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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (5,252 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas L. Friedman Narrator: Thomas L. Friedman Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2006 ISBN: 9780061259159
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In From Beirut to Jerusalem, Thomas L. Friedman of The New York Times, author of The Lexus and the Olive Tree, has drawn on his decade in the Middle East to produce the most trenchant, vivid, and thought-provoking book yet on the region.

No issue in international politics has been more hotly debated than the Arab-Israeli conflict. And no reporter has illuminated both the conflict and the rhythms of life in the Middle East with more immediacy and brilliance than Tom Friedman, twice winner of the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting. Extremism, terrorism, fundamentalism on right and left, Friedman puts all the operative currents into perspective with an inimitable specificity and clarity.

On Friedman's own remarkable journey from Beirut to Jerusalem, he writes, "This is a book about the people in Beirut and Jerusalem themselves, who were going through remarkably similar identity crises. Each was caught in a struggle between the new ideas, the new relationships, the new nations they were trying to build for the future, and the ancient memories, ancient passions, and ancient feuds that kept dragging them back into the past." From Beirut to Jerusalem is a major work of reportage, a much needed framework for understanding the Middle East, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The most intelligent and comprehensive account one is likely to read.” 

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Fascinating…Friedman has mastered his subject.” 

    Time

  • “A complex, illuminating vision written with a novelist’s eye for the telling detail and a reporter’s knack for the revealing quote.” 

    San Francisco Chronicle 

  • “A sparkling intellectual guidebook…An engrossing journey not to be missed.” 

    Wall Street Journal

  • “A book that must be read by all who are concerned about the present and future of a part of our world to which Western civilization has always been, and will continue to be, vitally connected.” 

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Perhaps no other book written for a popular audience has so successfully explained the unexplainable…This book is an annotated road map to the past, and a brilliant crystal ball for the future.” 

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the 1989 National Book Award for Nonfiction
  • Winner of the 1989 Cornelius Ryan Award
  • A 1989 New York Times Best Book

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phoebe | 2/17/2014

    " I read this during my trip to (surprise!) Israel. Friedman's easy, anecdotal style is a treat, really easy to grasp considering the depth and breadth of the book. This provided a great context for my trip, especially considering its age; understandably, he touches on many issues that my Birthright-trip organizers didn't want to discuss, but that I now consider integral to understanding several aspects of Israeli life, particularly Israeli military life. I plan to pick up more of his stuff soon. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe | 2/16/2014

    " An excellent book from a knowledgeable and experienced journalist. This was also a great primer on modern middle-east history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sam A. | 2/15/2014

    " Thomas Friedman exhibits his spectacular understanding of the Levant region politics in this well-written account. This book is great for anyone interested in the Middle East, politics, or journalism. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shawn | 2/14/2014

    " Even if you're not interested in Israeli/Lebanese/Syrian politics, this is a profound work of journalism and reflection on human tragedy. Friedman is a masterful writer whose style casual wit and enthusiastic articulation. An absolute pleasure to read. Whatever your views towards the solutions suggested in the final chapters, very few works rival this one in scope and to-the-point frankness. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Saee | 2/11/2014

    " Good, comprehensive, but somewhat subjective narrative of the author's journey in the Middle East. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annette | 2/4/2014

    " This book does a great job explaining the history of the middle east and has many implications for today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 A.J. | 2/3/2014

    " Anyone who wants to read some unbelievable stories about Israel, Lebanon and hear a journalist's perspective of life on the ground during Lebanon's Civil War. You may hate his politics, but hardly anyone tells anecdotal stories better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 1/31/2014

    " First best book I read about the middle east conflict. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rob Greca | 1/28/2014

    " That part of the world is just scarry. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christian Ensign | 1/15/2014

    " Very informative in shaping my initial context of recent events within this region. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Richard Lyon | 1/10/2014

    " Despite the fact that this book was written 20 years ago, this book is probably the single best introduction to understanding the current (and endless) mideast crisis "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrew Hecht | 12/29/2013

    " I read this book while I was staying on a Kibbutz in southern Israel. It was an eye opening look at politics in the Middle East written before Friedman became and an insufferable blow hard. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa Beth | 12/24/2013

    " Was an amazing book, ive been wanting to read it for awhile, shouldnt have put it off, looking forward to reading his other book "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alison | 12/13/2013

    " Completely helped round out my knowledge of the Middle East, inclusive of history, politics, culture, etc. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Steven Salaita | 12/11/2013

    " By far Friedman's best book, and it's still terrible. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael Stoll | 12/9/2013

    " Amazing insights into Lebanon, Israel and Palestine. Really helped give me perspective on that region. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott Procker | 9/12/2013

    " One of my all time favorite non-fiction books... which sent me on a non-fiction bender that lasted about 2 years. This book pulls no punches about attitudes and cultural norms of the middle east, particularly the chapter "Hamas Rules." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mehrsa | 9/10/2013

    " Reads at times like a long Friedman Op-ed, but it is a very informative view of the Israeli Palestinian conflict. I would not say that it is totally unbiased as some have said. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 6/26/2013

    " This book should be required reading for everyone. A truly balanced look at the Middle East. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tim Gehring | 6/22/2013

    " Probably one of the more important books for people to read. Gives an overall honest understanding of the background of history and culture that has led us to the situations we are currently facing in that region "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrew | 4/24/2013

    " An early work by Friedman, yet is still remains one of his better books. Now somewhat dated, but it still is an excellent primer for someone wanting to dig deeper into the Middle East and its current issues. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dana | 2/27/2013

    " I need to re-read this book because I think I only understand part of it the first time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Veronica | 1/20/2013

    " This book was my first curious encounter with the Israel-Palestine conflict, as told by someone whom I generally trust, in terms of journalism. Good beginning, could've used less personal anecdote. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Clair Popkin | 5/24/2012

    " Great book with lots of insights into the middle east a must read for anyone interested in politics or this region. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patty Anne | 4/10/2012

    " I read this book as a requirement for a college history course. It was very insightful! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nikka102 | 11/10/2011

    " After reading this book I felt like I had a small, tiny handle on the middle east (which completely baffles me.) I wish he would write another book on everything that has happened since he wrote this one so I could understand a little more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Teri Cooper | 10/13/2011

    " One of my favourite NY Times journo's compares his experiences living and working in Beirut, and then jerusalem, is fascinating and full of plausible theories about their thousand year old differences. Possibly getting a bit long in the tooth now being 20 years old. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 9/15/2011

    " This was required reading for one of my undergrad poli sci classes, and it's very good. Anyone who's interested in learning more about the history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict should read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Juliakmiller | 8/1/2011

    " I learned a lot about the Middle East history, people there, the conflicts, why things happen they way they do, ... from this book. It's a great read that helps you make sense of what has happened there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 F. | 5/14/2011

    " This was a good book about a slice in time concerning the middle-east turmoil. He adopts the right tone. There are real people living over there who are trying to live normal lives in an abnormal situation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vijay | 5/10/2011

    " Most authentic book on middle east- a little verbose. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Omaïma | 4/20/2011

    " You'll get my review as soon as I finish the book.

    Didn't pay attention to the edition. Mine is the one with the blue cover and with 560 pages. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andy | 3/22/2011

    " Before the Earth was flat, Thomas Friedman covered the Middle East. He takes a decidedly pro-Arab view of the world in this book, which provides plenty of insights into the modern Middle East conflict. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 3/4/2011

    " First best book I read about the middle east conflict. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brooke | 2/25/2011

    " Really cleared up a lot of my confusion about some of the historic tensions in this region, it's out of date (finishes in the mid 1990's) but still a great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brendan | 2/10/2011

    " I'm convinced that the more I read about the Middle East in the news the less I know. This book really helped me get a handle on some of the tectonic social. political and historic dyamics in that part of the world. Although it feels a little dated, the book is still relevant today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Monteithdb | 2/9/2011

    " I really enjoyed it, but I hesitate to rate it as 5-stars or to give a thorough review of it because, as the author says in the book, regarding this region of the world, "There is no truth. There are only versions." (I might be paraphrasing that). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenny | 1/9/2011

    " Read this as part of a college course in 2004 - an interesting view from a journalist and a foreigner of life in the Middle East.

    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 12/18/2010

    " My Aunt teaches political geographhy at a college and she reccommended this book. It's very firsthand, which I prefer over analayzing what someone else said they saw. Covers up until 1989. "

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About the Author
Author Thomas L. Friedman

Thomas L. Friedman was UPI's Beirut correspondent from 1979 to 1981. In 1982, he became the New York Times Beirut bureau chief, winning a 1983 Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. In 1984, he moved to Jerusalem as the Times bureau chief, and in 1988 won a second Pulitzer Prize for reporting. He is also the author of the national bestseller The Lexus and the Olive Tree. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for his work on this book. He lives in Washington with his family.