“Of all the tragedies the twenty-first century inherited from the twentieth,” writes veteran UPI reporter and NYT editor Hampton, “none is more complicated or poses a greater danger to the rest of the world than that of the Middle East.” Told in first person, 29-year-old Hampton is sent to Beirut, then Amman, Jordan, to cover the airliner hijackings that would spark the Arab against Arab war known as Black September. The next year, he was back in the Middle East when Syria attacked Israeli troops along the Sinai and in the Golan Heights—both of which Israel had claimed in the Six Day War of 1967. Perhaps most importantly, Hampton introduces the notion that politics and religion are human endeavors, and the absolutes of right and wrong, black and white, tend to blur and shift according to one’s individual or cultural perspective. An excellent choice for middle and high schools, as well as home libraries.
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