The History of an Ambition
by Daniel Pipes
New York: Oxford University Press, 1990
Paperback edition: Oxford University Press, 1992
While for many years scholars and journalists have focused on the more obvious manifestations of political life in the Middle East, one major theme has been consistently neglected. This is Pan-Syrian nationalism -the dream of creating a Greater Syria out of an area now governed by Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, and Turkey. Though not nearly as well known as Arab or Palestinian nationalism and hardly studied in depth, Pan-Syrianism has had a profound effect on Middle Eastern politics since the end of World War I. In Greater Syria, the noted Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes provides the first comprehensive account of this intriguing, important, and little understood ideology.
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Critics on Greater Syria
"A superior book"
- Foreign Affairs, Spring 1990
"Pipes' story of Syria's impact on the Palestinians is fascinating... A highly useful, well-written guide to a complex issue that is at the heart of many of the region's most difficult problems."
- Laurie Mylroie, The New Leader, October 29, 1990
"His contribution here cannot be exaggerated, and the coverage given this ideology will be inserted into the analysis of Syrian politics for years to come."
- Sanford R. Silverburg, Library Journal, January 1990
"The book reflects extensive research and is an invaluable reference tool"
- Ronald D. McLaurin, Middle East Insight, 1990
"Extensive scholarship...It is a subject that has been neglected far too long in studies of the Middle East, and Pipes has provided us with some excellent insights... Dr. Pipes has given us a worthwhile study and valuable overview of the Greater Syrian nationalist movement."
- Robert B. Betts, American-Arab Affairs, Winter 1990-1991
"Daniel Pipes not only presents a very plausible explanation for why Assad acts as he does, he also provides an excellent historical analysis of the concept of 'Greater Syria'... many pithy quotations... A very readable history."
- Robert O. Freedman, Central Asian Survey, 1992
"This book is long overdue."
- Jens Hohensee, Das Historisch-Politische Buch, 1992
"Pipes' book... constitutes an important contribution to the literature on this topic. The author's interest in the subject has lead to a thorough and methodical study of great value to the reader... Pipes' book is a skillful analysis of an important topic. The book is thoroughly documented by primary and secondary sources in Arabic, English, French and German. It is very well written... the book is extremely valuable to the study of an important topic. Scholars as well as lay readers can benefit from it."
- Jacob Abadi, Journal of Third World Studies, 1993