Thursday, January 21, 2010

War in the Middle East by Wilborn Hampton

Hampton started in 1970, dedicating his entire career to be a journalist, reporting the sad history in the Middle East. He wrote this nonfiction book entirely on facts that he experienced himself. He was there during two wars, including Black September, to write about the shooting, killing, bombing, peace treaties, and diplomatic maneuvering from a neutral stance. Hampton put himself in danger every day in order to report many events such as the hijackings of P.E.L.P., the hostages of the guerrillas, the peace talks between King Hussein, Arafat, and other Arab leaders and Yom Kippur during the civil war.

"The entire neighborhood became a battlefield, with the hotel in the crossfire& I lay on the bar mattress in the hotel hallway, I wonder how many people might be lying dead or wounded out there. Either of us had been killed. My thirtieth birthday was coming up in a few days, and I said a little prayer that I might live to see it." -Hampton

Wilborn Hampton is a talented reporter who put himself in the midst of the conflicts in the Middle East to capture and document the shocking events of the civil war known as Black September. He wrote about his own observations. When I read this book I felt like I was standing in the sand at Jerusalem. There are also many great photographs of important events such as the election of Palestinian leaders, the protection wall at the West bank, refugee camps, Israelis and Egyptian commanders signing peace treaties, and the holy city of Jerusalem where the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock are located. Before I started reading this book I had little knowledge about the war in the Middle East. Luckily, there is a great prologue of religious background about the Jews and Palestinians. I enjoyed reading the book from the eyes of Wilborn Hampton, a true American citizen, (rather than hearing about the war from our textbooks or the news reporters.) This is an incredible book of primary sources that all students, as well as adults, should study.

"Any understanding of the Middle East must begin with the premise that no one side is right or wrong. There is no black or white, only a thousand shades of gray." -Hampton.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Renton, WA USA