In Britain we seem to be obsessed by what our politicians are reading this summer. It tells us, so we think, about the way they’re thinking or perhaps just what they want us to think they’re thinking. Why don’t we study what other political leaders are interested in? Lebanon’s Daily Star offered us a revealing vision of one regional actor, Hezbollah’s Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.
Sitting with Lebanon’s veteran Druze leader, Walid Jumblatt, in late July, Nasrallah has a copy of James Barr’s A Line in the Sand in front of him. The book, one of the best researched and most readable studies of the making of the modern near east (read The Spectator’s review here), offers a tantalising glimpse of what might have been.