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The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches from Syria
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Liveright 2016
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Named one of the Best Books of the Year by Kirkus Reviews and the New York Post

Winner of the IWMF Courage in Journalism Award

Winner of the Hay Festival Medal for Prose

Finalist for the NYPL Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism

Shortlisted for the Moore Prize for Nonfiction


"Destined to become a classic." —Lisa Shea, Elle


A masterpiece of war reportage, 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 page of the New York Times, award-winning journalist Janine di Giovanni chronicles a nation on the brink of disintegration, all written through the perspective of ordinary people. With a new epilogue, what emerges is an unflinching picture of the horrific consequences of armed conflict, one that charts an apocalyptic but at times tender story of life in a jihadist war zone. The result is an unforgettable testament to resilience in the face of nihilistic human debasement.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
05/03/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780871403834
ASIN:
B00J8R3RLK

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Citations

APA Citation (style guide)

Janine di Giovanni. (2016). The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches from Syria. Liveright.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Janine di Giovanni. 2016. The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches From Syria. Liveright.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Janine di Giovanni, The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches From Syria. Liveright, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Janine di Giovanni. The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches From Syria. Liveright, 2016.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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      • bioText: Janine di Giovanni, Middle East editor of Newsweek and contributing editor at Vanity Fair, has won seven major awards, including the National Magazine Award and two Amnesty International Awards. Her work is widely anthologized, and her article from Harper's, "Life during Wartime," was chosen by Paul Theroux for The Best American Travel Writing. The author of seven books, di Giovanni is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, where she was a Pakis Fellow. She lives in Paris.
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fullDescription

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by Kirkus Reviews and the New York Post
Winner of the IWMF Courage in Journalism Award
Winner of the Hay Festival Medal for Prose
Finalist for the NYPL Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism
Shortlisted for the Moore Prize for Nonfiction

"Destined to become a classic." —Lisa Shea, Elle

A masterpiece of war reportage, 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 page of the New York Times, award-winning journalist Janine di Giovanni chronicles a nation on the brink of disintegration, all written through the perspective of ordinary people. With a new epilogue, what emerges is an unflinching picture of the horrific consequences of armed conflict, one that charts an apocalyptic but at times tender story of life in a jihadist war zone. The result is an unforgettable testament to resilience in the face of nihilistic human debasement.

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Anand Gopal;New York Times Book Review
      • content: Heartbreaking...[A] haunting reminder of what the Syrian revolution, ultimately, is about...Amid our obsession with ISIS, these tales are worth remembering.
      • premium: False
      • source: Robin Yassin-Kassab;The Guardian
      • content: Necessary, difficult and elating...[C]lear-eyed and engaged in the best sense—engaged in the human realm rather than the abstractly political.
      • premium: False
      • source: Elif Shafak;Financial Times
      • content: It is crucial to reveal the human stories behind the news—and...Janine di Giovanni does this with heartbreaking eloquence.
      • premium: False
      • source: Denise Hassanzade Ajiri;Christian Science Monitor
      • content: A must read filled with bitter realities.
      • premium: False
      • source: Michiko Kakutani;New York Times
      • content: Ms. di Giovanni writes here with urgency and anguish—determined to testify to what she has witnessed because she wants 'people never to forget.'...Her testimony is contained here in this searing and necessary book.
      • premium: False
      • source: Lea Carpenter;Vanity Fair
      • content: The Morning They Came for Us moves from a cosmopolitan 'bubble of parties' in 2011 to 'the aftermath of a barrel bomb' today as di Giovanni observes slaughter and rape with the equal (if occasionally opposing and heartbreaking) empathies of war correspondent and mother.
      • premium: False
      • source: Joan Smith;Observer
      • content: What life is like for ordinary Syrians who have stayed behind is the subject of Janine di Giovanni's heartbreaking book...[U]nsensational but unsparing...[I]t is individual stories, rather than victims counted in the millions, that reveal the terrible cost of leaving dictators in place for the sake of 'stability.'
      • premium: False
      • source: Sam Kiley;Evening Standard
      • content: Di Giovanni writes vividly and we see with her how Damascene supporters of Assad drift away as the brutality of his rule became impossible to deny...Di Giovanni explains to us how horrible it all really is.
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from January 18, 2016
        Veteran foreign correspondent di Giovanni (Ghosts by Daylight) brings her history of covering battle zones (among them Iraq, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, and Sarajevo) to this account of her experiences inside Syria from June to December 2012. Her work, informed by her extensive experience as a journalist, shows a keen ability to capture violent conflicts from multiple sides. Starting from the point when Syria, after a short-lived cease-fire, fell back into fighting, she describes the collapse of communities with reputations for diversity and tolerance—among them Aleppo, “the oldest continuously inhabited city on earth.” The peculiarities of modern urban warfare, in which the smells and sounds of war permeate everyday life, are graphically conveyed. Hunger prevails; vanquished diseases (polio, typhus, cholera) return; children are traumatized; and rape, torture, kidnapping, and beheading become conventional weapons. 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. Though di Giovanni does not make Syria’s civil war and its repercussions rationally comprehensible, she makes its reality fully tangible and tragic. Agent: Kim Witherspoon, InkWell Management.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        June 3, 1988
        The author of Johnny's Song (which earned him the title of National Poet Laureate of the Vietnam Veterans of America) attempts to reconcile his Vietnam experiences with his return to America. These poems are a veteran's raw, heartfelt pleas for lasting peace and for a reevaluation of patriotism, nationalism and a government that wars ``as a solution to economics/or as a perpetuation of social justice.'' Verses shift from jarring, often graphic accounts of the atrocities Mason witnessed to strangely peaceful images of his childhood, family and friends. These juxtapositions would be more effective were they not so explicitly spelled out; Mason explains rather than illustrates, and he frequently lapses into didactic sermonizing. Although his message is certainly worthy, Mason's tendency to rely on political rhetoric rather than craft (in ``A Living Memorial,'' for example, he writes, ``It is the courage of America/ and the strength of our world/ that the essence of our patriotism/ is not nationalism,/ it is humanity'') makes his work more appropriate to forms of expression other than poetry. The introduction by film director Oliver Stone adds nothing of value to this volume.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from March 1, 2016
        Newsweek Middle East editor di Giovanni (Ghosts by Daylight: A Modern-Day War Correspondent's Memoir of Love, Loss, and Redemption, 2013) dives headfirst into the nightmarish shadow world of modern Syria. At the beginning, the author relates how a diplomat friend told her "not to start working in Syria. He said it would engulf me as Bosnia had done, and he suggested gently that this was probably not a good thing emotionally. Even so, I went." Throughout the story, di Giovanni's quest seems almost suicidal, but the fruits of her labor are astonishing. She profiles ordinary Syrians struggling to survive while also chronicling her own death-defying journey. Locals guided her through ruined churches, bomb-addled tenements, and dubious border crossings. Even as Western readers have gradually begun to understand the complexities of the Syrian conflict, di Giovanni brings daily life into focus. "What does war sound like?" she asks. "The whistling sound of the bombs falling can only be heard seconds before impact--enough time to know that you are about to die, but not enough time to flee. What does the war in Aleppo smell of? It smells of carbine, of wood smoke, of unwashed bodies, or rubbish rotting, of the heady smell of fear." In her gutsy and sensitive narrative, the author offers the surreal imagery of a place without reason. During her first drive to Damascus, she stopped at a roadside Dunkin' Donuts serving only cheese sandwiches. Later, a physician took a break from his dying patients to play a lonely game of foosball on the hospital roof. Di Giovanni interweaves biblical references and anecdotes about her own motherhood into the story, which may strike some readers as forced or even melodramatic. But the author is a master of war reporting, especially its civilian side. Thanks to her bitter sacrifice, Western readers may begin to appreciate the chaos that Syrian refugees continue to flee. This brilliant, necessary book will hopefully do for Syria what Herr's Dispatches (1977) did for Vietnam.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from March 1, 2016
        At a hotel in Damascus in early summer 2012, a pool party was held while smoke curled in the distance from bombing in the suburbs. It was journalist di Giovanni's first trip to the city, but she would return to Syria many times in the following years for various publications, including the New York Times and Vanity Fair, to report on a country embroiled in civil war. With a potent mix of sensitivity and outrage, di Giovanni relates firsthand accounts of deprivation and suffering from the people caught up in the conflict. From interviews held in those early days, when the trappings of an old, glamorous lifestyle continued in Damascus despite the impending threat, to later testimony taken in the starving towns caught up in ongoing skirmishes, di Giovanni found that many of the people with whom she talked couldn't believe what was happening around them. But their stories reveal in harrowing detail the horrific nature of the war. The expert perspective of this seasoned war correspondent proves invaluable to understanding Syria today.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 15, 2016

        Journalist di Giovanni (Middle East editor, Newsweek) has experience in the Middle East and other war-torn regions and traveled to Syria in 2012 after covering the Balkan Wars in the 1990s. Over the final six months of the year, she observes the transformation of the 2011 peaceful demonstrations demanding greater freedom to civil war. Visiting various towns and presenting individuals with different roles, the author shows how increased fighting with more powerful weapons destroyed villages and urban neighborhoods and killed fighters and civilians alike. Government forces arrested rebels and noncombatants, and jails were often torture sites. Di Giovanni emphasizes the horror and brutality of civil war, especially the widespread sexual violence. As both government and rebel forces became more extreme and vicious, Syrians of all political loyalties mourned the loss of the tolerant and cosmopolitan community they once shared. Still shaken by the unchecked cruelty that tore apart Yugoslavia, the author decries the failure of the international community to prevent this humanitarian crisis. VERDICT Di Giovanni presents a devastating picture of the horrors of civil war and the disintegration of Syrian society. Her vivid depictions of suffering may be overwhelming for some readers. [See Prepub Alert, 11/2/15.]--Elizabeth Hayford, formerly with Associated Coll. of the Midwest, Evanston, IL

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        June 1, 2014

        An award-winning foreign correspondent who has covered upheaval from the first Palestinian intifada to Chechnya, the Balkans, and beyond and who currently serves as Middle East editor of Newsweek, di Giovanni draws on several years' worth of reporting on Syria to show what the fighting there has cost the populace. She tells her story from the perspective of seven individuals, among them a doctor, a musician, and a student, revealing blood, tears, and moments of real decency.

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        December 1, 2015

        An award-winning foreign correspondent who currently serves as Middle East editor of Newsweek, di Giovanni draws on several years' worth of reporting on Syria to show what the fighting there has cost the populace. Originally scheduled for November 2014 as Seven Days in Syria.

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Named one of the Best Books of the Year by Kirkus Reviews and the New York Post
Winner of the IWMF Courage in Journalism Award
Winner of the Hay Festival Medal for Prose
Finalist for the NYPL Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism
Shortlisted for the Moore Prize for Nonfiction

"Destined to become a classic." —Lisa Shea, Elle

A masterpiece of war reportage, 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 page of the New York Times, award-winning journalist Janine di Giovanni chronicles a nation on the brink of disintegration, all written through the perspective of ordinary people. With a new epilogue, what emerges is an unflinching picture of the horrific consequences of armed conflict, one that charts an apocalyptic but at times tender story of...

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