BEIRUT OUTTAKES: A TV Correspondent's Portrait of America's Encounter With Terror by Larry Pintak

BEIRUT OUTTAKES: A TV Correspondent's Portrait of America's Encounter With Terror

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A gruesome, firsthand report from the notebooks of CBS-News correspondent Pintak, who spent the years 1980 through 1985 assigned to arguably the most dangerous spot in the world--Beirut, Lebanon. Pintak attempts to bring into focus the root causes of the bombings, suicide missions, hostage-takings, and hijackings--and he indicts Reagan Administration naivetÉ that, though well-intentioned, sowed the seeds of all subsequent terrorism in the area. But what is most riveting about this account is the feeling Pintak imparts of just what it was like to be an American in a land where that was cause enough to be killed. Sometimes, situations can be wryly amusing, as when Pintak describes attempting to drive into South Lebanon only to have Israeli guards demand Israeli passes, which can be gotten only from Israeli officers down the road in. . .South Lebanon. Sometimes, situations can be harrowing, as when Pintak describes torture methods used by guards against American hostages; and sometimes they can be downright fishy, as when in October 1984, a US embassy official calls reporters in West Beirut to scare them with mock concern--obviously a ploy to drive reporters out of Beirut to hedge against any further incident that might embarrass Reagan just before his re-election. Pintak, who was nominated for an Emmy for his reporting of the September 1984 US Embassy bombing in East Beirut, does a bang-up job here of translating that reporting into book form; the result is a real eye-opener for those who seek to understand the inscrutable labyrinth of Lebanese politics.

Pub Date: Oct. 23rd, 1988
Publisher: Lexington--dist. by Kampmann (9 East 40 St., New York, NY 10016)