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Widely praised as the definitive history of Beirut, this is the story of a city that has stood at the crossroads of Mediterranean civilization for more than four thousand years. The last major work completed by Samir Kassir before his tragic death in 2005, "Beirut" is a tour de force that takes the reader from the ancient to the modern world, offering a dazzling panorama of the city's Seleucid, Roman, Arab, Ottoman, and French incarnations. Kassir vividly describes Beirut's spectacular growth in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, concentrating on its emergence after the Second World War as a cosmopolitan capital until its near destruction during the devastating Lebanese civil war of 1975-1990. Generously illustrated and eloquently written, "Beirut" illuminates contemporary issues of modernity and democracy while at the same time memorably recreating the atmosphere of one of the world's most picturesque, dynamic, and resilient cities.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 656 pages
  • 151.89 x 228.09 x 45.97mm | 907.18g
  • University of California Press
  • Berkerley, United States
  • English
  • 115 b/w photographs, 17 maps
  • 0520271262
  • 9780520271265
  • 435,976

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"An evocative portrait of a great but tragic metropolis." -- Gilbert Taylor Booklist "A significant and important book for anyone with an interest in the city and its ongoing troubles, the Middle East in general and in the relationship between modernity and urbanity." -- Ghassan Hage The Australian "Kassir embodied Beirut's variant of the polyglot Levantine ideal... His biography of the city of which he was a vital constituent is unlikely to be surpassed." London Review Of Books "A unique contribution to the growing literature on modern and contemporary Lebanon... Erudite, evocative, and highly compelling." Review Of Middle East Stds "Kassir charts in intricate detail the damage done to Beirut through architectural crimes that portended the greater destruction to come." -- Charles Glass London Review Of Books "A definitive history of the city." Middle East Journal

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About Samir Kassir

One of the leading voices for progressive change in the Middle East, Samir Kassir (1960-2005) taught at the Institut des Sciences Politiques of the Universite Saint-Joseph in Beirut, worked as a journalist and editorial writer for the daily An-Nahar newspaper there, and was a co-founder of the Democratic Left Movement in Lebanon. The author of several other books, including Being Arab, Kassir was assassinated by a car bomb in Beirut in June 2005.

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