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The Great War for Civilization The Conquest of the Middle East by Robert Fisk Review

Title: The Great War for Civilization The Conquest of the Middle East

Author: Robert Fisk

First published October 3, 2005

1111 pages

Rating: 4.41


Embark on a riveting journey through the tumultuous history of the Middle East with Robert Fisk’s The Great War for Civilization. As a seasoned journalist with over thirty years of experience in the region, Fisk offers a front row seat to the conflicts, politics, and powerful figures that have shaped the past half century.

With firsthand accounts of his encounters with the leading players of the Middle East, Fisk’s narrative provides a unique perspective on the conquests and struggles that have defined the region. Prepare to be captivated by this sweeping history and its unforgettable characters.

About the Author

Meet Robert Fisk, a prolific English writer and journalist who has spent over 30 years as the Middle East correspondent for The Independent, based primarily in Beirut. With a number of books under his belt, Fisk has reported on major global events such as the United States’ war in Afghanistan and their invasion of Iraq in 2003.

He holds the highest number of British and International Journalism awards among foreign correspondents, earning him recognition from The New York Times as “probably the most famous foreign correspondent in Britain.”

Fisk’s approach to journalism is rooted in the belief that it must “challenge authority, all authority, especially so when governments and politicians take us to war.” He is a pacifist who has never voted, advocating for a critical lens in reporting on those in power.

Editoral Review

Robert Fisk’s The Great War for Civilization: The Conquest of the Middle East, published on October 3, 2005, is a work of non-fiction that offers a comprehensive and deeply personal account of the wars and revolutions that have shaped the Middle East in the past century. Fisk, an award-winning journalist who has been covering the region for over thirty years, draws on his vast experience to provide a richly detailed and intimate portrait of the people, places, and events that have defined the region’s history.

The book is divided into two parts: the first covering the history of the Middle East from the early 20th century to the end of the Iran-Iraq War, and the second focusing on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Throughout the book, Fisk illuminates the complex and interconnected nature of the conflicts, tracing the roots of many of today’s problems to the actions and decisions of past leaders and powers.

Fisk’s writing style is immersive and vivid, bringing the reader deep into the heart of the battles and struggles he recounts. He is unflinching in his coverage of the brutality and horror of war, but also shows moments of humanity and compassion that provide a glimmer of hope amidst the chaos.

One of the book’s strengths is its focus on the people caught up in the conflicts. Fisk gives a voice to those who are often ignored or overlooked in traditional accounts of war- the civilians, the refugees, the soldiers, and the rebels.

He balances the big picture of political and military maneuvers with the personal stories of individuals, creating a rich and nuanced portrait of life in the Middle East during times of conflict. However, the book also has some weaknesses.

At times, Fisk’s passion and emotion can cloud his objectivity, leading to a lack of balance in his reporting. He is also criticized for his outspoken views and opinions, which can turn some readers off.

Despite these limitations, The Great War for Civilization is an essential and thoroughly compelling work of journalism that provides valuable insight into the complex web of conflicts in the Middle East. Fisk’s intimate perspective and vast knowledge make it a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the region’s history and current events.

The book is recommended for readers interested in journalism, history, politics, and current events. It would benefit anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the Middle East and the forces that have shaped its past and present.

The Washington Post gives The Great War for Civilization a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars for its immersive storytelling, insightful reporting, and powerful message.