Historical Dictionary of Syria

Historical Dictionary of Syria

by David Commins
     
 

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This Second Edition gives the reader easy access to the history and contemporary situation of one of the world's ancient civilizations. The heart of the work is more than 350 entries on the most influential political figures and events, religious groups and movements, economic sectors, social institutions, and cultural facets. The second edition includes nearly 100

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Overview

This Second Edition gives the reader easy access to the history and contemporary situation of one of the world's ancient civilizations. The heart of the work is more than 350 entries on the most influential political figures and events, religious groups and movements, economic sectors, social institutions, and cultural facets. The second edition includes nearly 100 entirely new entries and updates on 43 entries from the first edition. An important difference between the two editions is the inclusion of many more entries on social institutions, such as the family and coffeehouses, cultural aspects, such as art, architecture, cinema, literature, music, and theater, and economic facets, such as inflation, corruption, the public sector, and efforts at reform. There is also expanded coverage on Syria's political dynamics, with entries on human rights, civil society, and security forces. The only specific reference work in English, this new edition addresses profound changes in Syria's domestic and regional circumstances. The domestic political scene witnessed a major transition with the passing of Syria's ruler for 30 years, Hafiz al-Asad, and the unexpectedly smooth succession of his son Bashar as new president in 2000. The regional situation has changed even more since the first edition came out in 1996. Peace talks with Israel collapsed in 2000 and three years later the United States invaded Iraq, beginning an occupation of Syria's neighbor for an indeterminate period, with incalculable consequences. In addition to the A to Z dictionary, the second edition contains a chronology that presents fairly general information on early centuries and becomes quite detailed for the most recent years. The bibliography also reflects significant changes in research on Syria. Not only does the bibliographical essay highlight important new monographs, it introduces the reader to credible Internet resources for guides to travel and popular culture as well as news and statistical data at major international organizations'

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Editorial Reviews

American Reference Books Annual
Syria, one of the most important countries in the Middle East, has undergone tremendous change since the 1st edition of this valuable reference work, the only volume in English specifically devoted to the country....Because Syria is little known and has not had extensive coverage in the news, most libraries probably will consider a $70 reference book on the country a low priority. This would be unfortunate. This very fine reference work should be acquired in all large libraries with full coverage of Middle East reference tools.
Booklist
Like other volumes in the series, this one provides an authoritative and succinct overview of the history of a nation about which many Americans are ignorant. It would be a good addition to academic and large public library collections.
CHOICE
The latest in this excellent series...articles are accurate, clearly written, and concise...Recommended. All collections.
Middle East Journal
An extensive resource that allows the reader to reference Syria's past and present.
MESA Bulletin
Praise for the first edition: The thoroughness of his work in this historical dictionary is among its more noteworthy traits. Every public and undergraduate library should own this dictionary.....
Choice
The latest in this excellent series...articles are accurate, clearly written, and concise...Recommended. All collections.
American Reference Books Annual (ARBA)
Syria, one of the most important countries in the Middle East, has undergone tremendous change since the 1st edition of this valuable reference work, the only volume in English specifically devoted to the country....Because Syria is little known and has not had extensive coverage in the news, most libraries probably will consider a $70 reference book on the country a low priority. This would be unfortunate. This very fine reference work should be acquired in all large libraries with full coverage of Middle East reference tools.
Booknews
A Syrian historical dictionary providing brief definitions of important personalities, places, events, and linguistic and religious groups from the Arab conquest in the 17th century to the present. Commins (history, Dickinson College) introduces the country with a general overview of its geography, population, and history which includes economic, political, and cultural attributes. The bibliography is divided by subject and will give scholars at least a rudimentary start in researching Syria's vast history from 2000 B.C. to current Arab-Israeli diplomatic negotiations. Includes a chronology and maps. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810849341
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
05/28/2004
Series:
Historical Dictionaries of Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East Series, #50
Edition description:
Second Edition
Pages:
376
Product dimensions:
6.18(w) x 8.74(h) x 1.06(d)

Meet the Author

David Commins is professor of history at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He became interested in Islam, Arabic, and Middle Eastern history as an undergraduate student at University of California, Berkeley. He has resided for extensive periods in Damascus, Syria and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to research modern trends in Islamic thought.

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