Author(s): Charles Glass
Since its commencement in 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. A stalemate now exists but out of the vacuum has emerged the Sunni insurgents ISIS who now, it is estimated occupies some 35% of the country, as well as vast territory across the border in Iraq. The west has failed to get to grips with this conflict. The US and Europe failed to anticipate Assad's sudden actions or his counter attacks. Support from Iran and Russia make any decisive action impossible. The consequences of that miscalculation, Charles Glass contends in this illuminating and concise survey, have contributed greatly to the unfolding disaster that we witness today. Glass combines reportage, analysis and history to provide an accessible overview of the origins and permutations defining the conflict, situating it clearly in the overall crisis of the region. His voice is elegant and concise, humane and richly-informed.
'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.' - Alan Cowell, former Middle East Bureau Chief, The New York Times '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.' - The Observer '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.' - Jonathan Randal, author of The Tragedy of Lebanon "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." - In These Times "Tells us more about the reality of Syria and its future than could be gained from any other single source." - Patrick Cockburn (from the foreword) "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." - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Charles Glass is an author, journalist and broadcaster, who specializes in the Middle East. He made headlines when taken hostage for 62 days in Lebanon by Shi'a militants in 1987, while writing a book during his time as ABC's News chief Middle East correspondent. He writes regularly for the New York Review of Books, Harper's, the London Review of Books and The Spectator. He is the author of Tribes with Flags, Money for Old Rope, The Tribes Triumphant, The Northern Front, Americans in Paris and Deserters: A Hidden History of World War II.