My Favorite Syria Books

A Listmania! list by Joshua M. Landis "Joshua Landis" (Oklahoma)
(REAL NAME)   
The list author says: "These are some great classics and new issues on Syria"
The Struggle for Power in Syria: Politics and Society under Asad and the Ba'th Party
1.  The Struggle for Power in Syria: Politics and Society under Asad and the Ba'th Party by Nikolaos van Dam
The list author says:
  "Van Dam's book is one of the three most important on Asad's Syria. (Batatu and Seale are the others) It explains how sectarianism works in Syria with subtlety and wisdom. This updated edition has a new chapter and other updates."
$18.54   Used & New from: $10.71
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Asad: The Struggle for the Middle East
2.  Asad: The Struggle for the Middle East by Patrick Seale
The list author says:
  "Seale's Asad remains the best and most readable overall book on modern Syrian history."
$33.26   Used & New from: $12.72
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Demystifying Syria (SOAS Middle East Issues)
3.  Demystifying Syria (SOAS Middle East Issues) by Fred H. Lawson
The list author says:
  "A solid and up to date collection of articles. Be warned, I have one on the Syrian opposition in this collection."
Used & New from: $17.98
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Road to Damascus
4.  Road to Damascus by Elaine Rippey Imady
The list author says:
  "An excellent memoir by the American wife of Muhammad Imadi, long serving Minister of the Economy. She speaks candidly of the difficulties that other Western wives had in adjusting to Syria. Having converted to Islam, she discusses the issues facing women in the faith. The mother of three, she speaks candidly about attitudes on child rearing and education."
$17.96   Used & New from: $2.88
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

The Bread of Angels: A Journey to Love and Faith
5.  The Bread of Angels: A Journey to Love and Faith by Stephanie Saldana
The list author says:
  "Saldana has written a beautiful, funny, and learned memoir of her year in Damascus, falling in love, finding Jesus in Islam, teaching at a Koranic school for girls, and study Islam with one of Damascus' leading Shaykhas. Saldana is a major new voice. This is a total treat and magical."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)

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Syria's Peasantry, the Descendants of Its Lesser Rural Notables, and Their Politics
6.  Syria's Peasantry, the Descendants of Its Lesser Rural Notables, and Their Politics by Hanna Batatu
The list author says:
  "After Seale, Batatu is a classic must read. It is full of fascinating detail about Alawites, Druze, and Syria's many rural communities. Batatu goes far beyond the usual story to explain the success (and failures) of Asad's rule."
$74.62   Used & New from: $69.56
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

The View From Damascus: State, Political Community and Foreign Relations in Twentieth-Century Syria
7.  The View From Damascus: State, Political Community and Foreign Relations in Twentieth-Century Syria by Itamar Rabinovich
The list author says:
  "This new book by Itamar Rabinovich should be excellent. He was Israel's negotiator with Syria under Prime Minister Rabin and he is Israel's foremost scholar on Syria. Everything he writes is a must read for those interested in Syria."
$56.95   Used & New from: $52.95
1.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Inheriting Syria: Bashar's Trial by Fire
8.  Inheriting Syria: Bashar's Trial by Fire by Flynt Lawrence Leverett
The list author says:
  "Leverett is an ex-NSC and CIA hand who argues persuasively for Engagement with Syria. A good short overview of recent political history."
$25.76   Used & New from: $0.08
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Syria and Iran: Diplomatic Alliance and Power Politics in the Middle East (Library of Modern Middle East Studies)
9.  Syria and Iran: Diplomatic Alliance and Power Politics in the Middle East (Library of Modern Middle East Studies) by Jubin M. Goodarzi
The list author says:
  "A good overview of this Syria's relationship with its irreplaceable ally."
Used & New from: $23.25
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Syrian Episodes: Sons, Fathers, and an Anthropologist in Aleppo
10.  Syrian Episodes: Sons, Fathers, and an Anthropologist in Aleppo by John Borneman
The list author says:
  "Fun encounter of a Princeton anthropologist with the shabab of Aleppo. Borneman spent a Fulbright year living in the old souq and had many interesting encounters with young men. Well written."
$32.58   Used & New from: $0.10
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

The Monuments of Syria
11.  The Monuments of Syria by Ross Burns
The list author says:
  "Solid guide to Syria's monuments."
Used & New from: $13.48
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Syria: A Historical And Architectural Guide
12.  Syria: A Historical And Architectural Guide by Warwick Ball
The list author says:
  "Best useful travel guide to Syrian ruins."
$17.96   Used & New from: $0.07
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

Steel & Silk: Men & Women Who Have Shaped Syria 1900-2000
13.  Steel & Silk: Men & Women Who Have Shaped Syria 1900-2000 by Sami M. Moubayed
The list author says:
  "Very Useful collection of biographies of Syria's leading statesmen of the 20th century. Moubayed is one of Syria's leading historians."
$28.45   Used & New from: $12.95
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Syria: Ballots or Bullets? : Democracy, Islamism, and Secularism in the Levant
14.  Syria: Ballots or Bullets? : Democracy, Islamism, and Secularism in the Levant by Carsten Wieland
The list author says:
  "Very useful and readable short history of the first years of Bashar al-Asad's presidency. Describes the Damascus Spring and its repression. Many revealing interviews with Syria's reformers and opposition."
Used & New from: $34.95

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Levantine Arabic for Non-Natives: A Proficiency-Oriented Approach: Student Book (Yale Language Series)
15.  Levantine Arabic for Non-Natives: A Proficiency-Oriented Approach: Student Book (Yale Language Series) by Lutfi Hussein
The list author says:
  "Useful primer."
$28.50   Used & New from: $19.25
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Syria, the United States, and the War on Terror in the Middle East (Praeger Security International)
16.  Syria, the United States, and the War on Terror in the Middle East (Praeger Security International) by Robert G. Rabil
The list author says:
  "This is the most up to date book on Syrian-US relations. It takes the long view, reviewing the troubled relationship since 1945. Dispassionate and solid."
$47.45   Used & New from: $2.18
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

An Arab-Syrian Gentleman and Warrior in the Period of the Crusades
17.  An Arab-Syrian Gentleman and Warrior in the Period of the Crusades by Usāmah ibn Munqidh
The list author says:
  "Classic Syrian view of the Crusaders. Full of insight still relevant today."
$26.60   Used & New from: $9.55
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Syria under Bashar al-Asad: Modernisation and the Limits of Change (Adelphi series)
18.  Syria under Bashar al-Asad: Modernisation and the Limits of Change (Adelphi series) by Volker Perthes
The list author says:
  "Perthes is one of the leading Syrianists, who now heads a major German think-tank."
$32.43   Used & New from: $19.18

The Asian Mystery Illustrated in the History, Religion, and Present State of the Ansaireeh or Nusairis of Syria
19.  The Asian Mystery Illustrated in the History, Religion, and Present State of the Ansaireeh or Nusairis of Syria by Samuel Lyde
The list author says:
  "One of the great 19th c. works on Alawites. One of the starting points to understanding who rules Syria."
$14.37   Used & New from: $9.10

The New Lion of Damascus: Bashar al-Asad and Modern Syria
20.  The New Lion of Damascus: Bashar al-Asad and Modern Syria by David W. Lesch
The list author says:
  "A friendly and useful biography of Bashar al-Assad. Lesch interviewed Assad for many hours and has an important argument."
Used & New from: $3.24
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Colonial Citizens
21.  Colonial Citizens by Elizabeth Thompson
The list author says:
  "Thomson's book is smart. It provides invaluable cultural detail about the rise of the Women's Movement, cinema, and many other interesting aspects of Syrian life during the Mandate and early years of Syrian nationhood."
$30.40   Used & New from: $15.99
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Being Modern in the Middle East: Revolution, Nationalism, Colonialism, and the Arab Middle Class
22.  Being Modern in the Middle East: Revolution, Nationalism, Colonialism, and the Arab Middle Class by Keith David Watenpaugh
The list author says:
  "Excellent study of the emerging middle class and national identity in Syria after WW1. Aleppo takes pride of place. Using the religiously diverse city of Aleppo, Syria, as a point of departure, Watenpaugh explores the larger political and social implications of what being modern meant in the non-West in the first half of the twentieth century."
Used & New from: $21.08
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

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The Struggle for Syria: A study in Post-War Arab Politics, 1945-1958, New Edition
23.  The Struggle for Syria: A study in Post-War Arab Politics, 1945-1958, New Edition by Patrick Seale
The list author says:
  "Seale's other great classic on Syria. If you want to know about the rise of the Baath or why Parliamentary democracy failed in Syria, read this."
Used & New from: $721.24
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Islamic Reform: Politics and Social Change in Late Ottoman Syria (Studies in Middle Eastern History)
24.  Islamic Reform: Politics and Social Change in Late Ottoman Syria (Studies in Middle Eastern History) by David Dean Commins
The list author says:
  "A classic on the turn the Salafi-modernist movement among Islamic scholars in Syria leading up to WWI."
$123.50   Used & New from: $48.25
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Commanding Syria: Bashar al-Asad and the First Years in Power (Library of Modern Middle East Studies)
25.  Commanding Syria: Bashar al-Asad and the First Years in Power (Library of Modern Middle East Studies) by Eyal Ziser
The list author says:
  "Zisser is a wise and careful observer of Syria."
$86.02   Used & New from: $48.28
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

The Road from Damascus: A Journey Through Syria (Bridge Between the Cultures Series)
26.  The Road from Damascus: A Journey Through Syria (Bridge Between the Cultures Series) by Scott C. Davis
The list author says:
  "Cune is entertaining and insightful."
$17.05   Used & New from: $0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

The Brink of Peace
27.  The Brink of Peace by Itamar Rabinovich
The list author says:
  "Israel's negotiator with Syria under Prime Minister Rabin and Israel's foremost scholar on Syria."
$28.22   Used & New from: $0.01

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Joshua M. Landis "Joshua Landis" (Oklahoma)
(REAL NAME)   
Qualifications: Specialist on Syrian History
Last updated: 7/12/11
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