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Publisher's Summary

Once in a decade comes an account of war that promises to be a classic.

Doing for Syria what Imperial Life in the Emerald City did for the war in Iraq, The Morning They Came for Us bears witness to one of the most brutal, internecine conflicts in recent history. Drawing from years of experience covering Syria for Vanity Fair, Newsweek, and the front pages of the New York Times, award-winning journalist Janine di Giovanni gives us a tour de force of war reportage, all told through the perspective of ordinary people - among them a doctor, a nun, a musician, and a student. What emerges is an extraordinary picture of the devastating human consequences of armed conflict, one that charts an apocalyptic but at times tender story of life in a jihadist war zone. Recalling celebrated works by Ryszard Kapus´cin´ski, Philip Gourevitch, and Anne Applebaum, The Morning They Came for Us, through its unflinching account of a nation on the brink of disintegration, becomes an unforgettable testament to resilience in the face of nihilistic human debasement.

©2016 Janine di Giovanni (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"This book, haunted by the international failure to intervene effectively, gives readers an on-the-ground experience of the devastating seasons that followed the promise of the Arab Spring." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Heartbreaking Stories

I wish this book was required reading for college freshmen. No one should remain blind to the suffering that war brings.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A story that needs to be heard

This book was incredible and it should be listened to. The story of war torn Syria tragic and very serious. The urgency and truth from the narrator added to the story telling. This book broke my heart and makes me want to take action. This book is so relevant. The people in Syria and the refugees that have left their home need us. And this book brings those people's suffering to light in a haunting way.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Bearing Witness to the Brutalities of War

This is an exceptionally moving account of the firestorm that has engulfed Syria. The author takes readers straight to the heart of the action, exploring the fate of activists who sought to lead a nonviolent revolution; the families caught up in the war; the brutal torture in the regime's prisons; the lies that regime supporters told themselves; the regime supporters who slowly turned against it; the secular rebels who gradually shifted to jihad.

It is a courageous and honest account, but it sometimes plays a game of moral equivalence, telling each side of the story, when the author knows the regime is lying. But all of this is made up for in her sensitivity to those crushed by it and the stunning brutality with which it so destroyed their lives.

If you listen to only one book on the destruction of Syria, this may not be the best, though. Robin Yassin-Kassab's and Leila Al-Shami's, Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War, provides a vastly better overview and deeper look into the heart of the revolution. And Wendy Pearlman's, We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria, is a literary masterpiece told through the real voices of Syrians themselves, thus taking listeners more deeply into their experience. Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan's, ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, also provides an unusually lucid overview of not just ISIS, but also the crimes of the Assad regime, which are innumerable.

But the shattering of the Syrian country and people is one of the few great events of our time and deserves more than a single listen. With so many excellent and moving books on the subject, and with such a complex and enthralling subject matter, anyone with the time should take on a few.

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Difficult but worthwhile

Very graphic images of torture and rape so warning for that if you’re not aware yet. But it was very moving and heartbreaking and worth listening to

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Heartbreaking

Paints a clear picture of the suffering and chaos of wartime but also the perseverance of the survivors.