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Based on first-hand reporting from Syria and Washington, journalist Reese Erlich unravels the complex dynamics underlying the Syrian civil war. Through vivid, on-the-ground accounts and interviews with both rebel leaders and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Erlich gives the reader a better understanding of this momentous power struggle and why it matters.

Through his many contacts inside Syria, the author reveals who is supporting Assad and why; he describes the agendas of the rebel factions; and he depicts in stark terms the dire plight of many ordinary Syrian people caught in the cross-fire. The book also provides insights into the role of the Kurds, the continuing influence of Iran, and the policies of American leaders who seem interested only in protecting US regional interests.

Disturbing and enlightening at once, this timely book shows you not only what is happening inside Syria but why it is so important for the Middle East, the US, and the world.

Reviews

"Erlich…clearly and succinctly explains Syria’s current political and military stalemate in this important, informative, and well researched book.... Essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the current turmoil in the Middle East." —Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW “Reese Erlich takes you Inside Syria with the kind of clarity that only a superb journalist can provide. This book is a tour de force, demolishing clichés and replacing them with realities of what the hell is going on in Syria—and why. The result is a gripping narrative that combines unvarnished history with immediate truth about Syria’s present-day.” —Norman Solomon, author of War Made Easy  “A deeply readable and informative book that is particularly wise about the economic undercurrents beneath what more-superficial writers see merely as political or religious tensions. A fine introduction to one of today’s most terrible tragedies.” —Adam Hochschild, author of To End All Wars and King Leopold’s Ghost “The most useful and up-to-date analysis of the complex internal dynamics of Syria today. . . . [It] destroys many of the simplistic stereotypes prevalent in the American conventional wisdom. . . . United States policy makers should view Erlich’s masterful narrative as required reading. Had his book been available before the current violence in Syria erupted, the world might have been much wiser.” —William O. Beeman, Department of Anthropology, University of Minnesota “Veteran journalist Reese Erlich, who knows Syria well, has written what may be the definitive account thus far of both foreign and domestic factors shaping its descent into fratricidal war. With the inclusion of important historical background, interviews from inside the country, and insights into the motivations of policy makers in Washington and elsewhere, the result is thorough and balanced reporting in which few come out looking good.” —Stephen Zunes, professor of politics and coordinator of Middle Eastern studies, University of San Francisco “Erlich . . . has a rare gift for placing the human drama into its larger historical context, deftly introducing the reader to the many worlds that make up Syrian society. . . . Anyone who wants a quick but sophisticated primer on the Syrian Civil War should start here.” —Joshua Landis, director, Center for Middle East Studies, University of Oklahoma “Read this book and you will receive an in-depth, objective, and truly fair understanding of what is taking place in the Middle East at this moment. We need Reese Erlich in the mass media.” —Peter Coyote, actor, author of Sleeping Where I Fall “Reese Erlich is that increasingly rare specimen: a deeply informed foreign correspondent who immerses himself in the story he is covering. Inside Syria is fascinating and full of insights. That makes it a welcome antidote to the flood of ill-informed blather that has deformed our understanding of this alarming crisis.” —Stephen Kinzer, author of Overthrow and All the Shah’s Men  

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9781633882355

    October 15, 2016

    Prometheus Books

    326 pages

    RRP $29.99

    Online retailers

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    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
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    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Hardback

    9781616149482

    October 15, 2014

    Prometheus Books

    287 pages

    RRP $42.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au