The Shi’a of Lebanon has emerged in the last 30 years to become a major force in Lebanese politics, having previously long been a marginalized political community. Here, Rodger Shanahan examines the reasons behind this transformation from a largely rural population dominated by a handful of elite families, to an assertive sectarian force whose new-found power is exemplified by the emergence and influence of Shi’i political parties, most notably Hezbollah. In this unique and perceptive study, Shanahan explores the development of the Shi’i community from the imposition of French mandatory rule, through independence and the bloody civil war of the 1970s and 1980s to the withdrawal of Israeli forces from South Lebanon in 2000. Here, for the first time in paperback, Shanahan also examines the more recent controversies and crises of the 2006 War with Israel and the death of Ayatollah Muhammad Fadlallah.
History, Middle-East, Lebanon,