Mr Fisk is a gifted writer and an accomplished storyteller, so those who have not read him before will enjoy the famous correspondent's colourful narrative. Mr Fisk tries to tell the story of the Middle East, but he does not flinch from telling the story of Mr Fisk. So here is not only a record of what he has seen and reported since 1976 in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Algeria and many other dusty and violent places, but also a tale of how he got the lead, wangled the flight, bribed the guard and brought home the scoop. The Times offered Mr Fisk the Middle East when he was only 29, and his love affair with the region and the glamorous profession of being a foreign correspondent finds expression on every page.
The Economist's editorial line, which is largely pro-Israel and neo-conservative (and, increasingly, rather defensive about it), does not prevent it from giving Fisk a thumbs-up despite a few caveats.