The second chapter follows the careers of the Syrian poets Nizar al-Qabbani and Adonis, focusing on the socio-political developments in Syria that mirror the lives of Qabbani and Adonis.
Chapter four, "In the land of Egypt", focuses on socio-political life in Egypt post Sadat. In particular, Ajami follows the at-risk secularists in Egyptian society, such as Naguib Mahfuhz, who was almost killed in 1994 by an Islamist assassin.
The last chapter, "An Orphaned Peace", focuses on, of course, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. In particular, Ajami focuses on the response within the Arab cultural community writ large, in particular, their united opposition to the peace process.
Published by Vintage Books 1999. ISBN 978-0375704741.