The Damascus Events

The Damascus Events The 1860 Massacre and the Destruction of the Old Ottoman World

Hardback (02 May 2024)

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Publisher's Synopsis

'A superb account of the 1860 Damascus massacres-much neglected nowadays but central to the creation of the modern Middle East' Simon Sebag Montefiore

'A stunning portrait of the Ottoman Empire and of Damascus during a time of crisis. Absolutely riveting' Peter Frankopan

This remarkable book recreates one of the watershed moments in the history of the Middle East: the ferocious outbreaks of disorder across the Levant in 1860 which resulted in the massacre of thousands of Christians in Damascus.

Eugene Rogan brilliantly recreates the lost world of the Middle East under Ottoman rule. The once mighty empire was under pressure from global economic change and European imperial expansion. Reforms in the mid-nineteenth century raised tensions across the empire, nowhere more so than in Damascus. A multifarious city linked by caravan trade to Baghdad, the Mediterranean and Mecca, the chaos of languages, customs and beliefs made Damascus a warily tolerant place. Until the reforms began to advantage the minority Christian community at the expense of the Muslim majority.

But in 1860 people who had generally lived side by side for generations became bitter enemies as news of civil war in Mount Lebanon arrived in the city. Under the threat of a French expeditionary force, the Ottomans dealt with the disaster effectively and ruthlessly - but the old, generally quite tolerant Damascene world lay in ruins. It would take a quarter of a century to restore stability and prosperity to the Syrian capital.

This is both an essential book for understanding the emergence of the modern Middle East from the destruction of the old Ottoman world, and a uniquely gripping story.

Book information

ISBN: 9780241646908
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Imprint: Allen Lane
Pub date:
DEWEY: 956.9144
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: 368
Weight: 651g
Height: 241mm
Width: 161mm
Spine width: 35mm