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The Struggle for Syria: A study in Post-War Arab Politics, 1945-1958, New Edition Paperback – September 10, 1987


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (September 10, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300039700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300039702
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #792,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Joshua M. Landis on September 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
Patrick Seale's "Struggle for Syria" should be one of the first books anyone interested in Syria or the Middle East reads. It is a crime that Yale UP has allowed it to go out of print. Seale was the first Middle East specialist to give us a comprehensive and extremely lively explanation of how the emerging Arab state system actually worked. What is more, he tied it deftly and imaginatively to the domestic politics of the region - something no one had done so well at the time, and few have come close to emulating since. It is as relevant today as it was in 1965.

Seale was one of the best reporters in the Middle East during the 1960s and remains so today. He interviewed just about every politician and military figure of importance in Syria, where his father taught, and he grew up. His Arabic and French are fluent, and his 6th sense for what makes people tick is unerring.

Some have accused Seale of being soft on Arab nationalism and the early Ba`thists, but no one can claim he didn't know them and understand their view of the world. Every Syria specialist owes Seale a tremendous debt. With out him, we would know half of what we do of Syrian politics in the 20th century. Most of our works are but dull shadows of his. All of us start by contending with his arguments and evidence. I spent years in archives in Washington, London, France, and Syria going over the diplomatic correspondence for the period he wrote about. He never made a mistake of fact. It is quite amazing. So many others did - or they missed important elements of the story.

Seale's biography of Hafiz al-Asad also remains the best book on contemporary Syria. But the Struggle for Syria is a true masterpiece.
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