Syria's descent into chaos since 2011 has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, while more than nine million people have fled their homes. 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: two generations of rule by the Assad family, sectarian tensions, the pressures that turned an aborted revolution into a proxy war, and the appearance of ISIS. As the conflict in Syria rages on, McHugo provides a rare and authoritative guide to a complex nation that demands our attention.
John McHugo is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Syrian Studies at St Andrews University. A board member of the Council for Arab British Understanding and the British Egyptian Society, he is also chair of the Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine. McHugo's writing has featured in History Today, The World Today, Jewish Quarterly and on the BBC News website. His debut work, A Concise History of the Arabs, was published to critical acclaim in 2013. McHugo was shortlisted for the Salon Transmission Prize in 2014.
List of Maps Chronology Glossary Preface 1 The Land that Once was Known as Shaam 2 French Rule, 1920 - 1946 3 From Independence to Hafez al-Assad, 1946 - 1970 4 Hafez al-Assad, 1970 - 2000: Foreign Policy Challenges 5 Inside the Syria of Hafez al-Assad, 1970 - 2000 6 Bashar al-Assad, 2000 - : From Succession to Civil War 7 Drawing the Threads Together Acknowledgements Notes Bibliography Index