When Magic Failed: A Memoir of a Lebanese Childhood, Caught between East and West Audiobook, by Fouad Ajami Play Audiobook Sample

When Magic Failed: A Memoir of a Lebanese Childhood, Caught between East and West Audiobook

When Magic Failed: A Memoir of a Lebanese Childhood, Caught between East and West Audiobook, by Fouad Ajami Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Assaf Cohen Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 5.17 hours at 1.5x Speed 3.88 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: June 2022 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9798200965892

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

61:47 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

10:29 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

38:14 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Publisher Description

From the author of The Arab Predicament and Dream Palace of the Arabs comes a beautiful and haunting memoir of growing up in Lebanon in the ’50s and ’60s—the story of a sensitive young man and budding intellectual caught between tradition and modernity, east and west.

As one of the most profound and insightful scholars of the Middle East, Fouad Ajami’s sensibility was powerfully shaped by his childhood and youth in Lebanon in the ’50s and ’60s. The time was a transitional one—not only for the Middle East, but for America and the world. Lebanon in this era was just coming into its own as a cosmopolitan destination of the international jet set as well as earnest American educators seeking to modernize Arab society. The disruptive forces of the Middle East—the Cold War, the Palestinian conflict, religious extremism, the money and oil of the Gulf—were only just beginning to appear. In this haunting and beautifully written memoir of his Lebanese childhood, the late Middle East scholar, Fouad Ajami, casts a discerning light into the corners and alleyways of an Arab reality that would later erupt into full view.

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“The late Fouad Ajami tells a story of profound disruption, whose central theme is the impact of the modern world on the Shi‘ite villagers of southern Lebanon.”

— Michael A. Cook, author of Forbidding Wrong in Islamic Thought 


  • “I have never read a more enchanting account of disenchantment.”

    — Leon Wieseltier, former editor and critic at The Atlantic

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About Fouad Ajami

Fouad Ajami (1945–2014) was a Lebanese-born American university professor and a prolific writer on Middle Eastern issues. His writings include more than four hundred essays on Arab and Islamic politics, US foreign policy, and contemporary international history. Ajami received numerous awards, including the MacArthur Fellows Award and the National Medal of the Humanities. His writings charted the road to 9/11, the Iraq War, and the US presence in the Arab-Islamic world.

About Assaf Cohen

Assaf Cohen is an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator. He has appeared in various plays, short films, and television shows. He grew up in Palo Alto and attended UC Berkeley where he earned a bachelor’s degree in integrative biology. He continued his classical training by earning a master of fine arts in acting from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University under the instruction of legendary acting instructor William Esper.