The Morning They Came For Us: Dispatches from Syria (Paperback)

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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.



About the Author


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.

Praise For…


Heartbreaking…[A] haunting reminder of what the Syrian revolution, ultimately, is about…Amid our obsession with ISIS, these tales are worth remembering.
— Anand Gopal

Necessary, difficult and elating…[C]lear-eyed and engaged in the best sense—engaged in the human realm rather than the abstractly political.
— Robin Yassin-Kassab

It is crucial to reveal the human stories behind the news—and…Janine di Giovanni does this with heartbreaking eloquence.
— Elif Shafak

A must read filled with bitter realities.
— Denise Hassanzade Ajiri

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.
— Michiko Kakutani

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.

— Lea Carpenter

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.’ 
— Joan Smith

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.
— Sam Kiley
Product Details
ISBN: 9781631492952
ISBN-10: 1631492950
Publisher: Liveright
Publication Date: May 9th, 2017
Pages: 224
Language: English