Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Complicated War: The Harrowing of Mozambique” as Want to Read:
A Complicated War: The Harrowing of Mozambique
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Complicated War: The Harrowing of Mozambique

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  63 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Powerful, instructive, and full of humanity, this book challenges the current understanding of the war that has turned Mozambique—a naturally rich country—into the world's poorest nation. Before going to Mozambique, William Finnegan saw the war, like so many foreign observers, through a South African lens, viewing the conflict as apartheid's "forward defense." This lens ...more
Paperback, 325 pages
Published February 26th 1993 by University of California Press (first published February 1992)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Complicated War, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Complicated War

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jun 04, 2012 Elliot rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-work
The history of Mozambique is complicated, confusing, and often brutally awful, but also extremely important in order to understand the complexities of Mozambique as it is today. This is certainly not an uplifting book, and the structure of dividing the book into geographical areas and then wandering around between different anecdotes is sometimes difficult to follow, but somehow this actually represents Mozambique rather well.

Despite having lived in and studied Mozambique for a year when I read
Thomas Lang
Apr 01, 2015 Thomas Lang rated it liked it
Shelves: out-of-africa
Beggars wont be choosers and there are very few books devoted to the conflict that was in Mozambique. I enjoyed much of Finnegan's analysis but did not care greatly for the narrative, although he certainly had a great amount of firsthand experience in Mozambique. What I disliked the most about the book was Finnegan constantly ridiculing almost every African of European descent he met, especially Afrikaners (who either come across as African hillbillies or remorseless capitalists). Finnegan ...more
May 15, 2015 Meg rated it it was ok
Like the civil war it is trying to describe, Finnegan's book is complicated. The work is one part travel memoir, one part journalistic essay, and one part history book. Although the subject matter is interesting, and the writing is well-researched and very well documented, the book is structured around the geography of the country. While this clearly illustrates the varying circumstances of the war and the vastly different situations, I found it difficult to keep track of the overall historical ...more
Oct 11, 2015 Cameron rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mozambique
Anyone who wants to know about Mozambique's recent history must read this book--not just because it's full of names, facts and dates, but because it's a stunning work of exploration and exposure by a journalist who chose to travel through a viciously dangerous countryside to try to understand the reality of a nation devastated by fear. But more than that, this is also a superb piece of writing: engrossing from beginning to end, every page packed with vivid prose and thought-provoking discussion. ...more
Dec 12, 2014 Jonathan rated it it was amazing
This is a good journalistic take on the civil war in Mozambique from the late 1970s to early 1990s. The book wanders in its topics, but that seems to fit the telling of a Mozambican story like this. It gave me a much deeper understanding of the conflict and its effects. I would label this book a must-read if you are seeking to understand that period in the country's history.
Dec 15, 2014 Marc rated it really liked it
The sterile title and boring cover design don't do this book justice. It's a good book, and draws a good balance between journalistic stories and insights and more academic research. A great place to learn about 1980s Mozambique and the post independence civil war.
Stephen Witt
Feb 28, 2009 Stephen Witt rated it really liked it
The epigraph is a quote from Dante's Inferno, which seems a bit affected until you read the whole thing, and then you are like wow Africa is Hell.
Andrew Lind
Sep 15, 2009 Andrew Lind rated it it was amazing
Anyone interested in the history of Mozambique - the war part - will love this book. Very well written.
Luis Gonçalves
Luis Gonçalves rated it it was amazing
Jan 25, 2008
Amanda rated it really liked it
Sep 19, 2010
Emily Hotchkiss
Emily Hotchkiss rated it liked it
Sep 27, 2012
Lindsey rated it really liked it
Jun 24, 2009
Kevin rated it really liked it
Nov 01, 2007
Kory Russel
Kory Russel rated it really liked it
Sep 11, 2007
Karen rated it it was amazing
Sep 28, 2010
Alice Pettway
Alice Pettway rated it really liked it
Sep 11, 2014
Alexis rated it really liked it
Sep 05, 2007
Andrew rated it liked it
Aug 05, 2012
Mike rated it liked it
Nov 01, 2015
Kate rated it really liked it
Feb 27, 2015
Oct 12, 2007 Wendy rated it really liked it
Definitely harrowing, but Finnegan's confident voice keeps you from putting it down.
Virginia Abbott
Virginia Abbott rated it it was amazing
Mar 19, 2013
Erin Lynum
Erin Lynum rated it liked it
Dec 26, 2014
Nathan Dalrymple
Nathan Dalrymple rated it really liked it
Mar 14, 2013
Caitlyn rated it it was amazing
Dec 09, 2012
William Sullivan
William Sullivan rated it liked it
Dec 31, 2014
Breanna rated it it was ok
May 19, 2013
Kiboko rated it really liked it
Mar 01, 2008
Natalie rated it really liked it
Jul 09, 2010
Laura rated it really liked it
Jun 11, 2012
« previous 1 3 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Great African Reads: Mozambique side-read: A Complicated War 1 11 Jul 05, 2014 11:14AM  

Share This Book