Asad: The Sphinx of Damascus: A Political Biography

Moshe Ma'oz, Author George Weidenfeld & Nicholson $0 (226p) ISBN 978-1-55584-062-4
The author, an Israeli historian, offers a cool, evenhanded assessment of Israel's archenemy, without demonizing Syria's president Hafiz al Asad. Asad, who has used political assassination against fellow Arabs, is would-be leader of an all-Arab confrontation with Israel. Yet, as Ma'oz convincingly shows, the Syrian ruler (whose adopted surname means ``the Lion'') has manipulated his allies while strengthening Syria's interests. Asad has accepted huge amounts of Soviet aid but is by no means a puppet of the U.S.S.R. His unlikely alliance with Khomeini of Iran has weakened Syria's rival, Iraq. A member of the small, socially disdained Alawite sect, he rules over a predominantly Sunni Muslim country. His minions, lower-class Alawite laborers, make up Syria's new ruling elite and run his intelligence network. He is clearly a force to reckon with, and this book is important reading. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-1-55584-433-2
Show other formats
Discover what to read next