Book Review: House of Stone


House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East

By Anthony Shadid

HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT

In his New York Times dispatches from across the Middle East, Anthony Shadid—a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner—cuts a swashbuckling figure. In the last year alone, he braved tear gas and live fire in Egypt, was kidnapped by Qaddafi’s thugs in Libya, and secretly traversed Syria’s killing fields by motorcycle. House of Stone casts the correspondent in a softer light, recalling his 2007 return to his ancestral village in southern Lebanon to rebuild his great-grandfather’s abandoned home—and perhaps piece together his own wayward life in the process. At once outsider and native son, Shadid elegantly reflects on the violent splintering of the once-vibrant Levant and its uphill struggle to reclaim its dwindling notions of regional identity.

Editor’s Note: Anthony Shadid died of an asthma attack in February while reporting for the New York Times inside Syria. Shortly before his death, he spoke with Mother Jones about House of Stone, Syria’s future, and the high cost of getting the story in a war zone. You can read Shadid’s interview with Mother Jones here.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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