Books

Tribes with Flags

A Dangerous Passage through the Chaos of the Middle East

by Charles Glass

Tribes with Flags is a book you will want to open time and again. Charlie Glass has a great travel writer’s eye. By capturing the detail of travel, he keeps us with him every step of the way. We feel. We taste. And then we begin to understand a region which has bewildered so many for so long.” —Peter Jennings

  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-9418-3
  • US List Price $16.00

About The Book

ABC News correspondent Charles Glass made headlines around the world when he was captured on June 18, 1987 by pro-Iranian terrorists and held in a Shiite Moslem suburb of Beirut for sixty-two days. His daring escape and the colorful and gripping account of his travels and kidnapping are documented in Tribes with Flags: A Dangerous Passage through the Chaos of the Middle East.

Throughout his ordeal, Glass concentrated on his love for his family and wrote a novel in his head. But he never forgot the reason he was in Lebanon or abandoned the idea of a book capturing the splendid vitality and diversity of life in the Middle East. Tribes with Flags is the book Glass always meant it to be: A chronicle of his journey from the southern Turkish coast, around the bay of Alexandretta, and through Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon. This, he explains, “is a voyage to discover and reflect upon romance, adventure, chance encounters, violence, and the many and perpetual personalities from dragomen to merchantmen to mountaineers to monks to prostitutes to feudal lords.” Glass visited farms, slums, and refugee camps as well as royal friends in feudal palaces, capturing the entire spectrum of Levantine life. The journey ends with a gripping account of Glass’s kidnapping in Beirut—an intimate portrayal of life as a hostage—and his successful flight to freedom.

Praise

Tribes with Flags is a book you will want to open time and again. Charlie Glass has a great travel writer’s eye. By capturing the detail of travel, he keeps us with him every step of the way. We feel. We taste. And then we begin to understand a region which has bewildered so many for so long.” —Peter Jennings

“With compassion and rare insight, Charles Glass captures the texture and human reality of a fascinating region of the world that we do not begin to know. He provides the kind of understanding that extends far beyond the Levant, which he portrays with such sensitivity and grace.” —Noam Chomsky

“A literary and spiritual ramble through the countries of the Levant. . . . Glass’s account of two months’ captivity and his escape bring to an exciting conclusion this engrossing, informative, unusual travel book.” —Publishers Weekly

“A travel book in the classic style, discursive, inquiring, agreeable, and set in places well off the tourist track, yet familiar to anyone whose imagination has been stirred by tales of the Levant, or by travels around that pleasant rim of the Mediterranean.” —John Bulloch, The Independent

“Mr. Glass is a good travel writer, with lively curiosity, a fine sense of humor, a gift for getting people to talk and a capacity for taking them as he finds them. . . . The author’s good humor and cheerfulness, even under extremely trying circumstances, are impressive and, in a measure, infectious.” —The New York Times Book Review

“I am a lifetime admirer of T.E. Lawrence, but I can’t help but remark what a great book his Seven Pillars of Wisdom would have been had he been as gifted a writer as Charles Glass.” —Miles Copeland, The Evening Standard

“One values Tribes with Flags. . . . for its style and color, its success in evoking the Levantine atmosphere.” —The Washington Post Book World

“Thoroughly enlightening.” —New York Newsday

Awards

A New York Times Book Review “Notable Book of the Year”