In This Review

From Beirut To Jerusalem
From Beirut To Jerusalem
By Thomas L. Friedman
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1989, 525 pp.

Thomas Friedman proved himself a first-class foreign correspondent over the past decade. In this book he does more than repeat or elaborate on his reporting. He takes the reader with him on an exploration, through his personal experience, contacts and conversations, into the complex societies of Lebanon and Israel; into the historical, social and political forces and the idiosyncrasies of individuals that have shaped events and produced so much misunderstanding and violence. In his own words, speaking of Lebanon, he saw "the boundaries of men's compassion alongside their unfathomable brutality, their ingenuity alongside astounding folly, their insanity alongside their infinite ability to endure." A book that, if it does not untangle the complexities of the Middle East, sheds much light on them.