The Great Syrian Revolt of 1925 was the largest and longest-lasting anti-colonial insurgency in the inter-war Arab East. Mobilizing peasants, workers, and army veterans, rather than urban elites and nationalist intellectuals, it was the first mass movement against colonial rule in the Middle East. The revolt failed to liberate Syria from French occupation, but it provided a model of popular nationalism and resistance that remains potent in the Middle East today. Each subsequent Arab uprising against foreign rule has repeated the language and tactics of the Great Syrian Revolt.
In this work, Michael Provence uses newly released secret colonial intelligence sources, neglected memoirs, and popular memory to tell the story of the revolt from the perspective of its participants. He shows how Ottoman-subsidized military education created a generation of leaders of modest background who came to rebel against both the French Mandate rulers of Syria and the Syrian intellectuals and landowners who helped the colonial regime to function. This new popular nationalism was unprecedented in the Arab world. Provence shows compellingly that the Great Syrian Revolt was a formative event in shaping the modern Middle East.
Michael Provence is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, San Diego.
I am convinced that Provence’s book will be a significant contribution to the literature on popular rebellions in the Arab world.
~Philip S. Khoury
Anyone wishing to understand Syrian history or learn something of value about nascent Arab nationalism will profit from this book.
~The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences
Greater Syria and Ottoman Rule
The Great Syrian Revolt
Theorizing Insurgent and National Consciousness
2. The Hawrân Frontier
Settling the Frontier
Rural Autonomy and Commercial Integration
Assimilating the Countryside: Education and the Army
The Arab Revolt and the Hawrân Druze
3. Mobilizing the Mountain
Claiming the Mandate
Governing Jabal Hawrân
Organizing for Resistance
4. Mobilizing the City
The People's Party
Making Contact with the Countryside
Hawrân Peace Negotiations
5. The Spread of Rebellion
Rebellion in Hamâh
Rebellion in Damascus
6. The Politics of Rebellion
Insurgents in the Countryside of Damascus
Elite Politics and Mandate Counterinsurgency
Military Suppression and Mandate Counterinsurgency
7. Epilogue and Conclusions
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