War Hotels is an engrossing exploration of hotels in wartime, told through the prism of the now iconic hotels that were frequented by foreign correspondents, politicians, paramilitaries and spies in conflicts in Northern Ireland, Vietnam, Cambodia, Lebanon, Iraq, and Bosnia & Herzegovina. It focuses on the hotels that became closely associated with the brutal conflicts in which they were a part, such as the Europa Hotel in Belfast, the Continental in Saigon, the Commodore in Beirut and Sarajevo’s Holiday Inn.
Building upon the research undertaken for the Al Jazeera documentary series of the same name, this book tells the stories of these hotels in even more fascinating detail, drawing upon in-depth interviews with those who witnessed the tumultuous events that took place in and around the buildings, including Martin Bell, John Simpson, Jonathan Dimbleby, Peter Arnett and Robert Fisk. By using war hotels as a lens through which to convey the human stories and the conflicts, they provide not only ‘micro-histories’, but a rich vein of historical narratives and moving personal recollections.
Introduction: The War Hotel
- The Continental and the Caravelle, Saigon, Vietnam
- The Hôtel Le Royale, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
- The Europa Hotel, Belfast, Northern Ireland
- The Holiday Inn and the Commodore, Beirut, Lebanon
- The Al Rasheed and the Palestine, Baghdad, Iraq
- The Holiday Inn, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Postscript: The Demise of the War Hotel
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Kenneth Morrison is a Professor of History at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK and was the historical consultant for the Al Jazeera series War Hotels. Abdallah El Binni is a Lebanese filmmaker and investigative journalist based in Doha, Qatar. He has covered numerous conflicts as a cameraman and photojournalist, and he was the executive producer and director of the Al Jazeera series War Hotels.
PRAISE FOR WAR HOTELS
‘A fascinating history of the iconic hotels that became islands of refuge and operational headquarters for the international press covering wars in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. … This well-researched book tells the story of how these hotels became not only central to the conflicts of which they were part but inextricably linked with them.’
John Daniszewski, Vice President, Associated Press