No political leader in the Middle East has tried harder, and with considerable success, to symbolize the aspirations of his people than Arafat. In doing so he has cultivated an aura of mystery and mystique about his persona. The authors of this book intelligently probe behind the myths to try to untangle the role Arafat actually played in the emergence of contemporary Palestinian nationalism. The result is impressive as narrative history and as political analysis. No single book does a better job of presenting the Palestinian movement as it presently exists, with a fair assessment of both achievements and failures. Much of the material is familiar but has been supplemented by numerous interviews which add to the conventional wisdom.
Get the best of Foreign Affairs' book reviews delivered to you.