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My American Bride
A Tale of Love and War
Elie A. Salem

6" x 9" • 286 pages
ISBN 9780704371378 • hardback • $30.00

"In his heartfelt memoir ... [Salem] attributes all his career success to his American wife, Phyllis ... Alternatively sad and funny ... Above all 'My American Bride' should read a a remarkable illustration of how deeply the roots of love bind, even years after death."
—The Daily Star


"I sit in the same small village where I was born, some ten miles from the Biblical Cedars of Lebanon ... I wonder if there is value in writing my story ... I am a Lebanese man of the twentieth century. I was a national leader in timesof unimaginable unrest and strife. My story is inextricably bound to the story of a Midwest American girl who became my wife ... my children have grown up and departed each in his or her own way. My wife, the woman I loved and who is the reason I think of writing this account, died three years ago. I find myself in dialogue with myself. The more lonely I am, the more intense the dialogue..."
From the author’s preface

Exactly one year after arriving in 1951 as a student in the USA, Elie A. Salem met a young American woman with whom he was to fall in love. She became his wife and went back to live in her husband’s homeland as an American yet, when she died, as his brother would tell him, she died a Lebanese. My American Bride is the hauntingly wonderful chronicle of a remarkable relationship.

For well over half a century, as her husband pursued a highly successful career as an academic, politician and statesman, his wife Phyllis would always be at his side. And this moving account tells the story. However, there is another reason, the author hopes, for his book to be read. "This is not a good time for Arabs and Americans," he writes. "Indeed a wave of hatred and abject misunderstanding permeates the sphere between them. I write in the hope that it is useful to tell our story, essentially a love story, at such a time."

Dr Elie A. Salem is President of Balamand University in North Lebanon, after a distinguished career in academe and politics. He was professor of Political Science at the American University of Beirut and Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at AUB from 1974 until 1982, when he became Lebanon’s Minister of Foreign and Expatriate Affairs during Amin Gemayel’s presidency (1982-88). Dr Salem has written numerous books and articles; most recently, a study of violence and diplomacy based upon his experience as a government minister.

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