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A History of Modern Sudan


  • 24 b/w illus. 14 maps
  • Page extent: 360 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.57 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521674959)

Sudan's modern history has been consumed by revolution and civil war. The country attracted international attention in the 1990s as a breeding ground of Islamist terrorism and recently tensions between the prosperous centre and the periphery, between north and south, have exploded in Darfur. In his latest book, Robert Collins, a frequent visitor and veteran scholar of the region, traces Sudan's history across two hundred years to show how many of the tragedies of today have been planted in its past. The story begins with the conquest of Muhammad 'Ali in 1821, and moves through the Anglo-Egyptian condominium to independence in 1956. It then focuses on Sudanese rule in the post-independence years when the fragile democracy established by the British collapsed under sectarian strife. It is these religious and ethnic divides, the author contends, in conjunction with failed leadership, which have prolonged and sustained the conflict in Sudan.

• Offers new interpretations of the recent tragedies in Sudan • Written by one of the premier scholars of the region • Will appeal to students of African history as well as policymakers and professionals working in the region


1. The making of modern Sudan: the nineteenth century; 2. The Anglo-Egyptian condominium; 3. Parliamentary and military experiments in government, 1956-1969; 4. The government of Ja'afar Numayri: the heroic years, 1969-1976; 5. The government of Ja'Afar Numayri: the years of dismay and disintegration, 1976-1985; 6. The TMC and third parliamentary government; 7. The Islamist revolution: the Turabi years, 1989-1996; 8. The Bashir years: beleaguered and defiant; 9. War and peace in the southern Sudan; 10. Disaster in Darfur; Epilogue.

Prize Winner

Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2009 - Winner


'Robert Collins has drawn deeply on his half century of research on, and intimate knowledge of, Sudan to write a gripping account of what has been for much of this book a tragic history. At a time when Sudan's future is more uncertain than ever- with the peace agreement with the south under strain and new conflict in Darfur - there could be no more revealing account of the making of this situation. Academics, practitioners and the general public will all find enlightenment here.' Peter Woodward, University of Reading

'Collins, one of the grand masters of Sudanese history, provides a remarkable portrait of modern Sudan that is both an encyclopedic reference aid and a clear presentation of the main themes of modern Sudanese history. The analysis is sometimes controversial and always helpful and informative. In his characteristic style, Collins provides both the big picture and the necessary supporting details in this book that will be of great help to specialists and non-specialists alike, and should be required reading for policy makers dealing with Sudan.' John Voll, Georgetown University

'From the excellent Introduction to his thoughtful Epilogue, Robert Collins has given us a valuable farewell present with an admirable summary of his outstanding historical research over 50 years; every student of, and policy-maker on, Sudan will benefit from reading it and pondering its overarching themes.' Middle East Journal

'The outcome … is an easily readable, fluent, and richly detailed narrative that introduces … the main lines of Sudan's history after the gain of independence in 1956.' Enrico Ille, H-Soz-u-Kult

'… Collins takes on a fascinating journey through the recent history of Sudanese governments … a highly readable, revealing and thought-provoking narrative.' The Journal of Modern African Studies

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