We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled
Reminiscent of the work of Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich, an astonishing collection of intimate wartime testimonies and poetic fragments from a cross-section of Syrians whose lives have been transformed by revolution, war, and flight.Against the backdrop of the wave of demonstrations known as the Arab Spring, in 2011 hundreds of thousands of Syrians took to the streets demanding freedom, democracy and human rights. The government’s ferocious response, and the refusal of the demonstrators to back down, sparked a brutal civil war that over the past five years has escalated into the worst humanitarian catastrophe of our times.Yet despite all the reporting, the video, and the wrenching photography, the stories of ordinary Syrians remain unheard, while the stories told about them have been distorted by broad brush dread and political expediency. This fierce and poignant collection changes that. Based on interviews with hundreds of displaced Syrians conducted over four years across the Middle East and Europe, We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled is a breathtaking mosaic of first-hand testimonials from the frontlines. Some of the testimonies are several pages long, eloquent narratives that could stand alone as short stories; others are only a few sentences, poetic and aphoristic. Together, they cohere into an unforgettable chronicle that is not only a testament to the power of storytelling but to the strength of those who face darkness with hope, courage, and moral conviction.

We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled Details

TitleWe Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled
Author
Formatebook
ReleaseJun 6th, 2017
PublisherCustom House
ISBN0062654454
ISBN-139780062654458
Number of pages352 pages
Rating
GenreNonfiction, History, War, Politics, Adult

We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled Review

  • Rachel León
    May 22, 2017
    This book can be difficult to read, but it's so powerful. Pearlman interviewed over 300 Syrian refugees over four years and compiles their stories in this book. If you want to better understand the conflict in Syria, this book is excellent. (Note: I'm interviewing Pearlman about this book and will post the link when the review is published.)
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  • Murtaza
    May 25, 2017
    This is a set of one hundred or so vignettes narrated by Syrians, talking about their own experiences before, during and after the Syrian Revolution. Syria was a country of 22 million people and anyone who lived through these incredible events will have personal stories like these, which are by their nature extraordinary. While it is not anything that will be shocking to people who have followed the uprising over the past few years, these vignettes provide a beautifully humanizing picture of a c This is a set of one hundred or so vignettes narrated by Syrians, talking about their own experiences before, during and after the Syrian Revolution. Syria was a country of 22 million people and anyone who lived through these incredible events will have personal stories like these, which are by their nature extraordinary. While it is not anything that will be shocking to people who have followed the uprising over the past few years, these vignettes provide a beautifully humanizing picture of a conflict that is often reduced to political wrangling, atrocities and statistics in the news. The stories are arranged in a manner which provides a chronology to the events, and that along with the fulsome introduction makes this book a vital education for the uninitiated. Many of the stories are of devastation, horror, frustration. But many others are also about hope, beauty and the transcendent desire of human beings to live with freedom and dignity. When beautiful stories and insights emerge out of such devastation, they are really something to cherish, and there are many of those here.I'm increasingly convinced that everyone in the world needs to understand the Syrian conflict in all its complexity. It is the largest war and refugee exodus since World War II and the six-year long crisis has radically reshaped the politics of the entire world. This book deserves to be spread far and wide, and it is guaranteed to touch the emotions that are often necessary to galvanize positive action.
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  • Thing Two
    February 3, 2017
    Wow. If you've been near me the past few days, I've undoubtedly talked to you about this piece.Wendy Pearlman collected the interviews from hundreds of Syrian refugees. Under eight headings like "Hope Dissappointed" and "Living War", Pearlman extracts pieces -sentences, paragraphs, pages - and groups different interview messages together. What you get is a clear vision of the who/what/why of Syria. I was struck over and over again by how similar their lives seemed - school, work, shopping, eatin Wow. If you've been near me the past few days, I've undoubtedly talked to you about this piece.Wendy Pearlman collected the interviews from hundreds of Syrian refugees. Under eight headings like "Hope Dissappointed" and "Living War", Pearlman extracts pieces -sentences, paragraphs, pages - and groups different interview messages together. What you get is a clear vision of the who/what/why of Syria. I was struck over and over again by how similar their lives seemed - school, work, shopping, eating, weddings, birthdays - as if it could easily have been me born in Syria, trying to protect my family and get them to safety. The need for safety and security is universal.
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  • Ann Mayhew
    June 5, 2017
    This book should be required reading for everyone.
  • William Notte
    April 23, 2017
    I am an elected official in a city that was designated as a resettlement community for Syrian refugees last year. To say this was a contentious issue for some people would be more than an understatement. While many community members got to work preparing to welcome our new neighbors, others reacted with fear and anger. On that side of the spectrum of public opinion there was a great deal of dehumanizing occurring. Syrian refugees were not seen as human beings. They were seen instead as a two-fol I am an elected official in a city that was designated as a resettlement community for Syrian refugees last year. To say this was a contentious issue for some people would be more than an understatement. While many community members got to work preparing to welcome our new neighbors, others reacted with fear and anger. On that side of the spectrum of public opinion there was a great deal of dehumanizing occurring. Syrian refugees were not seen as human beings. They were seen instead as a two-fold threat: a safety threat with some people worrying that someone brought here as a refugee would then engage in terrorist activities and a threat to the financial wellbeing of our established residents with wildly exaggerated numbers circulating as to how much local taxes would increase due to supporting the refugees once they arrived.The bookstore I manage stocked a large number of books about Syria, Syrian refugees, and the refugee experience in general in an effort to help facilitate community dialogue. While there are some excellent books in print on these topics, We Crossed A Bridge And It Trembled is the book I wish I could have been putting in people’s hands for the past year.Not a straight history or detailed examination of the crisis in Syria, it is instead simply short accounts from Syrian refugees themselves in their own words about the oppressive regime they lived under, the start of the process to replace that regime with something fairer and better, and how that process bogged down into the horrible humanitarian disaster it is today.This book, more than any I have encountered, preserves the humanity of Syrian refugees—highlights the humanity of Syrian refugees—and in doing so provides a great benefit to the refugees themselves and the communities working to welcome them.There is despair in these pages, and anger, and hope. As a whole it presents a welcome reminder of just how much we have in common deep down inside, whether we are refugees looking for a new start or have called our community home for many generations. I hope this book has a wide and diverse readership. I would certainly recommend it to anyone interested in gaining a fuller picture of both Syria and refugees in general. I would recommend it to anyone who hopes for a greater understanding of situations unimaginable in their own lives. This has the potential to be a powerful read for a great many people.
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  • Reem Zakaria
    June 23, 2017
    If you wish to learn more about the Syrian conflict, you should start here. Wendy Pearlman wrote a remarkable book that highlighted and honored the personal stories and experiences of Syrians living in Assad's poisonous regime. Its an incredible assortment of first-hand testimonials from the front lines of the revolution. The storytelling is so powerful and raw that it often left me imagining what it would be like to live and fight through this devastating war. I made a promise to myself that I If you wish to learn more about the Syrian conflict, you should start here. Wendy Pearlman wrote a remarkable book that highlighted and honored the personal stories and experiences of Syrians living in Assad's poisonous regime. Its an incredible assortment of first-hand testimonials from the front lines of the revolution. The storytelling is so powerful and raw that it often left me imagining what it would be like to live and fight through this devastating war. I made a promise to myself that I would continue to recommend this book every chance I get because I truly believe it should be read by all.
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  • Jackie Harris
    June 22, 2017
    Heartbreakingly powerful first-hand accounts of trying to survive the Assad regime, ISIS, the chemical attacks, the war in Aleppo, the Arab Spring, and the refugee plight for aid. The news does no justice to these voices.
  • Janette Mcmahon
    March 2, 2017
    Learned so much from the prologue and through the "voices" of the people. Perfect to help those who would get bogged down in a heavy historical/political tome to understand Syria and its refugees.
  • Steve
    June 12, 2017
    Well edited and well presented interviews from Syrians about their experiences that paint a powerful picture of that country and it's people. The introduction does a good job of setting the stage with a summary of events happening at the same time as the narratives presented because while the revolution in Syria was motivated by the Arab Spring, this book contains stories going back decades. This book and the interviews presented put a human face on the Syrians, their motivations, and the impact Well edited and well presented interviews from Syrians about their experiences that paint a powerful picture of that country and it's people. The introduction does a good job of setting the stage with a summary of events happening at the same time as the narratives presented because while the revolution in Syria was motivated by the Arab Spring, this book contains stories going back decades. This book and the interviews presented put a human face on the Syrians, their motivations, and the impact of outside parties on them that tend to get overlooked when a conflict has been going on for so long that it has become almost part of the background in the news cycle.
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  • Cecily Sailer
    May 22, 2017
    For those who understand the crisis in Syria only generally, this books offers a quick and concise summary of the country's decline since the 1970s and the various phases and factions that resulted in the disorder we now hear about only glancingly from Western news outlet. The book's abbreviated history is followed by dozens of first-hand accounts from Syrians who lived through each of these phases of the nation's deterioration. Overall, the book is digestible, enlightening, heart-breaking, and For those who understand the crisis in Syria only generally, this books offers a quick and concise summary of the country's decline since the 1970s and the various phases and factions that resulted in the disorder we now hear about only glancingly from Western news outlet. The book's abbreviated history is followed by dozens of first-hand accounts from Syrians who lived through each of these phases of the nation's deterioration. Overall, the book is digestible, enlightening, heart-breaking, and important. Without editorializing, the book leads you to the conclusion that if we believe in democracy at all, we owe Syrians acknowledgment, relief, and hope.
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  • Ameema Saeed
    June 6, 2017
    I'm an Indigo employee, and I received an advanced reading copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music - in exchange for my honest feedback. Powerful, but at times, difficult to read. Pearlman did a great job of providing the reader with historical fact and context, while at the same time keeping the stories and interviews very personal and heartfelt.
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  • Geoffrey Bateman
    June 19, 2017
    Powerful, collective account of the war in Syria that weaves together the voices of a number of different Syrians who experienced the revolution firsthand. Captures well this conflict in all its painful intensity.
  • Debra Lowman
    June 20, 2017
    Well edited snippets and stories told by Syrians of their experiences before, during and after the Syrian Revolution. This collection is quite diverse. I learned so much.
  • Omar Erchid
    June 15, 2017
    ❤💔❤💔❤💔 ❤️💔❤️💔❤️💔
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