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A History of South Sudan
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Book description

South Sudan is the world's youngest independent country. Established in 2011 after two wars, South Sudan has since reverted to a state of devastating civil strife. This book provides a general history of the new country, from the arrival of Turco-Egyptian explorers in Upper Nile, the turbulence of the Mahdist revolutionary period, the chaos of the 'Scramble for Africa', during which the South was prey to European and African adventurers and empire builders, to the Anglo-Egyptian colonial era. Special attention is paid to the period since Sudanese independence in 1956, when Southern disaffection grew into outright war, from the 1960s to 1972, and from 1983 until the Comprehensive Peace of 2005, and to the transition to South Sudan's independence. The book concludes with coverage of events since then, which since December 2013 have assumed the character of civil war, and with insights into what the future might hold.


‘This badly-needed book is essential to understanding Africa's newest state – and one of its most troubled.'

Christopher Clapham - University of Cambridge

'South Sudan holds in the global imagination a reputation as a violent place, a state that began to break down practically from the moment of its independence in 2011. A History of South Sudan: From Slavery to Independence is the first book to offer a comprehensive overview of South Sudan's contemporary predicament and its relationship to a history of oppressive authoritarian rule. The product of a fruitful collaboration between the dean of historical studies of the Sudan region and a specialist in its histories of violence and its current affairs, this incisive volume explains how South Sudan came into being. The authors provide a grounded understanding of how the new country's leaders replicate the historical patterns of oppression that independence was meant to end. … This provocative and compelling book is sure to stir debate. It also is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how this and other states break down and the challenges of negotiating peace in very difficult contexts.'

William Reno - Northwestern University, Illinois

'This is an important book because it provides a new look at how South Sudan emerged as political and administrative entity and why it separated from Sudan. It will be of interest to students of history at universities and may be one of the important history reference books of the new country.'

Luka Kuol - Director, Centre for Peace and Development Studies, University of Juba, South Sudan

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