The View from Damascus
Throughout the last 100 years, Syria has been a crucial hub of Middle Eastern events. As the birth place and 'pulsating heart' of Arab nationalism, and as the object of colonial and regional ambitions, Syria has been transformed into a regional power exerting influence over its neighbors. Now available in paperback, this unique bestseller sheds new light on the recent history and current politics and policies of this important Middle Eastern country. Author Itamar Rabinovich is uniquely qualified to take a panoramic view of Syria's modern history and contemporary politics. As a scholar, he spent 35 years studying Syria in diplomatic archives and through the range of sources. As a diplomat, he was Yitzhak Rabin's chief negotiator with Syria and Israel's ambassador to Washington, and thus a key participant in some of the events addressed in the book. This enlarged second edition includes a new introduction, as well as two new chapters on the Israeli-Syrian-American peace negotiations and Israel's view of the Syrian uprising. The 23 essays by Rabinovich cover the century from the eve of the First World War to the Bush Administration's row with Bashar al-Asad. The essays focus on three principal themes: the notion of a Syrian entity and its translation into a Syrian state in its current boundaries; the conflict between rival concepts of the political community that inhabits the Syrian state; and issues of foreign policy with a particular emphasis on the Syrian-Israeli conflict and peace process. The main themes of Syrian history and politics are picked up at their inception and followed through the course of the 20th century to the present day.