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Root Causes of Sudan's Civil Wars: Peace or Truce Format Kindle
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There are a couple points that made me consider moving this down to four stars. One is that Johnson is clearly partisan to the south. He is not fatally so in my opinion, describing some very unflattering characteristics and actions of Garang's faction, and making his bias clear from the beginning. By the end of the book, he also makes a strong case that "neutrality" has been misused or abused in the context of the Sudanese wars, and led me to muse that his outrage seems to spring from his knowledge, versus some writers about southern Sudan whose outrage impedes their learning. I also occasionally found the division of the book in its latter section into thematic sections confusing, especially in cases where the text would refer to later chapters for more information about a mentioned event or process. Fortunately, the appendix includes both a detailed chronology from 1972 through 2001 and a pretty good topical index for when I needed a bit of help orienting myself. The extensive annotated bibliography would be quite useful for some people. There is also the rather obvious issue that the book was written prior to the finalization of the peace agreement and death of Garang, which makes me anxious for an update.
Bottom line: If you want to know about the conflicts in Sudan between 1983 and 2001, then this is the book. If you've read other works on Sudan, you'll be astonished at how thoroughly Johnson annihilates the common wisdom. And whoever you are, you may come to share some of Johnson's outrage.
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