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  • Assad or We Burn the Country

  • How One Family's Lust for Power Destroyed Syria
  • By: Sam Dagher
  • Narrated by: Gary Tiedemann
  • Length: 19 hrs and 52 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (81 ratings)

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Assad or We Burn the Country cover art

Assad or We Burn the Country

By: Sam Dagher
Narrated by: Gary Tiedemann
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Summary

From a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist specializing in the Middle East, this groundbreaking account of the Syrian Civil War reveals the never-before-published true story of a 21st-century humanitarian disaster.

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 listeners within palace walls to reveal the family behind the destruction of a country and the chaos of an entire region.

Dagher shows how one of the world's most vicious police states came to be and explains how a regional conflict extended globally, engulfing the Middle East and pitting the United States and Russia against one another.

Timely, propulsive, and expertly reported, Assad or We Burn the Country is the definitive account of this global crisis, going far beyond the news story that has dominated headlines for years.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Sam Dagher (P)2019 Hachette Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic reviews

"A moving and insightful account of the Syrian civil war." (Yuval Noah Harari, The Guardian)

"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)

"He was briefly held by pro-regime militiamen in an underground prison and was summarily expelled by the Mukhabarat in 2014. This gives his description of events a credibility lacking in many other accounts." (Patrick Cockburn, New York Times Book Review)

What listeners say about Assad or We Burn the Country

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The Assads make the average Mafia family likeable

Tragic and terrifying story, peopled with some pretty odious people. Sadly,(to say the least),the dictator's Ugly-on-the-inside British born wife seems to fit in well.

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Fascinating, accurate and informative

This is THE book to read by anyone interested in knowing the full truth about what’s happening in Syria and how a bloody,manipulative and ruthless dictator managed to destroy his own country, killing over a million innocent civilians and displacing over 10 millions of Syrians. It takes you deep into the psychological characteristics of the psychopath called Bashar Al Assad and his brutal quest to prove that he is not dumb,irrelevant or insignificant only for the reader to come to a conclusion that indeed he is. This is a historically accurate and sad story of a beautiful country turned into a battleground for conflicting agendas and ideologies fuelled by an evil regime which will forever be remembered in history with the likes of Hitler and Stalin. Thank you Sam,Syrian kids and future generations will learn a lot from your great effort.

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A lesson in geopolitics

Now I have an understanding of what happened in Syria and how geopolitics trumped morality. A captivating book with excellent narration. Recommended!

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excellent overview of the Syrian wat

Like many people I have a general interest in world affairs and news and was curious to know more about what is going on in Syria. This book was excellent - it gave a good overview of the background to the conflict going back to 1970. It explains very clearly without getting bogged down in too much detail or introducing too many characters. First you get a good insight into the internal dynamics within the country and then it's broadened to include the regional and world players. It was often very exciting and tense (the unfolding drama kind of reminded me of the Netflix series Narcos in a weird way!) Definitely recommend it to anyone who likes world affairs (or Narcos!)

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Mesmerizing Non-Fiction about the greatest geopolitical tragedy of 21st Century

Sam Dagher's book is a marvelous historical and analytical journey through the last half of century of Syria and middle-east at large. Constructing the narrative by the rich tapestry of people and their fates, places and events, the book is absolutely marvelous work, giving well researched and provocative answers to some of the most important questions about probably the largest geopolitical tragedy of this Century: Syrian Civil war. Far from both the Western and Russian agendas on the conflict in Syria, the book champions to depict how the greed for power, combined with the geopolitical goals of faraway powers and the media, can effectively affect and destroy not only the entite countries and hundreds of thousands of people, but our understanding of the destruction as well and may push the ordinary thinking person to revere the mass murderer as the champion of rights and stability, completely omitting the fact that problem solvers sometimes are the primary reasons behind why that problem exists at first hand. Masterpiece.

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