Syria: A Recent History

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Syria’s descent into civil war has already claimed an estimated 200,000 lives while more than nine million people have fled their homes. This is now the greatest humanitarian and political crisis of the twenty-first century.

In this timely account, John McHugo charts the history of Syria from the First World War to the present and considers why Syria’s foundations as a nation have proved so fragile. He examines the country’s thwarted attempts at independence under French rule before turning to more recent events: sectarian tensions, the pressures of international conflicts, two generations of rule by the Assads and the rise of ISIS.

As the conflict in Syria rages on, McHugo provides a rare and authoritative guide to a complex nation that demands our attention.

Reviews
‘[Provides] a real insight into the political fragility that underpins much of what caused the current civil war … Remarkably prescient.’ Sunday Herald

‘‘[A] very timely modern history of Syria … McHugo provides the reader with a high level of sound analysis … The book is written both with academic scrutiny and with the empathy of an individual who cares greatly for his area of study’ Journal of Peace Research

‘A fluent introduction to Syria’s recent past, this book provides the backstory to the country’s collapse into brutal civil conflict’ Andrew Arsan, St John’s College, University of Cambridge

‘A work of great ambition … Should be recommended reading for undergraduates, policy-makers and interested members of the public who wish to learn how Syria’s different communities are shaping the current civil war and are likely to be shaped by it.’ International Affairs
‘Anyone with any interest in Middle Eastern history and politics must read Syria. There was a need for an accessible guide to the past century of history, which this admirably provides.’
Geographical Magazine