Often demonized by the Western media and press, Hezbollah’s origins are rooted in activities of the Lebanese Shi`a in the late 1970s and early 80s. Covering the Shi`a: English Press Representation of the Lebanese Shi`a 1975-1985 chronicles how the English-language press and media represented the most consequential group in Lebanon to Western audiences during the critical period of 1975-1985. Focusing on three of the most prominent English-language newspapers at that time, the book outlines how the Western media frequently disregarded the Shi`i civil rights movement in Lebanon. Conflating that movement with other Arab independence campaigns, the Western media missed key aspects and the dynamics at work in the Lebanese Shi`i community. Additionally, in failing to understand and report the nature of the transnational networks that supported the Shi`i community in Lebanon, the resultant news narrative reported in the English-language media was at odds with the narratives harbored by the Lebanese Shi`a themselves. In order to gain an understanding of the operations of Lebanese Hezbollah today, and the current media coverage of the organization, this book offers insights on the origins of Shi`a resistance and how one can evaluate the group today.
Bob Tomlinson is associate professor in the National Security Affairs Department of the Naval War College at the Naval Postgraduate School.
Chapter 1: Musa al-Sadr and the Shi`i Narratives in Lebanon
Chapter 2: The Shi`a Expulsion from Nab`a
Chapter 3: The Effects of the Iranian Revolution on the Lebanese Shi`a
Chapter 4: The Israeli Invasion of Lebanon 1982
Chapter 5: Epilogue
Bob Tomlinson is a world class scholar on the Shi'i dynamic within Lebanon, and this book reflects this sentiment perfectly. He provides an oft-ignored perspective on this critical group, and with it an alternative lens vital toward understanding the global Shi'i narrative during a key historical period.