A House of Many Mansions: The History of Lebanon Reconsidered

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I.B.Tauris, 2003 - Lebanon - 247 pages
Today Lebanon is one of the world's most divided countries - if it remains a country at all. But paradoxically the faction-ridden Lebanese, both Christians and Muslims, have never shown a keener consciousness of common identity. How can this be?

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No other writer has been this objective when detailing the history of Lebanon.


How it all began
The confidence game
Talking geography
Rose among the thorns
The Maronite record
The imagined principality
The mountain refuge
Ottoman Lebanon how unique?
Phoenicia resurrected
Trial and error
The war over Lebanese history
A house of many mansions
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Page 3 - From the Muslim side, there has been an insistence that whatever history Lebanon can claim for itself is in reality part of a broader Arab history. Yet the notion of what really constitutes Arab history remains confused by the fundamental historical association between Arabism and Islam.
Page 3 - Disgraced and abandoned by the world, it is possible that the Lebanese are finally beginning to discover themselves. There is a noticeable consensus among all but the more committed extremists today that all are Lebanese, sharing the same national identity, regardless of other, secondary, group affiliations and loyalties.
Page 2 - Muslims with pan-Arabism, continued during the years that followed, breaking out into open conflict again over yet another crucial issue: the refusal or acceptance of the free right of the Palestinian revolution to operate in Lebanon and from Lebanon, as a state within the state. Compounded by a host of other thorny issues, it was this last conflict that ultimately led to the outbreak of the civil war in the country — a war which continues today.
Page 2 - Yet, paradoxically, there has not been a time when the Muslims and Christians of Lebanon have exhibited, on the whole, a keener consciousness of common identity, albeit with somewhat different nuances. They did not...

About the author (2003)

Kamal Salibi is a historian and specialist on the modern Middle East. He has a keen interest in biblical studies and is the author of the bestselling "The Bible Came from Arabia," as well as a highly acclaimed history of "Lebanon, A House of Many Mansions" (I.B.Tauris). He is a committed Christian.

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