“Since the start of the Syrian uprising, Saleh’s influence and his role as an incisive critic of extremism, dictatorship, and the effects of mass violence on Syrian society have offered powerful and compelling responses to the traumas that define the contemporary Syrian experience.”—Steven Heydemann, author of Authoritarianism in Syria: Institutions and Social Conflict, 1946–1970
This first book in English by Yassin Al-Haj Saleh, the intellectual voice of the Syrian revolution, describes with precision and fervor the events that led to the Syrian uprising of 2011—the metamorphosis of the popular revolution into a regional war and the “three monsters” Saleh sees “treading on Syria’s corpse”: the Assad regime and its allies, ISIS and other jihadists, and the West. Where conventional wisdom has it that Assad’s army is now battling against religious fanatics for control of the country, Saleh argues that the emancipatory, democratic mass movement that ignited the revolution still exists, though it is beset on all sides.
Saleh offers incisive critiques of the impact of the revolution and war on Syrian governance, identity, and society to produce a powerful and compelling response to the traumas that define the contemporary Syrian experience. All those concerned with the conflict should take note.
Yassin al-Haj Saleh is widely regarded as Syria’s foremost thinker and the intellectual authority of the Syrian uprising. Born in Raqqa, he spent sixteen years as a political prisoner in Syria (1980–1996) and has been living in exile in Turkey since 2013. He is the author of six books.