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Hyper-Retaliation

Charles Glass: The Levant, 8 March 2012

Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean 
by Philip Mansel.
John Murray, 480 pp., £10.99, September 2011, 978 0 7195 6708 7
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Beirut 
by Samir Kassir, translated by M.B. Debevoise.
California, 656 pp., £19.95, December 2011, 978 0 520 27126 5
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... tribalism and nationalism and islands of diversity and mutual tolerance began to disappear. Philip Mansel documents the rise and inexorable crash of the great Levantine entrepôts as four centuries of relative stability under the Ottomans gave way to a century of ethnic expulsion, tyranny and war. ‘The Levant is an area, a dialogue and a ...

How to Serve Coffee

Rory Stewart: Aleppan Manners, 16 February 2017

Aleppo Observed: Ottoman Syria through the Eyes of Two Scottish Doctors, Alexander and Patrick Russell 
by Maurits H. van den Boogert.
Arcadian Library, 254 pp., £120, September 2015, 978 0 19 958856 5
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... garden, which he has hired for a drinking party. Extracts from all these accounts are printed by Philip Mansel in his stylish and affectionate history of Aleppo alongside those of later Victorian visitors, who are focused on an eternal round of consular picnics and drinking parties, punctuated by sardonic observations on the ersatz taste and ...

Tea with Medea

Simon Skinner: Richard Cobb, 19 July 2012

My Dear Hugh: Letters from Richard Cobb to Hugh Trevor-Roper and Others 
Frances Lincoln, 240 pp., £20, October 2011, 978 0 7112 3240 2Show More
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... Richard Cobb, often in a class as small as an early Christian cenacle, was to be taught life,’ Philip Mansel recalled. ‘He did not simply describe, he transformed himself into a farmer overeating merely for the pleasure of depriving Parisians of their food; a revolutionary who had marinated in envy all his life and was using his position on the ...

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