Robert Fisk is the boldest and the most brilliant frontline reporter/journalist of his generation (I have avoided the term ‘war correspondent’ as he dislikes it). He has lived in the Middle East for the last 30 years and has produced, based mostly on eyewitness accounts, a remarkable book – The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East.
It took him 16 years and approximately 350,000 notes, documents and dispatches to write this chronicle of “the betrayals and treachery and deceit of Middle East history”. He has described the humiliation, plight and misery of the Muslim world, documented the pathology and arrogance of power, and catalogued the horrors of war, which he believes signify the total failure of the human spirit.
A master raconteur, Fisk combines the writing style of a novelist with a historian’s scholarly command over his subject. He is known globally for blaming and bashing Bush, Blair and Sharon (not necessarily in the same order) for the agony of the Iraqis and the plight of the Palestinians, but in this book not a single political leader in current Middle East history draws praise from him or escapes criticism. He does not spare fellow journalists either, whose works he describes, with very few exceptions, as cowering and dishonest.