Minor Thoughts from me to you

The Road to Fatima Gate

Michael Totten is one of the most intrepid reporters that you've never heard of. He (mostly) travels alone, he stays independent, he talks to the people on the street and he reports exactly what he sees and hears. He's seemingly unafraid of Islamic radicals or anyone else.

The Road to Fatima Gate is his first book.

The Road to Fatima Gate is a first-person narrative account of revolution, terrorism, and war during history's violent return to Lebanon after fifteen years of quiet. Michael J. Totten's version of events in one of the most volatile countries in the world's most volatile region is one part war correspondence, one part memoir, and one part road movie.

He sets up camp in a tent city built in downtown Beirut by anti-Syrian dissidents, is bullied and menaced by Hezbollah's supposedly friendly "media relations" department, crouches under fire on the Lebanese-Israeli border during the six-week war in 2006, witnesses an Israeli ground invasion from behind a line of Merkava tanks, sneaks into Hezbollah's post-war rubblescape without authorization, and is attacked in Beirut by militiamen who enforce obedience to the "resistance" at the point of a gun.

The Near East Report interviewed Michael Totten about his book and about Fatima Gate.

Sol Stern wrote a review for the City Journal.

And Peter Robinson, from the Hoover Institute, did a video interview with Michael Totten about the book.

I think the book is worth a read.