SyriaA Modern History
A Modern History

Today Syria is a country known for all the wrong reasons: civil war, vicious sectarianism, and major humanitarian crisis. But how did this once rich, multi-cultural society end up as the site of one of the twenty-first century’s most devastating and brutal conflicts?

In this incisive book, internationally renowned Syria expert David Lesch takes the reader on an illuminating journey through the last hundred years of Syrian history – from the end of the Ottoman empire through to the current civil war. The Syria he reveals is a fractured mosaic, whose identity (or lack thereof) has played a crucial part in its trajectory over the past century. Only once the complexities and challenges of Syria’s history are understood can this pivotal country in the Middle East begin to rebuild and heal.

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  • April 2019
  • 160 pages
  • 122 x 176 mm / 5 x 7 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $59.95
  • 9781509527519
  • Paperback $14.95
  • 9781509527526
  • Open eBook $9.99
  • 9781509527557
Table of Contents



Chapter One: What is Syria?

Chapter Two: World War One

Chapter Three: The French Mandate

Chapter Four: Syria Amid the Cold Wars

Chapter Five: The 1967 Arab-Israeli War

Chapter Six: Syria Under Hafiz al-Assad

Chapter Seven: Bashar al-Assad in Power

Chapter Eight: The Syrian Uprising and Civil War

Further Reading

About the Author

David W. Lesch is the Ewing Halsell Distinguished Professor of History in the Department of History at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.

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“An excellent and balanced analysis of Syrian contemporary history by top Syria expert David Lesch, enabling readers to access and understand the wide-ranging complexities of this country today.”
Nikolaos van Dam, author of Destroying a Nation: The Civil War in Syria

“Lesch has masterfully distilled the complexities of Syria’s modern history into a concise and readable volume. This is essential reading for anyone new to Syria seeking an informative and well-written overview of its recent history.”
Chris Phillips, Queen Mary University of London

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