Spokesmen for the Despised: Fundamentalist Leaders of the Middle East

Behind the bloody acts of terrorism, the mobs chanting with upraised fists, the backroom and front-page politics in the Middle East, stand powerful religious leaders cloaked in mystery and fanaticism. This book seeks to lifts the veils, presenting eight vivid portraits of fundamentalist leaders who have turned their charismatic religious authority to powerful political ends. The deeds of the men profiled in this book make history and headlines, whether through the anti-American rhetoric of the late Iranian revolutionary Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini; the violent acts of Hizbullah; or the group of Jewish rabbis who appear to have inspired the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The biographies include interviews with true believers and bitter opponents, and in a number of cases with the subjects themselves, placing the lives of these leaders in the contexts of their religious traditions and their varied social, political, and religious settings.