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A Short History

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With Hezbollah’s entry into the Lebanese government in 2009 and recent forceful intervention in the Syrian civil war, the potent Shi‘i political and military organization continues to play an enormous role in the Middle East. Policymakers in the United States and Israel usually denounce it as a dangerous terrorist group and refuse to engage with it, yet even its adversaries need to contend with its durability and resilient popular support. Although Hezbollah’s popularity has declined in many quarters of the Arab world, the Shi‘i group—a hybrid of militia, political party, and social services and public works provider—remains the most powerful player in Lebanon. Augustus Richard Norton’s Hezbollah stands as the most lucid, informed, and balanced analysis of the group yet written. This edition, with a new prologue and expanded afterword, analyzes recent momentous events—including Hezbollah’s political performance in Lebanon, inconsistent responses to the Arab Spring, and recent military support of the al-Asad regime in Syria. Hezbollah is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the Middle East.

From Publishers Weekly

Apr 02, 2007 – In this remarkably thorough, articulate portrait of Hezbollah, Norton, a Boston University anthropology and international relations professor and former U.S. Army officer and U.N. military observer, analyzes how the organization was formed, how it evolved and its current role in Lebanese politics. More than just an Iranian-funded terrorist organization, Hezbollah is a comprehensive provider of social services to Lebanon's disenfranchised Shiite masses, and a highly respected political player, known to forswear corruption. Formed in 1982 under Iranian tutelage, and prompted by the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Hezbollah has made a goal of fomenting Islamic revolution in Lebanon and authorizes violence to this end. In the 1990s, its policies in support of this goal began to include parliamentary participation. After the 2006 war with Israel, Hezbollah has emerged invigorated, flexing its military might and winning support through its rigorous postwar reconstruction. Norton's authoritative account is rooted in such important Middle East themes as the historical division between Sunni and Shiites and the origins of Iranian influence in Arab affairs. It is also personal, speckled with anecdotes from more than three decades of experience. Given the contentious subject, Norton's tone is remarkably even: Hezbollah is an organization he respects, but whose actions he does not condone. 10 b&w photos not seen byPW .
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Middle East
  • Published: May 04, 2014
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Seller: Princeton University Press
  • Print Length: 248 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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