'Reviving Phoenicia' follows the social, intellectual and political development of the Phoenician myth of origin in Lebanon from the middle of the nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth. Asher Kaufman demonstrates the role played by the lay, liberal Syrian-Lebanese who resided in Beirut, Alexandria and America towards the end of the nineteenth century in the birth and dissemination of this myth. Kaufman investigates the crucial place Phoenicianism occupied in the formation of Greater Lebanon in 1920. He also explores the way the Jesuit Order and the French authorities propagated this myth during the mandate years. The book also analyzes literary writings of different Lebanese who advocated this myth, and of others who opposed it. Finally, 'Reviving Phoenicia' provides an overview of Phoenicianism from independence in 1943 to the present, demonstrating that despite the general objection to this myth, some aspects of it entered mainstream Lebanese national narratives. Kaufman's work will be vital reading for anyone interested in the birth of modern Lebanon as we know it today.
The Search for Identity in Lebanon