Sean Mccarrey's Reviews > Prisoners of the Mahdi

Prisoners of the Mahdi by Byron Farwell
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's review
Aug 14, 2012

really liked it
Read in August, 2012

The Mahdi is such a fascinating character in Sudanese history its no wonder there are a plethora of books about him and the movement he created, not just books by those who lived during the era, but by historians taking a look at indigenous insurgencies against imperial powers. With a number of somewhat off beat events since this movement its a wonder that more books are not written on the subject of Sudan's history. But the Mahdi who frustrated monarchs, empires, and Gordon alike captured so much attention that some sort of attention vortex seems to have been opened on this period. This is where Byron Farwell comes in. Despite his unfortunate use of the long since defunct words, and his occasionally jingoistic tone (it was 1967 when he wrote this after all) Farwell creates a fairly enthralling picture of the events that tied up so many religious fanatics, imperialists, and haphazard onlookers into one giant cabal of jihad and modern day crusades.

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