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Other Side of the Mirror
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Brooke Allen first travelled to Syria in 2009, expecting it to be much as American news media routinely depicted it -- an ultra-conservative Muslim society, a rogue nation committed to an anti-American stance. She found, instead, a welcoming and captivating country where she and her family were treated with courtesy and gentleness. She soon returned for a more leisurely trip through Syria's rich historical and archaeological treasures: the ancient cities of Aleppo and Damascus, the great Crusader castles, the Bronze Age ruins of Ebla and Mari, the Greco-Roman cities of Palmyra and Apamea. With her keen and appreciative eye (and ear) Allen introduces us to Syria's people, culture, and history. This book illustrates one traveller's enlightenment, while reflecting on our American ways. For, as she writes, "To visit Syria is to confront the unhappy truth about our media, which is that much of the international news we read or see serves not as a window looking out at the world but as a mirror: a mirror that reflects our own fears and obsessions and shines them right back at us".
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About the Author

Brooke Allen's critical writings appear frequently in the New York Times Book Review, the Atlantic, and the Nation.

Reviews

Praise for Brooke Allen and The Other Side of the Mirror"A well-written, well-researched, and engaging introduction to contemporary Syria."--Library Journal (starred review)"American travel writing at its most generous and intrepid."--Adam Kirsch"A nuanced appreciation of the sights, sounds, and historical densities that make Syria one of the most rewarding countries on Earth. Like the great cities of Damascus and Aleppo, The Other Side of the Mirror is a thing of layered beauty and a source of endless surprise and stimulation."--Ben Downing"Engaging...I can vouch for the accuracy of her descriptions."--Malise Ruthven, New York Review of Books"Brooke Allen's The Other Side of the Mirror is a hugely welcome piece of travel literature...Anyone with a curiosity about this fascinating nation will be well served."--Tom Bissell Praise for Brooke Allen and "The Other Side of the Mirror""A well-written, well-researched, and engaging introduction to contemporary Syria.""Library Journal" (starred review)"American travel writing at its most generous and intrepid."Adam Kirsch"A nuanced appreciation of the sights, sounds, and historical densities that make Syria one of the most rewarding countries on Earth. Like the great cities of Damascus and Aleppo, "The Other Side of the Mirror" is a thing of layered beauty and a source of endless surprise and stimulation."Ben Downing"EngagingI can vouch for the accuracy of her descriptions."Malise Ruthven, "New York Review of Books""Brooke Allen's "The Other Side of the Mirror" is a hugely welcome piece of travel literatureAnyone with a curiosity about this fascinating nation will be well served."Tom Bissell" "A well-written, well-researched, and engaging introduction to contemporary Syria."-"Library Journal" (starred review) "Engaging.... I can vouch for the accuracy of her descriptions."—Malise Ruthven, "New York Review of Books"

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