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Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe on the…

Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean (edition 2010)

by Philip Mansel

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862140,249 (4)3
Title:Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean
Authors:Philip Mansel
Info:John Murray (2010), Hardcover, 480 pages
Tags:=As New/As New, middle eastern history, =OxLR15-1

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Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean by Philip Mansel


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Sumptious salute to a vanished world of internationalism ( )
  jason.goodwin | Mar 22, 2012 |
Joe started, said dull. 3/11
  pymish | Mar 28, 2011 |
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...Above all he claims that, far from being barbarians, 'there is perhaps no government in the world more human than the Turks', which represses the population less, which demands fewer taxes, which imposes more moderate levies on commerce.' ..    Charles-Claude de Peyssonnel, French consul-general in Smyrna, 1766-78
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0300172648, Hardcover)

Levant is a book of cities. It describes three former centers of great wealth, pleasure, and freedom—Smyrna, Alexandria, and Beirut—cities of the Levant region along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean. In these key ports at the crossroads of East and West, against all expectations, cosmopolitanism and nationalism flourished simultaneously. People freely switched identities and languages, released from the prisons of religion and nationality. Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived and worshipped as neighbors.

Distinguished historian Philip Mansel is the first to recount the colorful, contradictory histories of Smyrna, Alexandria, and Beirut in the modern age. He begins in the early days of the French alliance with the Ottoman Empire in the sixteenth century and continues through the cities' mid-twentieth-century fates: Smyrna burned; Alexandria Egyptianized; Beirut lacerated by civil war.

Mansel looks back to discern what these remarkable Levantine cities were like, how they differed from other cities, why they shone forth as cultural beacons. He also embarks on a quest: to discover whether, as often claimed, these cities were truly cosmopolitan, possessing the elixir of coexistence between Muslims, Christians, and Jews for which the world yearns. Or, below the glittering surface, were they volcanoes waiting to erupt, as the catastrophes of the twentieth century suggest? In the pages of the past, Mansel finds important messages for the fractured world of today.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:20 -0400)

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Chronicles the history of three major cities in the Levant region--Smyrna, Alexandria, and Beirut--from its golden age in the sixteenth century when different cultures and religions lived together to the present day.

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