With Hezbollah’s entry into the Lebanese government in 2009 and recent forceful intervention in the Syrian civil war, the potent Shi‘i political and military organization continues to play an enormous role in the Middle East. Policymakers in the United States and Israel usually denounce it as a dangerous terrorist group and refuse to engage with it, yet even its adversaries need to contend with its durability and resilient popular support. Although Hezbollah’s popularity has declined in many quarters of the Arab world, the Shi‘i group—a hybrid of militia, political party, and social services and public works provider—remains the most powerful player in Lebanon. Augustus Richard Norton’s Hezbollah stands as the most lucid, informed, and balanced analysis of the group yet written. This edition, with a new prologue and expanded afterword, analyzes recent momentous events—including Hezbollah’s political performance in Lebanon, inconsistent responses to the Arab Spring, and recent military support of the al-Asad regime in Syria. Hezbollah is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the Middle East.
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