union, Latin America, and the Balkans. A former resident of Beirut, he lives in Oregon with his wife and two cats.

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