Author(s): Megan Stack
Los Angeles Times foreign correspondent Megan Stack was 24 when the attacks of September 11 occurred and she was sent to chronicle the war in Afghanistan. She spent the next decade of her life in the Middle East, covering the far-flung and ever morphing 'war on terror'. Stack has roamed every Arab country from Israel to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen: war zones where politics, strategy, finance, and propaganda seep one into the other, and being a young woman is no asset. Every Man in this Village is a Liar recounts these experiences. Reporting amid the region's chaos, Stack witnessed U.S. foreign policy as it evolved, shifted and contradicted itself from Tora Bora to support for Lebanon's 'Cedar Revolution', the tacit acceptance of Saudi Arabia's sexist stance on women, and unwavering support for Israel. And as a young American woman, she became all too aware of shrinking under the various coverings she was often forced to wear so she could walk the streets safely. For Stack, it's impossible to truly understand the wars in the Middle East by viewing the conflict in the black and white terms that are so often fed to us by the media. The conflict isn't as clear-cut as us versus them; who the terrorists are and ultimately what constitutes terrorism itself turns out to be as subjective as the opinions of the array of people Stack encounters. Driven by the ever-widening chasm between the West and the Middle East, this exceptional first work of non-fiction introduces a cast of characters plagued by the violence, love, friendship, shame, and disillusionment of war. We get to know warlords, doctors, students, oil wives, politicos, and an unlikely reporter who managers to hold her ground against terrorism and vast moral and ethical uncertainties, all the while unsure of when it might all be over.