The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches from Syria

Janine di Giovanni. Norton/Liveright, $26.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-87140-713-9
Veteran foreign correspondent di Giovanni (Ghosts by Daylight) brings her history of covering battle zones (among them Iraq, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, and Sarajevo) to this account of her experiences inside Syria from June to December 2012. Her work, informed by her extensive experience as a journalist, shows a keen ability to capture violent conflicts from multiple sides. Starting from the point when Syria, after a short-lived cease-fire, fell back into fighting, she describes the collapse of communities with reputations for diversity and tolerance—among them Aleppo, “the oldest continuously inhabited city on earth.” The peculiarities of modern urban warfare, in which the smells and sounds of war permeate everyday life, are graphically conveyed. Hunger prevails; vanquished diseases (polio, typhus, cholera) return; children are traumatized; and rape, torture, kidnapping, and beheading become conventional weapons. This book, haunted by the international failure to intervene effectively, gives readers an on-the-ground experience of the devastating seasons that followed the promise of the Arab Spring. Though di Giovanni does not make Syria’s civil war and its repercussions rationally comprehensible, she makes its reality fully tangible and tragic. Agent: Kim Witherspoon, InkWell Management. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/18/2016
Release date: 05/03/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-87140-383-4
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