A House of Many Mansions: The History of Lebanon Reconsidered by Kamal Salibi
The Lebanese have always lacked a common vision of their past. From the beginning Muslims and Christians have disagreed fundamentally over their country's historical legitimacy: Christians on the whole have affirmed it, Muslims have tended to emphasize Lebanon's place in a broader Arab history. Both groups have used nationalist ideas in a destructive game, which at a deeper level involves archaic loyalties and tribal rivalries. But Lebanon cannot afford these conflicting visions if it is to develop and maintain a sense of political community. In the course of his lively exposition, Salibi offers a major reinterpretation of Lebanese history and provides insights into the dynamic of Lebanon's recent conflict. He also gives an account of how the images of communities which underlie modern nationalism are created.