On 20 January Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War, a book I co-authored with Robin Yassin-Kassab, will be launched.
The book would not have been possible without the help of many courageous and inspirational Syrians who shared their stories with us.
Here is some information about the book and launch events:
About the book (publisher blurb):
In 2011, many Syrians took to the streets to demand the overthrow of the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Today, much of Syria has become a warzone where foreign journalists find it almost impossible to report on life in this devastated land.
Burning Country explores the horrific and complicated reality of life in present-day Syria with unprecedented detail and sophistication, drawing on new first-hand testimonies from opposition fighters, exiles lost in an archipelago of refugee camps, and courageous human rights activists among many others. These stories are expertly interwoven with a trenchant analysis of the brutalisation of the conflict and the militarisation of the uprising, of the rise of the Islamists and sectarian warfare, and the role of governments in Syria and elsewhere in exacerbating those violent processes.
With chapters focusing on ISIS and Islamism, regional geopolitics, the new grassroots revolutionary organisations, and the worst refugee crisis since World War Two, Burning Country is a vivid and groundbreaking look at a modern-day political and humanitarian nightmare.
About the author:
Robin Yassin-Kassab is a regular media commentator on Syria and the Middle East. He is the author of the novel The Road from Damascus (Hamish Hamilton, 2008) and a contributor to Syria Speaks (Saqi, 2014).
Leila Al-Shami has worked with the human rights movement in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East. She was a founding member of Tahrir-ICN, a network that aimed to connect anti-authoritarian struggles across the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.
Praise for Burning Country:
‘For decades Syrians have been forbidden from telling their own stories and the story of their country, but here Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila al-Shami tell the Syrian story. Their words represent the devastated country which has denied them and their compatriots political representation. Burning Country is an indispensable book for those who wish to know the truth about Syria.’
– Yassin al-Haj Saleh
‘Burning Country is poised to become the definitive book not only on the continuing Syrian conflict but on the country and its society as a whole. Very few books have been written on ‘the kingdom of silence’ that effectively capture how we all got here while not omitting the human voice, the country’s heroes and heroines — a combination that is rare but essential for understanding the conflict and its complexities. Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami have written a must-read book even as the conflict still rages to understand what happened, why it happened and how it should end.’
– Hassan Hassan, co-author of ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror (New York Times bestseller), Associate Fellow, Chatham House, London
‘By far the best account of the Syrian uprising yet. It is a comprehensive and nuanced analysis of a multifaceted geopolitical conflict and myriad grassroots struggles. Anyone interested in comprehending the highly convoluted situation in Syria must read this extremely sophisticated book.’
– Dr. Yasser Munif, professor of sociology at Emerson College, co-founder of the Global Campaign of Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution
‘Burning Country could have been titled “A People’s History of the Syrian Revolution and War”: it provides a view from below that constitutes the perfect antidote to geopolitical reductionism. This book is unique in its combination of first-hand material derived from fieldwork, factual and analytical rigour, and unshakable faith in the Syrian people’s struggle for justice and dignity.
– Thomas Pierret, Lecturer in Contemporary Islam, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Edinburgh, and Director of the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World
Read an extract from the book: http://issuu.com/plutopress/docs/kassab_burning
Buy the book from the UK publisher:
Buy the book in Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/Burning-Country-Syrians-Revolution-War/dp/0745336221/
Buy the book in the United States:
Want an inspection copy for your course? Visit http://www.plutobooks.com/lecturers.asp
Want a book for review? Email the publisher’s publicity team at email@example.com
UK Launch Events with Robin:
18.30 Wednesday 20th January: Amnesty International, London (in conversation with Amnesty’s Kristyan Benedict)
19.00 Thursday 21st January: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
14.00 Saturday 23rd January: the Idea Store, London (in conversation with Patrick Kingsley, with a focus on migration)
19.00 Wednesday 27th January: Mosaic Rooms, London (in conversation with Malu Halasa)
13.00 Thursday 28th January: Chatham House, London
19.00 Thursday 28th January: SOAS, London
18.30 Thursday 4th February: Word Power Books, Edinburgh (in conversation with Sam Charles Hamad)
15.30 Saturday 6th February: Festival of Questions, Lancaster (with Malu Halasa and Simon Mabon)
Tuesday 16th February: Waterstones, Byres Road, Glasgow (in conversation with Peter Geoghegan)
27th or 28th February: Bare Lit Festival, London
1st March: Waterstones Picadilly, London