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War Against All: The Struggle for Northern Syria (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]

James Harkin
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 36 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

“I don’t worry about them being killed. But if they’re captured, well, that’s a bigger problem.” On 19 July 2012 armed Syrian rebels moved from the surrounding towns and countryside to launch an attack on Syria’s biggest city, Aleppo. Journalist James Harkin was in Northern Syria at the time and, in over fifteen thousand words of gripping and often moving reportage he tells the story of the battle for Aleppo province through the fortunes of one family which played a significant role in it – before, during, and after the initial assault on Aleppo.

Moving from a refugee camp on the Turkish border to a trip inside Aleppo with the armed rebels, to interviews in Istanbul and Antakya and then another journey into Syria’s Idlib province, this short book (15000 words) sheds light on the human dimension of Syria’s armed insurgency. With interviews from senior rebel commanders, fresh detail on the make-up and organisation of the Free Syrian Army, reporting on the weapons trail and new information on contacts between the American State Department and the rebels, War Against All illustrates the tribal context of the armed insurgency and the terrible dilemmas which confront many Syrian families - as their fight for freedom risks becoming snagged in larger geo-political rivalries which have little to do with them.

"Admirable." Boyd Tonkin, The Independent
"Excellent" Anna Baddeley, The Observer
“Impressive reportage on the Free Syrian Army and the ambiguities in the rebel movement” Derek Brower, stringer for The Economist in the region


James Harkin is an London-based journalist who has written from and about the Syrian revolt for The Guardian, The Atlantic, The New Republic, the BBC, Newsweek, The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and Kommersant. His books include Niche, Cyburbia and Big Ideas.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 213 KB
  • Print Length: 36 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #28,415 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

More About the Author

I'm a writer and social forecaster. I write for The Guardian, The New Republic, The Atlantic, Newsweek, the London Review of Books and have also written for The Economist. I also write books. Niche, my latest, is published by Little, Brown in the UK. Before that I wrote Cyburbia, and before that there was a book called Big Ideas, based on a weekly column I wrote for The Guardian newspaper in the UK.

I was born in Belfast and educated at St. Malachy's College Belfast, King's College London and Hertford College Oxford. Between 1996 and 1999 I taught and lectured in social and political theory at the University of Oxford. In 1999, I exited academic life to work as an analyst of global business, social, political and technological trends (or 'futurologist') at the think-tank The Intelligence Factory (then part of Young and Rubicam) in New York. Between 1999 and 2004 I worked full-time as a 'futurologist' for agencies in New York, London and in continental Europe. I also managed projects on changing social and technological trends as an associate of the London think-tank Demos, and authored a number of Demos pamphlets, including Mobilisation: The growing public interest in mobile technology, and Eternal Youths: How the baby boomers are having their time again. Since 1998 I'd been writing regularly on social, political and technological trends for British newspapers and magazines and in 2004 I became a writer for the Financial Times magazine. I've written essays, features and cover stories for the FT magazine, contributed to the comment pages on ideas and trends, interviewed everyone from Tom Friedman to Naomi Klein for the "Lunch with the FT slot" and reported for the FT from Beirut. Between September 2005 and October 2006, I wrote a column for The Guardian called BIG IDEA, and before that I wrote similar columns for The Times and the Financial Times.

I also talk. I've appeared on Newsnight, Channel 4 News and Sky News to talk about social and technological trends, and have lectured on political economy and social theory at Oxford University, the consequences of the internet at the LSE, and on the changing nature of film storytelling at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. I also talk for companies and organisations. I've delivered keynote addresses at the annual conferences of the Arts Marketing Association and Schroders Bank, for example, have led seminars at advertising agencies like McCann and participated in panel debates run by outfits like Editorial Intelligence. Between 2004 and 2009, in fact, I was on a part-time basis Director of Talks at the ICA in London. Speakers I invited to the ICA and hosted there included Malcolm Gladwell, Chris Anderson, Gerry Adams, Naomi Wolf, Boris Johnson, Antonio Negri, Amartya Sen, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Tariq Ramadan, and the late Anna Politovskaya.

Other stuff. I was the associate producer of Adam Curtis's three-part series about game theory, The Trap: Whatever happened to our dream of freedom?, which aired on BBC2 in March 2007. In the same year, I took second prize in the annual Sean O'Faolain short story competition in Ireland. My Big Ideas book was originally published in 2008 by Atlantic Books, and has now been translated into Korean, Spanish and Polish. My second book Cyburbia was published in February 2009 by Little, Brown and by Knopf in Canada. In the same year my essay "Caught in the Net" was re-published in Yale University Press's annual Best of Technology Writing book for 2010. My new book Niche was published by Little, Brown in March 2011. I was one of the associate producers of Adam Curtis's most recent three-part series about cybernetics and ecology, All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace, which aired on BBC2 in May 2011. I still work as a social forecaster, analysing and predicting trends at the intersection of technology, economy, culture and society for a new forecasting and strategic research agency called Flockwatching. In August 2011 I was one of the few journalists to report directly from the London riots; my report for The Guardian went around the world, and I talked about the impact of the riots on both BBC and NPR radio. For the last eighteen months I've been covering the conflict in Syria, for The Guardian, Newsweek, The Atlantic, The New Republic and a range of other newspapers throughout Europe; I'm also regular contributor to Radio 4's From Our Own Correspondent. My little book of reportage from Syria, War Against All, was published in November 2012 as a 'Kindle Single' ebook in the United States and around the world.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long, thrilling journalism at its very best! 17 Nov. 2012
By agogo
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wow! This is the kind of long-form journalism that I only read in journalism anthologies from the 1970's and 1980's: Hunter S. Thompson, PJ O'Rourke, old copies of Granta etc. It's a thrilling, first-person journey through Syria's rebellion, and it really succeeds in getting under the skin of what's happening more than the daily, meaningless press reports of deaths and bomb attacks. The writer shows these people as human rather than just as victims, with real dilemmas and real courage: and the real complexity of Syria's "armed struggle" against the Syrian regime.

I read this little ebook in three sittings, and couldn't wait to get back to it to see how things turn out for the family he follows.(It would have been nice to have had some pictures) If this is the future of proper, long-form reporting, to be farmed out on Amazon for the cost of a coffee, I'd much rather buy this than my daily paper (I can get the daily paper for free anyway!).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tangled Country 6 Feb. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great account of the confusion that is the situation in Syria. An assortment of opposition with not much coordination. We have groups urging secular tolerance but other groups with a record of violence and killing. One has the feeling that unless opposition can be united there are too.many struggles going on here and too many opposing sides.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad 7 Oct. 2013
By news reader - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Informative but too short; could be longer & more in depth. Needs proofing/editing though. too many errors to be sold on amazon.
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative 27 April 2013
By Candace M. Tingen - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
This all too brief single was informative. There were moments where the writing was a little dry, but overall an interesting look at the Syrian rebels, particularly their fragmented nature and misperceptions about their funding and religious beliefs. Wish it was longer and gave more context.
5.0 out of 5 stars Insight into Syria's Civil War 19 Nov. 2014
By kerry e nugent-wells - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fascinating and heartbreaking read about the early players in the conflict. If you're trying to understand who is fighting in Syria this is one place to start. Read robert Baer. He predicted the rise of jihadi in Syria. Hoping john cantlie survives.
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