Assad or We Burn the Country, the captivating account of the Syrian Civil War written by Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist Sam Dagher, is out today, May 28th, from Little, Brown and Company.
Dagher, who covered the Middle East for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times for over 15 years, tells the never-before-published story of how one of the world’s most vicious police states came to be. The author explains a regional conflict that extended globally to engulf the Middle East and pit the United States against Russia.
In spring 2011, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad turned to his friend and army commander, Manaf Tlass, for advice about how to respond to Arab Spring-inspired protests. Tlass pushed for conciliation but Assad decided to crush the uprising — an act which would catapult the country into an eight-year long war, killing almost half a million and fueling terrorism and a global refugee crisis.
Assad or We Burn the Country examines Syria’s tragedy through the generational saga of the Assad and Tlass families, once deeply intertwined and now estranged in Bashar’s bloody quest to preserve his father’s inheritance. By drawing on his own reporting experience in Damascus and exclusive interviews with Tlass, Dagher takes readers within palace walls to reveal the family behind the destruction of a country and the chaos of an entire region.
Praise for ASSAD OR WE BURN THE COUNTRY:
“As the only Western reporter based in Damascus during the early years of the civil war, Dagher has a rich perspective on the inner machinations of the regime of Bashar al Assad. In this important book, he lays out in grim detail the staggering cynicism and ruthless brutality of the Assad family. In doing so, he provides readers with a timely description of the dynasty that precipitated the destruction of a nation.”―Clarissa Ward, Chief International Correspondent, CNN International
“In this gripping narrative of the inner workings of the Assad regime, Dagher delivers a stunning portrait of the ruthlessness and brutality at the heart of the family that has dominated Syria for fifty years. Captivating in its detailed, first-person accounts from key figures inside Syria’s corridors of power, his is the most complete and compelling account to date of Bashar’s unlikely rise to power, and the relentless violence he has unleashed since 2011 to preserve his iron grip over the country. Essential reading from a noted journalist and one of the world’s best-informed Syria watchers.”―Steven Heydemann, Janet W. Ketcham 1953 Professor of Middle East Studies and Director of the Middle East Studies Program at Smith College
“The Syrian uprising has been one of the most consequential events in our new century-it has changed the world. Sam Dagher has been reporting from the heart of the crisis. His book, told through the eyes of two important Syrian insiders, a human rights activist and a former Brigadier General of the Syrian Republican Guard, is a vivid description of the crisis as it unfolded over the past 8 years. It is a must read for anyone who seeks to understand the complex world we are living in.”―Dr. Zaher Sahloul, Syrian American doctor and President of MedGlobal
“A riveting chronicle from a courageous journalist who was there to witness and report the truth. A book that should deservedly garner significant award attention.”―Kirkus, starred review