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The Lost Years: Radical Islam, Intifada, and Wars in the Middle East, 2001-2006by Charles Enderlin
Synopses & Reviews
"Enderlin meticulously chronicles the political and diplomatic impasses...revealing the history of this former film noir through interviews with the men who were its lead actors." —Le Monde
From Ariel Sharon's ascent to power in February 2001 to the Israel-Lebanon conflict in July 2006, the Middle East has seen the most murderous years of a feud which is, today, half a century old. After the monumental convergence of powers at Camp David, the world watched with bated breath as hope for a peaceful resolution to the long, bitter dispute between Israel and Palestine was lost in the wake of the Intifada. Following years of searching for an end to the bloodshed, how did the tragic blindness of both parties throw this region into such chaos?
In The Lost Years, Charles Enderlin presents a scrupulous chronicle of the Israeli and Palestinian descent into hell. Political leaders and secret negotiators, military chiefs and CIA agents, Enderlin has met them all-Israelis and Palestinians-and he accounts for all sides, including U.S. and international involvement. He trails the bad political calculations of the Palestinians, which led to the defeat of Fatah and to the victory of the Islamists. And he exposes Israel's unilateral political approach and new military doctrines that had disastrous consequences for both camps. Intifada, September 11th, war in Iraq, the construction of the wall, the withdrawal from Gaza, the end of the reigns of the two old enemies-Arafat and Sharon-the electoral victory of Hamas, and the war in Lebanon; Enderlin reveals the implacable logic at work behind the crucial events of a confused period. The Lost Years, the sequel to Enderlin's bestselling book, Shattered Dreams, is an essential work for those who try to understand without judging, but still want to believe in peace.
"Enderlin, a French journalist, tells the story of Israel and the contested West Bank between 2001 and 2006, a nightmare of terrorist bombings, reprisals and failed cease-fire negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian authorities. This book, like his last (Shattered Dreams: The Failure of the Peace Process in the Middle East, 1995-2002), should win plaudits from pro-Arab groups; throughout, Enderlin regularly takes a dubious stance toward official Israeli sources, portraying Hamas officials as moderates and suggesting that PLO leader Yassir Arafat's death was ordered by Israeli president Sharon. Bias aside, this detailed chronicle gets bogged down in a sea of names-many poorly identified-and gives the impression of having been written on the fly; Enderlin lifts extensively and directly from documents and press conference transcripts, adding little in the way of context. Though historically rigorous, Enderlin's sympathies work against his journalistic ambitions in this highly-charged account." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
In this sequel to Paix ou guerres (Peace or war) and Shattered Dreams, Enderlin (Middle East Bureau Chief for France 2, the French public television network) picks up his journalistic account of the Israel-Palestine conflict and negotiations with the ascent of Ariel Sharon to the premiership of Israel in February 2001 and continues through to the 2006 War in Lebanon and the electoral victory of Hamas in the Occupied Territories. He argues that political mistakes on all sides, including among the international players, have led to "the last nail on the coffin of the Oslo peace process," i.e. the rule of Hamas over Gaza. His account is balanced enough to have earned the praise of Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian Liberation Organization's chief negotiator, and Israeli historian Tom Segev. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Enderlin presents a scrupulous chronicle of the ongoing Israeli and Palestinian conflict in this sequel to the bestselling "Shattered Dreams." He exposes Israels unilateral political approach and new military doctrines that have had disastrous consequences for both camps.
About the Author
Charles Enderlin has been the Bureau Chief for France 2 since 1990. When Shattered Dreams (Other Press, 2003) was first published in France it was an immediate bestseller and led to a documentary series aired worldwide. The Lost Years also became the basis for a television documentary, “The Years of Blood,” to be aired in its American version by the Discovery Times Channel and in its international version by TV stations all over Europe. He has lived in Jerusalem since 1968.
Suzanne Verderber is Associate Professor of English and Humanities at Pratt Institute. She recently translated Jean-Michel Rabatés The Ethics of the Lie and Charles Enderlin's The Lost Years.
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