The Morning They Came for Us

The Morning They Came for Us

Dispatches From Syria

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
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In May of 2012, Janine di Giovanni travelled to Syria, marking the beginning of a long relationship with the country, as she began reporting from both sides of the conflict, witnessing its descent into one of the most brutal, internecine conflicts in recent history. Drawn to the stories of ordinary people caught up in the fighting, Syria came to consume her every moment, her every emotion. Speaking to those directly involved in the war, di Giovanni relays the personal stories of rebel fighters thrown in jail at the least provocation; of children and families forced to watch loved ones taken and killed by regime forces with dubious justifications; and the stories of the elite, holding pool parties in Damascus hotels, trying to deny the human consequences of the nearby shelling. Delivered with passion, fearlessness and sensitivity, The Morning They Came for Us is an unflinching account of a nation on the brink of disintegration, charting an apocalyptic but at times tender story of life in a jihadist war - and an unforgettable testament to human resilience in the face of devastating, unimaginable horrors.
Publisher: London, Bloomsbury,, 2016.
ISBN: 9781408851081
Characteristics: xvii, 206 pages ; 23 cm.

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Markhamcook
Feb 22, 2017

One of the most personal (from a foreigner's point of view) and best books about the war in Syria. It gives a clear eyed view of different sides, and di Giovanni - with her long experience in war zones - is deeply self aware too.

If you haven't read any Syrian history, or at least middle eastern history, you may find this book confusing and meandering. But if you have a general idea about the history of the region, this book will make you feel as though you've been on a guided tour.

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LPL_Sarah
Jan 15, 2017

There were times when this book was so harrowing, I had to put it down and take a break from the descriptions. Janine Di Giovanni does not shy away from painting a real picture (with interviews from real people) of the war in Syria. Torture, bombings, rape, murder... It is a tragic tale and one in which I feel more Americans should educate themselves. I do wish Giovanni had given more historical background of the war, the Arab Spring, and Assad himself. She takes off from the gate and writes in a way that assumes the reader has the same knowledge she does. In those times, the book can become confusing. But, she is a reporter, not a historian, so if you're not familiar with how and why the war started, you may find yourself doing some extra research while you read. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be frustrating at times.

m
mclarjh
Aug 10, 2016

Very bad writing, essentially at a high school level. Disorganized, incoherent, rambling, speculative, dramatic. I suggest readers just look to their newspapers to learn about this subject. (Maps are bad too, disoriented, and lacking locations for places mentioned in text)

ChristchurchLib Jun 12, 2016

Right now, Syria isn't so much a place that people jet off to as it is a place they escape from. Even so, armchair travelers can visit via award-winning foreign correspondent Janine di Giovanni's latest book. Taking readers on an eye-opening journey to the troubled country ruled by a dictator and riven by civil war, di Giovanni describes the brutality of post-Arab Spring life here. Having been based in the Middle East for over two decades, she knows Syria and evocatively shows it to readers through the stories of everyday people, including doctors, nuns, activists, a baker, a musician, and a student. A "brilliant, necessary book" says Kirkus Reviews.

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