Burning Country

Burning Country : Syrians in Revolution and War

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**SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 RATHBONES FOLIO PRIZE** In 2011, many Syrians took to the streets of Damascus to demand the overthrow of the government of Bashar al-Assad. Today, much of Syria has become a warzone where foreign journalists find it almost impossible to report on life in this devastated land. Burning Country explores the horrific and complicated reality of life in present-day Syria with unprecedented detail and sophistication, drawing on new first-hand testimonies from opposition fighters, exiles lost in an archipelago of refugee camps, and courageous human rights activists among many others. These stories are expertly interwoven with a trenchant analysis of the brutalisation of the conflict and the militarisation of the uprising, of the rise of the Islamists and sectarian warfare, and the role of governments in Syria and elsewhere in exacerbating those violent processes. With chapters focusing on ISIS and Islamism, regional geopolitics, the new grassroots revolutionary organisations, and the worst refugee crisis since World War Two, Burning Country is a vivid and groundbreaking look at a modern-day political and humanitarian nightmare.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 27.94mm | 430.91g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745336272
  • 9780745336275
  • 2,171,585

Review quote

For decades Syrians have been forbidden from telling their own stories and the story of their country, but here Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila al-Shami tell the Syrian story. Their words represent the devastated country which has denied them and their compatriots political representation. Burning Country is an indispensable book for those who wish to know the truth about Syria. -- Yassin al-Haj Saleh, Syrian writer, intellectual, and former political prisoner Burning Country is poised to become the definitive book not only on the continuing Syrian conflict but on the country and its society as a whole. Very few books have been written on 'the kingdom of silence' that effectively capture how we all got here while not omitting the human voice, the country's heroes and heroines -- a combination that is rare but essential for understanding the conflict and its complexities. Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami have written a must-read book even as the conflict still rages to understand what happened, why it happened and how it should end. -- Hassan Hassan, co-author of ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror (New York Times bestseller), and Associate Fellow, Chatham House, London By far the best account of the Syrian uprising yet. It is a comprehensive and nuanced analysis of a multifaceted geopolitical conflict and myriad grassroots struggles. Anyone interested in comprehending the highly convoluted situation in Syria must read this extremely sophisticated book. -- Dr. Yasser Munif, professor of sociology at Emerson College, co-founder of the Global Campaign of Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution Burning Country could have been titled A People's History of the Syrian Revolution and War: it provides a view from below that constitutes the perfect antidote to geopolitical reductionism. This book is unique in its combination of first-hand material derived from fieldwork, factual and analytical rigour, and unshakable faith in the Syrian people's struggle for justice and dignity. -- Thomas Pierret, Lecturer in Contemporary Islam, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Edinburgh, and Director of the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World (CASAW) Extraordinary... the book on Syria I was waiting for. -- Molly Crabapple, artist, author, journalist Gripping... Cutting through [the] fog of geopolitics, [Burning Country] re-focuses the conflict with the people at its center. -- Brian Whitaker, Newsweek The authors offer a detailed history of Syria's moderate opposition and a meticulous analysis of the origins of today's violent dynamics. -- New Statesman Offers a compelling counter-narrative, rich with the voices of the Syrian people -- In These Times Robin Yassin-Kassab and Laila al-Shami's Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War explores how Syria's peaceful uprising gave way to armed insurgency and sectarian jihad... This is an important, honest and insightful book, well worth anyone's time.' -- Marc Lynch, Washington Post 'Anyone who doubts the popular nature of the Syrian Revolution should read Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila al-Shami's stirring account.' -- Ashley Smith, Socialist Worker.orgshow more

About Robin Yassin-Kassab

Robin Yassin-Kassab is a regular media commentator on Syria and the Middle East. He is the author of the novel The Road from Damascus (Hamish Hamilton, 2008) and a contributor to Syria Speaks (Saqi, 2014). Leila Al-Shami has worked with the human rights movement in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East. She was a founding member of Tahrir-ICN, a network that aimed to connect anti-authoritarian struggles across the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.show more

Table of contents

Acknowledgements Preface 1. Revolution From Above 2. Bashaar's First Decade 3. Revolution From Below 4. The Grassroots 5. Militarisation and Liberation 6. Scorched Earth - The Rise of the Islamisms 7. Dispossession and Exile 8. Culture Revolutionised 9. The Failure of the Elites 10. The Start of Solidarity Epilogue List of organisations Notes Indexshow more

Rating details

290 ratings
4.42 out of 5 stars
5 56% (163)
4 33% (97)
3 8% (23)
2 1% (3)
1 1% (4)
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