Syria: The fall of the house of Assad By David W. Lesch
Syria: The fall of the house of Assad. By David W. Lesch. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2013. ISBN 978-0-300-19722-8 (pbk). Pp. 304.
Reviewer: Abdul Rashid Moten, Professor Emeritus, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). E-mail: email@example.com
The problems confronting Syria need to be analysed to make a sense of the context. David W. Lesch, a professor of Middle East History at Trinity University, San Antonio, providesa narrative context of the unfolding historic events of the Syrian uprising and explains the role of the key players and the broader socioeconomic factors contributing to the events surrounding Syria. The Fall of the House of Assad is an updated version of the author’s 2012 hardback version and is written in a clear, lucid manner. Benefitting from his personal contact and interviews with President Bashar al-Assad in 2004 and 2005, Lesch provides anecdotal, personal information as well as a clear exposition of the broader social factors at work in the uprising in Syria, the regime’s response to it and its possible outcomes. The title of the book does not signify that Asad’s regime has toppled or will be toppled soon. It is intended to illustrate that Assad has lost his mandate to govern. Lesch makes this clear in the very first page of the book: “Whether or not he remains in power, Bashar Al-Assad, in my mind, has already fallen” (p. vi).