Lebanon's former foreign minister (1982-84) and adviser to its president (1984-88) has written a straightforward, revealing memoir of this troubled period in Lebanon's recent history. He resists the temptation to blame all of Lebanon's ills on others, but his fair-minded tone also makes it hard for the reader to understand the depths of the passions that rent the fabric of Lebanon's politics during that time. There are many anecdotes, documents, and new pieces of information. As the author takes leave at the end of the failed presidency of Amin Gemayel, it is still not quite clear why Lebanon suffered so much, or why the author remains hopeful that the country is on the mend. Still, the book is valuable for its insights into Lebanon's recent political history.