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Historical Dictionary of Syria
     

Historical Dictionary of Syria

by David W. Lesch, David Commins
 

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In 2011, massive protest movements that appeared to come out of nowhere caught the Arab world’s autocrats by surprise and brought down powerful leaders in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. Thousands of Syrians took to the streets in March 2011 calling for the “fall of the regime,” the popular slogan of Arab uprisings, but found themselves

Overview

In 2011, massive protest movements that appeared to come out of nowhere caught the Arab world’s autocrats by surprise and brought down powerful leaders in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. Thousands of Syrians took to the streets in March 2011 calling for the “fall of the regime,” the popular slogan of Arab uprisings, but found themselves confronting a determined foe willing to slaughter thousands of citizens and to destroy entire city neighborhoods in order to hold onto power. By the middle of 2013, Syria was in the midst of a nightmarish civil war marked by more than 80,000 deaths, sectarian massacres, the flight of one-fourth the country’s population from their homes, the disintegration of government institutions in much of the country, and a rising humanitarian crisis as food, medicine, and electricity grew short. Nobody in Syria or the outside world appears to be in a position to stop what looked like a fight to the bitter end, at whatever cost to the country.

This third edition of the Historical Dictionary of Syria covers the recent events in Syria as well as the history that led up to these events. This is done through a chronology, an introductory essay, and an extensive bibliography. The cross-referenced dictionary section has over 500 entries on significant persons, places and events, political parties and institutions, literature, music and the arts. This book is an excellent resource for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about Syria.

Editorial Reviews

CHOICE
Written by accomplished historians and scholars Commins and Lesch, this third edition updates and expands previous ones. It provides entries about historically significant persons, events, places, and institutions, starting from 3500 BCE. This historical dictionary is unique in featuring two chronologies and essentially two separate introductions. The first chronology and introduction provide a time line and broad overview of Syria's history to the present era. Entries are well written and organized alphabetically. The second chronology and time line are dedicated to the ongoing Syrian uprising. The introduction contextualizes the Syrian uprising within the broader Arab Spring movement and provides readers with a good overview of how the present situation in Syria developed. The chronology offers information through June 2013. While the dictionary portion in the book's first section is organized like those in other historical dictionaries in the series, with subjects intermingled alphabetically, the portion focusing on the uprising is organized by categories and then alphabetically. The extensive bibliography is divided into 30 different subjects to help readers discover additional references. This volume's special focus on the Syrian uprising makes it an especially valuable addition to university collections. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through researchers/faculty.
American Reference Books Annual
Syria, one of the most important countries in the Middle East, has undergone tremendous change since the 2d edition (2004) of this valuable reference work, the only volume in English specifically devoted to the country. Particularly significant changes have transpired since 2011 with the Arab uprising when Syrians took to the streets demanding a new regime. Tens of thousands of Syrians have been killed, some 25 percent of the population has fled the country, and much of the government has deteriorated. The new edition contains more than 500 entries on the most important political figures and events, religious groups and movements, economic sectors, social institutions, and cultural facets. Nearly 150 new entries have been added and more than 50 entries have been updated. Greater attention is given to social institutions, cultural aspects, and economic issues. Besides the alphabetically arranged entries, the volume contains a chronology; extensive bibliography; Websites and Internet resources; and a specific section dedicated to the Syrian uprising. The author is a specialist who first studied in Syria as an undergraduate and has resided there for extensive periods of time. This very fine reference work should be acquired in all large libraries with full coverage of Middle East reference tools.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810878204
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
12/18/2013
Series:
Historical Dictionaries of Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East Series
Edition description:
Third Edition
Pages:
520
Product dimensions:
8.90(w) x 5.50(h) x 1.60(d)

Meet the Author

David Commins is professor of History and Benjamin Rush Chair in the Liberal Arts and Sciences at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He received a Fulbright-Hays doctoral dissertation research grant to study Muslim religious reformers in the late Ottoman period at Damascus University in Syria, and he has published several books on the Middle East.

David W. Lesch is professor of Middle East History at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. He is the author or editor of 12 books on the Middle East.

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