In This Review

Asad: The Sphinx Of Damascus

Asad: The Sphinx Of Damascus
By Moshe Ma'oz
221 pp, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1988
Purchase

Moshe Ma'oz has written as good a biography of the Syrian leader as is available anywhere, but Hafez al-Assad remains a sphinx. Having no opportunity, as an Israeli, to interview his subject or consult sources in Syria, the author has had to rely heavily on newspapers and secondary material, which he uses to good advantage, and he may well be close to the mark in his account of how Assad achieved and has held power and greatly increased Syria's weight in regional and world politics. A very useful book even though many questions, some posed by the author himself, remain but partially answered.