Syria Burning
A Short History of a Catastrophe
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192 pages / March 2016 / 9781784785161
March 2016 / 9781784785185

What are the origins of the Syrian crisis, and why did no one do anything to stop it?

Since the upsurge of the Arab Spring in 2011, the Syrian civil war has claimed in excess of 200,000 lives, with an estimated 8 million Syrians, more than a third of the country’s population, forced to flee their homes. Militant Sunni groups, such as ISIS, have taken control of large swathes of the nation. The impact of this catastrophe is now being felt on the streets of Europe and the United States.

Veteran Middle East expert Charles Glass combines reportage, analysis, and history to provide an accessible overview of the origins and permutations defining the conflict. He also gives a powerful argument for why the West has failed to get to grips with the consequences of the crisis.


“Tells us more about the reality of Syria and its future than could be gained from any other single source.”

“More than ever in the era of 24-hour sound-bite news, events demand the long view if they are to be explicable. With his deep experience of the Levant, that is exactly what Charlie Glass offers the student of the Middle East in this timely, elegant and penetrating study of turmoil that has reshaped the region.”

“If news moves fast, assessments have not, which is one reason why we should all read Syria Burning … [But] there is another, better reason to read this book. Glass has been traveling in and writing about the Middle East since the 1980s … His view on how the conflict has escalated and why it has not taken the turns many others anticipated make for enlightening reading.”

“Read Syria Burning to understand why the Assad regime was uniquely prepared and determined to resist the winds of change, even if the war doubtless marks the end of a century of post-Ottoman history.”

“Cutting through the misrepresentation that plagues most media coverage of the region, Glass clearly explains the current conflict, drawing on his extensive reporting experience in Syria.”

“Glass has tackled an enormously complex war and its context... If we learned and took to the heart the history outlined in 'Syria Burning', perhaps we wouldn't repeat it.”

“Glass traces a brief history of Syria up to the first protests against the Bashar al-Assad regime in 2011, and then describes the sad descent from peaceful pro-democracy protests to a sectarian bloodbath mixed with regional and global proxy war. He pulls no punches, condemning all sides for their role in the destruction of a country. No hands are clean and Glass takes no prisoners.”

“Glass offers a brief but necessary look at the country's past.”

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