A fascinating and often terrifying firsthand account of the 1982 war in Lebanon, Under Siege vividly reveals the complex negotiations and military maneuvers which ended with the evacuation of the P.L.O. from Beirut. Rashid Khalidi, a Palestinian, lived with his family in Beirut during the siege and ensuing massacres. Using many usually inaccessible sources, such as P.L.O. telexes and government messages, and interviews with key military officials and diplomats, he tells the story from the compelling viewpoint of those living amid the fighting. Khalidi provides a carefully detailed picture of the P.L.O. from within, the local Lebanese environment, the military pressure on the P.L.O. and Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, and of U.S. diplomacy during the crisis. While focusing primarily on the inner workings of the P.L.O., the author also addresses various aspects of Lebanese and inter-Arab politics and examines the military and diplomatic behavior of involved outside parties such as the United States, France, and the former Soviet Union.
Offering a totally new perspective on the longest Arab-Israeli war since 1948, Under Siege will have broad appeal to those in international relations, Middle East studies, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the general reader interested in American foreign relations and the Middle East.