I read 80 pages in the first day in an attempt to finish this in one shot, only to realize that I basically had no idea what was going on due to the a...moreI read 80 pages in the first day in an attempt to finish this in one shot, only to realize that I basically had no idea what was going on due to the amount of acronyms and my failure to pay close attention.... backed up 40 pages and wrote an outline to keep them straight.
Within those first 80 pages one will encounter: RUF, SLPP, APC, NPFL, ECOMOG, ECOWAS, NPRC, ISU, SSD, ULIMO and probably a couple of others I neglected to write down. Even if you're reading this for general interest and not for school/educational purposes, I'd suggest writing them down as you go along to keep it all straight.
This book was a slog. It is an endless recounting of events with an interjection of letters from Sierra Leonans. While it reveals some pretty important ties between people in power and truly gave me a sense of how diamonds played a role in conflicts and amputations, I can't help but wonder if there's a better account out there.
On the back of this book the claim is made that this is "The book they thought you should read... but refused to publish" with a list of quotes from publishers stating a variation on how wonderful the book is, or how they wish they could publish it. Perhaps the real reason they did not publish it is due to its mediocrity. I feel bad slamming the book because I did genuinely learn from it, but I don't feel it was all that well written.(less)
While I found the way Nordstrom wove political theory into her ethnography to be quite artful and was fascinated by much of it, she doesn't necessaril...moreWhile I found the way Nordstrom wove political theory into her ethnography to be quite artful and was fascinated by much of it, she doesn't necessarily give one the most holistic or nuanced representation of the war in Mozambique. To some extent she acknowledged this. I enjoyed her exploration of the different mechanisms Mozambicans employed to resist violence in peaceful ways and how their view of violence differed from the underpinnings of Western culture and philosophy. I would recommend pairing this with Culture in Chaos: An Anthropology of the Social Condition in War for a more well rounded look.(less)