Invaluable to all those interested in the magnificent history of this now-ruined city.
Philip Mansel is a historian of France and the Middle East. He has lived in Paris, Beirut and Istanbul, and often visited Aleppo. In 2012 he won the London Library Life in Literature Award, and in 2013 became a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. His most recent publication is The Eagle in Splendour: Inside the Court of Napoleon (2015). Aleppo: The Rise and Fall of Syria's Great Merchant City is his third book on cosmopolitan cities of the Middle East, after Constantinople: City of the World's Desire (1995), on Istanbul, and Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean (2010), on Smyrna, Alexandria and Beirut.
"Philip Mansel, our greatest authority on the civilisation of the Levant, has written a characteristically concise and elegant elegy to one of the oldest, grandest, and most cosmopolitan cities of the region. As tragic as it is timely, this book succeeds magnificently in showing why we should mourn the fall of Aleppo, a city "which challenged categories and generalisations," and which was in many ways the last great Ottoman city to survive the twin ravages of modern nationalism and fundamentalism." - William Dalrymple; "A compelling portrait of one of the Middle East's greatest cities, by one of the finest modern historians of the Levant. Mansel's Aleppo reminds modern readers of the loss to world heritage inflicted by Syria's tragic civil war. An important and outstanding book." - Eugene Rogan, author of The Arabs and The Fall of the Ottomans, Director of the Middle East Centre at St Antony's College, University of Oxford