's narrator is Liraz "Erez" Liberti, a twenty-one year
old Lieutenant in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) responsible for a squad of
thirteen young men. Liberti relates his experiences and those of his men as they
staff an exposed Israeli outpost in Southern Lebanon shortly before and during
its abandonment in 2000. Like many war stories, Beaufort
focuses on the
camaraderie that develops between the soldiers as they mature into men. It
explores the men's lives and feelings as they face hours of isolation and
boredom punctuated by periods of terror and violence, as well as the physical
and emotional toll war takes on the men and their families.
This first-person account reads as if it were Liberti's diary,
or a long letter home that Liberti will never mail. As such, the text is a
stream-of-consciousness, particularly in the...
Beyond the Book
Beaufort Castle, the setting for Beaufort
, sits on a
high, rocky outcropping in southern Lebanon (map). Known in Arabic as Shqif Arnun
("High Rock"), it soars 1000 meters (more than 3000 feet) above the Litani River
Valley. Its commanding,
360-degree views have made it perfectly suited for a
command post or lookout, and it has been used as such for over 1000 years.
Not much is known of Beaufort's early history. Given its ideal
location, scholars believe it may have been used in Biblical or Roman times as a
military outpost. Arab occupants enlarged it; and the French Crusaders, who
occupied it beginning in 1139 BCE, made further refinements to its structure.
Passageways and underground chambers were tunneled into the...