What We Are Reading Today: Pity the Nation by Robert Fisk

Updated 01 May 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Pity the Nation by Robert Fisk

  • The book is about the civil war that ravaged Lebanon, a country splintered by factions, bedevilled by betrayal from within and without
  • Author Robert Fisk, an award-winning foreign correspondent, not only reported on the conflict, he lived through it

As Lebanon holds its first elections for a decade, the civil war that ravaged the country from 1975 to 1990 is far from forgotten.

Fisk, an award-winning foreign correspondent, not only reported on it, he lived through it, so this account of that conflict is not simply a historical and political analysis by a detached, scholarly observer.

Context is given but this is history recorded as it happened by a reporter who not only finds many witnesses but also was a witness himself.

This is a tale of a country splintered by factions, bedevilled by betrayal from within and without and by the West’s limitless ability to ignore what it finds inconvenient or does not wish to know.

By definition, it is a personal testament of the savagery of those 15 years.

Some have criticized the author for putting too much of himself in it, accusing him of self-aggrandizement.

But despite its faults (and it does have them) it has become a classic of its genre and is widely regarded as required reading for anyone wanting to understand the Middle East — especially if you are not from the Middle East.

The title is from the poem of the same name by the Lebanese-American writer Khalil Gibran (1883-1931), who is revered in Lebanon.

As a title for a war memoir, it could not be more apt. 


What We Are Reading Today: digitalSTS

Updated 17 April 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: digitalSTS

  • Classic work in science and technology studies (STS) has played a central role in how these fields analyze digital technologies

Authors: Janet Vertesi and David Ribes

Scholars across the humanities, social sciences, and information sciences are grappling with how best to study virtual environments, use computational tools in their research, and engage audiences with their results. 

Classic work in science and technology studies (STS) has played a central role in how these fields analyze digital technologies, but many of its key examples do not speak to today’s computational realities. This groundbreaking collection brings together a world-class group of contributors to refresh the canon for contemporary digital scholarship, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.

In 25 pioneering and incisive essays, this unique digital field guide offers innovative new approaches to digital scholarship, the design of digital tools and objects, and the deployment of critically grounded technologies for analysis and discovery. Contributors cover a broad range of topics, including software development, digitized objects, diversity in the tech sector, and distributed scientific collaborations.