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Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  130 ratings  ·  20 reviews
From the author of Good Muslim, Bad Muslim comes an important book, unlike any other, that looks at the crisis in Darfur within the context of the history of Sudan and examines the world’s response to that crisis.

In Saviors and Survivors, Mahmood Mamdani explains how the conflict in Darfur began as a civil war (1987—89) between nomadic and peasant tribes over fertile land
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by Pantheon
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May 04, 2014 Amy rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: africa
Saviors and Survivors is either too long or two short. It begins with a fascinating and well argued critique of the Save Darfur movement which succeeds at being convincing without being smug and suffers only from a slight tendency towards repetition. This part is well worth reading for anyone, regardless of their level of knowledge of Sudan or Darfur, and could have worked as a book in itself.

One of Mamdani's main critiques of the Save Darfur movement is that its members sought to get their gov
Sara-Maria Sorentino
Apr 06, 2009 Sara-Maria Sorentino rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: jack, alison, STANDers and Save-rs
Shelves: yeayeahelpin
I was fortunate enough to hear mamdani speak not too long ago. He is a captivating orator--careful with his words and illuminating with his stories. His analysis of Darfur, here and elsewhere ( resounds with penetrating clarity much needed in the heyday of Save Darfur’s self-delusion. The third clause in the subtitle of this book is but a hint of Mamdani’s bold linkages seldom admitted elsewhere.

preliminary cautionary note: I found his talk of citizenship
Rushay Booysen
Mahmood Mamdani view on the Darfur crisis,while it carried alot of valid points from a Africa point of view.We just lost one of the men that influenced alot of whats happening in that region (Mr Ghadaffi) lets hope the African Union becomes more than a dummy union.the book had its good points but became too lengthy at times
Mahmood Mamdani has written another incisive book. This time, he turns his gaze towards the conflict in Darfur, Sudan. Looking through the lens of an academic and analyst, he sees the shades of gray that were obliterated by activists starting around 2003-04. He writes that as the activist program swelled, especially in the form of the Save Darfur coalition, the violence in Darfur actually fell. He looks at the greater picture, historicizing the situation, looking at the political, moral and econ ...more
Imperialistic overreach or humanitarian mission? That is the main question that Mamdani addresses in this extraordinary book about the situation in Darfur. I'll admit that I was one of those who thought that without question we should go in there and do what we can to solve what I believed to be a huge crisis. However, the well-sourced evidence in this book shows that the actual numbers are far off from what we've been told, and that the situation needs an internal resolution vs. outside interve ...more
My review from:

What Does Darfur Have To Do With The “War On Terror”?
posted by Kevin Funk

A renowned scholar and commentator on African affairs and U.S. foreign policy, Mahmood Mamdani’s views have attracted considerable criticism from across the political spectrum. In particular, his analysis of the Robert Mugabe government of Zimbabwe has drawn ire from both the right and left, with some contending that he is downplaying the crimes of the Mugabe regime. W
Oct 20, 2009 Ktb5t added it
This is my second try at this one. We'll see if I can muster through it before the library wants it back.

OK, after maxing out my library renewal limit, I finished it. I can't give a detailed rehearsal of all the arguments made in this book, but I think it's fair to say that the point is that (1) Darfur is really effing complicated, due to a lot of colonial history that is poorly understood by activists in the West, and (2) that it's not true to characterize the conflict as a genocidal war waged
Pam Rasmussen
This book would have gotten a lot higher rating from me than two stars if I had read just the first and last chapters. They are definitely worthwhile, maybe even "must reading." But the intervening chapters are way too tediously detailed for anyone who does not have an intense interest in the history of Sudan.

The objective of Saviors & Survivors is to debunk the myths propagated by the Save Darfur movement, replacing them with the much-more-complicated reality. While many in the movement cla
Rob Prince
Sometime a few years ago, iraq anti-war groups on college campuses seemed to evaporate and in their place sprouted - virtually everywhere - `Save Darfur' Committees. I have always been rather skeptical about this latter movement, wondering what it is about. Mahmood Mamdani - an African scholar from Uganda teaching at Columbia University - has written a number of important books, on population control, Rwanda and now Darfur. This Darfur book is not easy reading, but so what? It is a carefully wri ...more
I learned tons about the history of Sudan, the idealist anti terrorism movement, the Save Darfur movement and its weaknesses and politics, and his opinion of the truth about the complexity of the Sudan conflict. As the commentary below notes, Darfur is just the author's example for his bigger argument that comes out at the end. Perhaps read the final chapter first and then dive in...? Definitely worth the time and effort to read.

Here's an interesting critique of his book. I look forward to read
Interesting take on Darfur and the international relations surrounding the crisis.
Roger Grande
Brilliant! A must read book on Darfur, genocide and Saharan Africa. The middle chapters are hard and extremely detailed, but the book is unassailable in its critique of the Darfur movement. It's analysis of identity and colonialism is perfect. I'm psyched to have a signed copy! Read this!
Dec 15, 2009 M rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: half-read
Mamdani takes the crisis in Darfur and provides historical and cultural context. Very interesting read, with a different perspective on whether genocide has occurred in Darfur. Highly recommended if the politics and history of Sudan are of interest to you.
Apr 04, 2009 Josh added it
"The Save Darfur movement is to the War on Terror what missionaries were to the British Empire." A bold statement. I admire Mamdani's interest in history and context at the expense of celebrity and glitz.
the first third of the book, an analysis of American activism around Darfur, is great. i've heard critiques of the historical research of the rest of the book - anyone else?
Awkward amount of detail in the history section, but the arguments regarding the nature of conflict in Darfur and the Save Darfur Coalition make it worth a read.
Roxy Lonergan
very, very dry and comprehensive history of darfur, has often been described as a denial of genocide in darfur.
thought part 1 was excellent, but my mind just wasn't there for the rest...
Mamdani is a G
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Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism Define and Rule: Native as Political Identity Myth of Population Control Family

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