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The Road to Fatima Gate: The Beirut Spring, the Rise of Hezbollah, and the Iranian War Against Israel

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  79 ratings  ·  10 reviews
The Road to Fatima Gate is a first-person narrative account of revolution, terrorism, and war during history's violent return to Lebanon after fifteen years of quiet. Michael J. Totten's version of events in one of the most volatile countries in the world's most volatile region is one part war correspondence, one part memoir, and one part road movie.

He sets up camp in a t
Hardcover, 360 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Encounter Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Sure, the book is one-sided. Obviously there is no discussion of Hezbollah's social welfare organization (the book just focuses on the militant side of Hezbollah). I would have liked to see Totten get not only into Southern Lebanon to see the disaster areas, but also the hospitals and schools.

However, going into the book knowing the author might not be the most objective man on the planet, the book is an excellent read. [And this doesnt disparage the author, he is quite open about his views].

Melissa Proffitt
This book provides an excellent overview of the current situation in Lebanon and how that country's politics and culture are influenced by its neighbors, particularly Syria. Totten has a real love for Lebanon, and this makes him an ideal narrator and tour guide through the Middle East. Much of this material has appeared previously in his blog, but he's expanded on some events and tied others together to create a more unified story than the episodic nature of online updates allows. I came away fr ...more
Benjamin Ables
Tendentious at best, Michael Totten's reportage of the Beirut Spring initially comes off as myopic, somewhat ignorant, and at times, even immature coverage of what can only be described as the denouement of more than two decades of instability in Lebanon. One is led to believe that Totten was initially completely unaware of the many intricacies at play within Lebanese politics both domestically, and vis-a-vis other regional actors. However, as the book progresses, Totten seems to mature as a rep ...more
Jack Whitsel
Mike Totten's, The Road to Fatima Gate, is an in-depth account of the rise of Hezbollah and their influence within Lebanon. Following the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, Mike Totten serves as herald as Lebanon teeters upon the precipice; one hand reaching for a free-state, the other immersed in bloodshed.

Totten's approach to this subject is not only through diligent research, but also from his personal experience as a Foreign correspondent and analyst. Instead of approaching the su
Fascinating account of the muddled stew that is Lebanon. I liked the writer's style, and first-person accounts are always interesting to me. It was sometimes difficult to follow the thread of the narrative as it bounced back and forth among the many factions within this embattled country. I doubt many people are aware of the extent to which Iran is the puppet-master of this tragedy. The author makes a compelling point that no measure of peace in the Middle East can be possible unless and until t ...more
Katherine Elise
Informative and engaging - although a little biased. It's a First hand account, which is rare, and that's what gives the book its value. Essential reading for anyone interested in Lebanon's history.
Aaron Shields
"There may be real peace at last in the Eastern Mediterranean when the citizens of Iran seize the levers of power, when al-Assad's family loses its control over Syria, and when Lebanon is the final home for all her children."

Wow- what an epic tragedy Lebanon is. Hopefully the above is realized. Soon.

Totten has major stones for reporting on the chaos of Lebanon and Hezbollah, etc. The story about Christopher Hitchens nearly getting killed perfectly summarized the fine line for a journalist in Bei
This book is an essential source for anyone interested in the current state of Lebanon or the Arab-Israeli-Iranian conflict. The only weakness is the lack of photos or maps. Those who follow Totten's blogging know that his photography is every bit as compelling as his writing, so the lack of photos is frustrating. Even so, anyone interested in Middle Eastern affairs should read this book.
Jeremy Kroeker
After reading this book by Michael J. Totten, I am way more confused about Lebanese politics than I was before... which means that he did a great job of explaining it. Really entertaining, and informative.
Megan Prahl
Stopped about halfway through . . . lost steam.
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