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Summary

In From Beirut to Jerusalem, Thomas L. Friedman, a columnist for The New York Times and author of The Lexus and the Olive Tree, has drawn on his decade in the Middle East to produce the most trenchant, vivid, and thought-provoking book yet on the region.

No issue in international politics has been more hotly debated than the Arab-Israeli conflict. And no reporter has illuminated both the conflict and the rhythms of life in the Middle East with more immediacy and brilliance than Friedman, a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting. Whether it's extremism, terrorism, or fundamentalism on right and left, Friedman puts all the operative currents into perspective with an inimitable specificity and clarity.

©2006 Thomas L. Friedman (P)2006 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

"[Friedman's] writing is vastly descriptive, incredibly illuminating, very educational, and marvelously persuasive." ( Library Journal)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Was hoping for more

More of a personal account of someone who lived in the region during the early 80s. I was hoping for more historical context to the conflict, which there was very little.

Well written and easy to follow. Was just hoping for more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • P
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 07-09-11

Highly recommended!

One of the most captivating audio books I have listened to in a while. The book is more than ten years old but Thomas Friedman's story of life in Beirut during the war is timeless. Also brilliantly narrated and excellent technical quality of the recording. Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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good read<br /><br />

glimps of middle east troubled and complicated history. the journey of a remarkable journalist into the hotbed of mistrust and politics of conflict.

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    2 out of 5 stars

False equivalence and anti Israel bias

He declares himself not to be an anti-Israel Jew but he smiles at the murderous chaos of the Lebanon streets with warm indulgence whilst criticising Israel's desire for quiet and surfing as superficial and contemptible. He views Israel's insistence on remembering and honouring the Holocaust and its fallen soldiers, the deepest trauma of its citizens, as lamentable, if not contemptible.

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  • Theodore
  • 31-03-14

This is an abridged version

What disappointed you about From Beirut to Jerusalem?

I had read this book back when it first came out. I purchased the audio book to listen to (while driving) in preparation for our trip to Israel. I was quite disappointed that much of the guts of the book was removed in this version. I had to go back to my hard cover.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Annie
  • 20-09-10

They choose the past over the future

Enlightening memoir of reporters' experience in the early stages of the dismantling of Beiruit and then his subsequent time in Israel. Clearly discouraged, he describes firsthand the suffering of families and their culture in the palistinian/israeli escalation. He gives some historical perspective that helped me to understand the timeline of the events after '47 establishment of Israel . I recommend this book for those who want to folllow the peace process this year in Washington. Will they choose to be modern or tribal?

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kevin
  • 28-01-09

We are so blessed in America!

Wonderful read and very entertaining. I was amazed at what some people go through in their daily life. This book has a light and sometimes humorous tone, but also educates the average listener about a very complex part of the world that most of us will never understand. I really enjoyed this book and even listened to it twice just so my wife could hear it. I laughed out loud through many spots. He is a very engaging writer and it was read well. If you like other books by Friedman you will not be disappointed.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Cindy
  • 20-06-16

It's not really a book

This is merely an accounting of remembrances of the author. His memories are shocking and recalled with precise detail, however he does little to explain WHY there is such turmoil in Israel and Palestine. I'm sorry I waisted my time and money on it. it is a shame because the author is obviously talented, and there is a story there (somewhere), just not here.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • DS
  • 24-12-12

COLLECTIVE GUILT - GIVEN AND RECEIVED

Growing up in postwar NYC, as the only non-Jew in my public school classes, I was very much aware of the holocaust.

The idea proposed in this book rings true to me. Jews are infused with victimization and want everyone else to feel guilty about it.

This dynamic is Israel's problem. However, Israel's problem is a problem for the entire world. The Middle East is the thorn in the world's side and this book points out why this thorn is not about to be removed anytime soon. It's been how long? Oh right, over 35 years.

Let's hope it is resolved sooner than the US resolved slavery (over 75 years) and then racial equality (another 100 years).

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • A
  • 29-06-11

Interesting perspective on Israel

I agree with a previous reviewer that the author's voice is a bit high pitched for the seriousness of the text. However, I excuse this since the author is telling us his own story, and these really are his words. Also, his reading is dynamic and never boring or mechanical.

The first half gives an interesting perspective on what it is like to be in Lebanon.

What I found most interesting was the second half regarding Israel. Being a Jewish author gives Friedman credibility when discussing the feelings of the Israelis. Even though I had read quite a bit on this subject (I strongly recommend O Jerusalem by Lapierre), I was enlightened by the clear description of the three aspects of the future Israeli state that Ben-Gurion and subsequent leaders dealt with. This alone makes the book worth listening too as this basic aspect of the formation of a Jewish State is fundamental to all understanding of this major world issue. Having some background in the geography and history will greatly enable the listener to follow the discussions about the Labor and Likud parties.

Because this abridged version is short, it is easy enough to get through, and I recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • busyreader
  • 24-07-18

Very short, anecdotal without detail

I listened to the audio version of this book, and was very surprised when it came to an abrupt end. I thought perhaps I had only downloaded a sample. While the experiences he shared we’re captivating, I know very little more than I did before listening. I was expecting some historical facts but only got some observations about the chaos of Beirut. Disappointing.

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  • Skyler Nichol
  • 18-05-18

Excellent read for anyone interested in understanding Lebanon and the Israel-Palestine conflict.

I absolutely loved this book. Friedman eloquently presents the Lebanon civil war, Israeli politics, and Arab culture in a way that anyone can understand. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about the Middle East and the Israel-Palestine conflict.

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  • Garrett Tuggle
  • 16-01-18

Not a historical look at tensions

This book was written decently but it's not very intriguing or a good historical look at the regional tension. It's Friedman's experience and views. Lots of facts and a good general history of the situation, and well summarized in a short read.

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  • ZL
  • 15-07-17

Way to short

Very very good book but too short abridged version was actually just like a sample