Road from Damascus, The

by Scott C. Davis

In a historical moment when the Western world’s antennae are zeroed in on all things Middle Eastern, books about that part of the world, such as Scott C. Davis’s The Road from Damascus: A Journey through Syria, take on heightened significance. In 1987, five years after the Hama massacre, and with Syria seemingly on the brink of war with Israel, a na‹ve Davis made his first visit. Fourteen years later he returned to find the country radically different: less militarized, less uneasy, less frightening. Refreshingly candid about his pre-1987 ignorance about the Arab world and about his sometimes overblown but very real fears, Davis chronicles his meetings with Christian, Muslim and Jewish members of all stations of Syrian society, painting a cultural portrait that is vivid, moving and wise in its humble, wide-eyed approach.