Over There

On the Ground in Lebanon, 1983 

Terry Anderson on the calm before he was kidnapped for more than six years.

Slate has partnered with Brooklyn Brewery and RISC to bring its hit war correspondent interview series to our readers. In this fifth installment, Steve Hindy, founder of Brooklyn Brewery and a former Associated Press foreign correspondent, sits down with Terry Anderson, former Associated Press chief Mideast correspondent and author of Den of Lions, a memoir detailing the horrific six years and nine months he spent in captivity in Lebanon.

Despite the obvious risks, when Terry Anderson first entered wartime Lebanon in 1983, he didn’t see himself as a target. “You could go anywhere, and talk to just about anybody,” he says of his first days in Beirut in the clip above. That comfort, though, would eventually give way to unease, as the unwritten rules of war soon began to change. In discussing the shifting climate prior to his kidnapping (and eventual six-plus years in captivity), Anderson describes the initial openness toward journalists—including a face-to-face meeting with Abu Nidal, who at the time was one of the world’s most wanted men—as well as the moments that made him “very conscious that something was changing.” He also explains why, despite the increasing danger and voluntary withdrawal of other news outlets, he fought to stay in Beirut, covering the war.