Lebanon: Emblem of Captivity

The topic at hand is Lebanon and political violence in the Middle East from the standpoint of the mid-1980s. According to Herbert Bodman and Jerry Levin, Lebanon at this time is an emblem of captivity, a country in which Christianity shares an uneasy balance with a growing Muslim population. A central issue is the direction that Lebanese culture will take, becoming Europeanized or, by contrast, becoming part of the Muslim world. The growth of Shiite fundamentalism and the equally important backdrop of the Arab/Israeli conflict adds to the complexity of Lebanon’s political and cultural options.

At the time of this interview, Bodman was professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Levin was bureau chief with Cable News Network.

This edition of Soundings was conducted by Wayne J. Pond.

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