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The Truth about Syria
 
 

The Truth about Syria [Kindle Edition]

Barry Rubin
2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Review

'Which Middle Eastern country is like a Mafia family with a seat at the United Nations? It might seem like there could be multiple answers but there's really only one: Syria. Now we have The Truth about Syria, by Barry Rubin, to explain how the ruling Assad family is not only a mafia but bears a remarkable resemblance to the Corleones of Mario Puzo's The Godfather….Rubin's book is a breath of fresh air, compared with analysis from other Syria "experts" …These other analysts stubbornly insist that Syria can be a U.S. ally. Rubin, however, explains the futility in reaching out to Syria, just as one cannot simply ask a Mafia to stop its criminal activity.'  Jonathan Schanzer, New York Post

'Syria will play a major role in the years to come both as a player and an issue in world politics. This book, written by a veteran student of Middle East affairs, is the most up-to-date and reliable guide available on this subject.' - Walter Laqueur, Emeritus Professor, Georgetown University, U.S.A and author of No End to War: Terrorism in the Twenty-first Century and the classic The Road to War.

'Barry Rubin's book is a much-needed examination that cuts through the delusions and fantasies currently in vogue about the Assad regime. Rubin nails the nature of Syria's rulers and their behavior, explaining why they are - and will always be - hard-line, chronic exporters of instability.' - Tony Badran, Research Fellow (Levant), Foundation for Defense of Democracies

'The Truth About Syria . . . is a welcome contribution to the largely unimpressive body of research on modern Syria. Rubin's well-sourced study provides an unvarnished appraisal of Syrian politics, making no apologies for the brutal internal and destabilizing foreign policies that characterized the 30 year rule of Syrian leader Hafiz Assad and that persist under Hafiz's son and successor Bashar. The Truth About Syria is informative, insightful, and readable, and is an important contribution toward understanding this important but understudied state.' - David Schenker, Senior Fellow in Arab Politics, Washington Institute for Near East Policy

'Professor Rubin's book comes at a time when the debate over Syria and its regime is growing throughout Europe and America. He courageously gathers evidence showing the impossibility of dealing with Syria or changing its behavior. The merit of Rubin's book lies in the thorough dissection of the regime's psychological conduct, and of the tools this dictatorship has used in the past and uses now to remain in power. Any approach to the Syrian problem that does not take Professor Rubin's analysis into consideration will be an incomplete one.' - Elie Fawaz, Lebanese political analyst

'...a fascinating insight into a volatile and secretive country, which has a diverse ethnic population and serious levels of internal contention.' - Kelly Salter, Big Issue


'To beter understand it [Syria], one should read Rubin's book, a guide to the country's complexities and nuances. His vast knowledge and experience of the Middle East have produced a much needed examination of a significant state.' - Asaf Romirowsky, The Jerusalem Post

'The Truth About Syria is informative, insightful, and is an important contribution toward understanding this state, which will play a major role in the years to come both as a player and an issue in world politics.' - Middle East

Product Description

Syria has long presented a serious problem for the Middle East region and U.S. policy. With its mix of competing religious and ethnic groups, radical ideologies, and political repression, it is a 72,000-square-mile time bomb waiting to go off. Yet surprisingly, very little is known about this country and the role it has played in shaping the destiny of the Middle East. In The Truth about Syria, Middle East expert Barry Rubin looks at the critical issues that have made the country the powderkeg of the Middle East and offers an insightful analysis of the effects of recent developments.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 674 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0230604072
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Trade (29 May 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001AW2PK0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #914,386 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Poor 17 Aug 2009
By MNL
Format:Hardcover
As a recent student of the Middle East I was delighted to find a book devoted to Syria. While hundreds of books relate every nuance of the Israel/Palestine conflict, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia etc, books on Syria seem to be rare.

Unfortunately, I was very disappointed with this book. The reader learns very little about Syria itself. The whole focus is on father and son Hafiz and Bashir Assad and how they have managed to sustain their regime. The quality of the writing is very amateur and as to the 'truth', the content is almost devoid of facts. Although there are plenty of footnotes, the majority appear to be quotes from newspapers (hardly unimpeachable sources) or MEMRI (which is generally considered to be pro-Israeli biased institute).

Mr. Rubin sets out his thesis very early on and then bangs the reader over the head with it several times in each of the ten chapters.
The basic thrust is that:
1.The Assad regime is not legitimate and ruthlessly suppresses opponents
2.Syria needs the Israel/Palestine conflict to deflect from the regime's own shortcomings and so is not interested in peace
3.Syria can appear to be the main player in the Arab world without actually getting its hands dirty by use of proxies such as Hezbollah
4.Syria is never punished by the USA or the EU for its misdeeds and is thus encouraged to continue with its course of action

While I agree with some of these points, Mr.Rubin clearly sees Syria as the bad guys and as such makes no attempt to delve deeper into the country or its relations with its neighbours. It would surprise me to learn that Mr. Rubin has actually been to Syria. The content is spread thin and repeated constantly.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Unacceptably Poor 11 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm sorry to say that this book, by the late, great Barry Rubin, is a total mess.

The first and most obvious problem is the readability; it is simply an utter mess from beginning to end. It is almost as if the late professor has been transcribed in a less than focused moment. The result is something that lacks any coherence in terms of subject matter. There doesn't seem to be any aim to what he's saying and there are extensive comments about major topics covering the Mid East and Syria, but unless you know what those points allude to, you'll have no idea what he's talking about.

Better to check out one of his other books on the Mid East instead.
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12 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An Unjust Attack on Syria 25 Mar 2008
Format:Hardcover
Barry Rubin should have called his book 'An Unjust Attack on Syria'. It is so ironic that he calls a book that reflects a clear attack, and one that is written in a so matter-of-factedly manner but at the the same time full of inaccuracies and accusations 'the Truth about Syria'!!
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