Michael Totten’s narrative of the rise and fall of Lebanese democracy is a harrowing tale, grippingly told. It revolves around Hizballah’s brazen challenge to the Lebanese state, Lebanon’s own disastrous politics, and the ceaseless maneuvers of Israel and Syria. Totten’s storytelling is energetic and engaging, yet his analysis is always thoughtful and on-target. Lebanon’s present sad chapter hasn’t ended; this book is the finest introduction to the turmoil yet to come.
The Institute itself did not select my book, it selected the three jurors. Those three were Elliott Abrams at the Council on Foreign Affairs, Stimson Center president Ellen Laipson, and Bard College professor Walter Russell Mead.