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War and Faith in Sudan Hardcover – August 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (August 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802829333
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802829337
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,075,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"War and Faith in Sudan is an important and timely book -- a devastating account of the war the world still refuses to acknowledge. In the Nuba Mountains of central Sudan Gabriel Meyer discovered evil on a grand scale, and the eloquent witness he bears, his efforts to remember and honor the disappeared, should be required reading for anyone interested in understanding the murderous times in which we live. This is reportage of the first order." Christopher Merrill

About the Author

Gabriel Meyer is an award-winning journalist, novelist and poet who currently lives in Los Angeles.

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By gordon fuglie on November 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
An accomplished poet and a veteran journalist who has covered turmoil in the Balkans and Holy Land, Gabriel Meyer guides the reader through the violence in central Sudan at the close of the country's second civil war in 2005.

Unlike socio-political books with their overview approach, the narrative of War and Faith in Sudan is energized by the author's life among the Nuba people. Meyer lived in a number of Nuba villages and travelled the rugged countryside with them, seeing first-hand the effects of the vicious warfare that the Khatroum government waged against these people. Readers will be shocked and grieved to read the vivid account of an aerial bombing of school children. Meyer's closing chapter leaves us with a memorial to this atrocity, and to the children of Central Sudan who have had to endure so much.

The book also does a fine job of contextualizing the conflict. Senior Sudan scholar, Frances M. Deng, contributes a wide-ranging (if a bit dense) foreward, One of the most notable chapters is Meyer's needed "deconstruction" of previous romantic notions about the Nuba: "On the Nuba and Modernity." By the end of his book, and with compassion and judiciousness, he has given us these people in their full humanity.

Accompanying the text are numerous photographs (including 8 in color) by James Nicholls that hold photojournalistic and aesthetic concerns in an admirable balance.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully written book, and is easily read in a sitting or two because it flows so well. Mostly it is the story of the Nuba mountain people- the country of Sudan is seen through the prism of these easy to like folk. Their generosity of spirit makes their suffering all the more poignant, and the feeling of helplessness as one reads of the many obstacles to aid for the country all the more painful. One learns of the key players, a bit of the root causes, but since this is more of a book of the Nuba, Dafur (for example) is not given a lot of ink, just enough to hint that it is part of a larger picture. It was news to me that the black people of the Dafur region are primarily Muslim, that the war is an ethnic war of oppression by Arab Islamist elites against the black Sudanese of all faiths. It is difficult to simplify it even to this degree, as some of the government soldiers and even high-ranking officers are black and even Nuban. A complex problem, to put it mildly, but several senators (Brownback and others) and the much maligned Bush administration seem to have been doing a lot to help negotiate some permanent-looking cease-fires. The photography is interesting, but perhaps it only rises to the level of the recipient- I really didn't find it as moving as the average National Geographic. Now that I think of it- that's not quite true- the picture on the cover moved me to buy the book- it is haunting and unforgettable.

Finally, as for faith in the Sudan, that part did not quite come through for me. I couldn't tell by the author's stories whether the people he met were authentic Christians, or just cultural/political ones. The animists' religion only surfaced as regards the customs and rituals that were more social than religious. In other words, it's a good book, but it probably could've gone with a less ambitious title.
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