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Warriors of God: Inside Hezbollah's Thirty-Year Struggle Against Israelby Nicholas Blanford
Synopses & Reviews
Hezbollah is the most powerful Islamist group operating in the Middle East today, and no other Western journalist has penetrated as deeply inside this secretive organization as Nicholas Blanford. Now Blanford has written the first comprehensive inside account of Hezbollah and its enduring struggle against Israel. Based on more than a decade and a half of reporting in Lebanon and conversations with Hezbollah’s determined fighters, Blanford reveals their ideology, motivations, and training, as well as new information on military tactics, weapons, and sophisticated electronic warfare and communications systems.
Using exclusive sources and his own dogged investigative skills, Blanford traces Hezbollah’s extraordinary evolution—from a zealous group of raw fighters motivated by Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution into the most formidable non-state military organization in the world, whose charismatic leader vows to hasten Israel’s destruction. With dramatic eyewitness accounts, including Blanford’s own experiences of the battles, massacres, triumphs, and tragedies that have marked the conflict, the story follows the increasingly successful campaign of resistance that led to Israel’s historic withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000.
Warriors of God shows how Hezbollah won hearts and minds with exhaustive social welfare programs and sophisticated propaganda skills. Blanford traces the group’s secret military build-up since 2000 and reveals the stunning scope of its underground network of tunnels and bunkers, becoming the only journalist to independently discover and explore them. With the Middle East fearful of another, even more destructive war between Lebanon and Israel, Blanford tenaciously pursues Hezbollah’s post-2006 battle plans in the Lebanese mountains, earning him newspaper scoops as well as a terrifying interrogation and a night in jail.
Featuring sixteen years of probing interviews with Hezbollah’s leaders and fighters, Warriors of God is essential to understanding a key player in a region rocked by change and uncertainty.
"Veteran Middle East correspondent Blanford (Killing Mr. Lebanon) draws on his 17 years covering Lebanon for this detailed and timely account of the rise of the Lebanese resistance group. The 1978 occupation of southern Lebanon by Israel spawned a 'new movement' among the Shia underclass to confront the Israelis: Hezbollah, or the Party of God. Supported by Iran, protected by Syria, and led since 1992 by the charismatic Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah exploited its role as 'the dominant force fighting the Israelis' to become today the dominant political and military actor in Lebanon. Relying primarily on his extensive reporting from the front lines of the fighting in south Lebanon and interviews with officials and fighters, the author pieces together an intriguing picture of Hezbollah as a political, social, and militant group. The book is generally evenhanded, but Blanford seems to go a bit easy on some of Hezbollah's more dubious practices. When the group ambushed an Israeli patrol, sparking another round of violence, Blanford is quick to accept their claim that they were 'not looking for a serious confrontation.' And despite the thousands of rockets Hezbollah fired into Israel in 2006, the author characterizes Hezbollah's posture as defensive. Otherwise, Blanford offers a smart, comprehensive, and valuable look inside the workings of perhaps 'the most powerful nonstate military organization in the world.'" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Nicholas Blanford, the Beirut correspondent for The Times of London and The Christian Science Monitor, has lived in Lebanon since 1994. He is a regular contributor to Time magazine and Jane’s Information Group publications. An acknowledged authority on Hezbollah, he has acted as a consultant on Lebanese and Syrian affairs for private firms and government institutions. He has made numerous television and radio appearances, including on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar channel, CBS’s 60 Minutes, CNN and CNN International, Fox, ABC, Irish television, the BBC, National Public Radio, and other American and Canadian radio and television stations. Blanford is the author of Killing Mr. Lebanon: The Assassination of Rafik Hariri and Its Impact on the Middle East.
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