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Saving Darfur: Everyone's Favourite African War Paperback – 9 Feb 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Reportage Press (9 Feb. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906702195
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906702199
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.9 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,000,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'A haunting and brutally honest account of international failure and African suffering. Lucid, engaging and written with love for the entire continent of Africa.' --Fergal Keane, BBC News

Rob Crilly tells the story of Darfur up close, focusing on the people who have fought and suffered. Neither cynical nor moralizing, he brings to life its protagonists-rebel fighters, Arab militiamen, displaced villagers, foreign aid workers, diplomats and campaigners. Saving Darfur delves beneath the stereotypes to tackle the complexities of Darfur and Sudan, illuminating both the ordinariness and the bizarreness of this extraordinary African war.' --Alex De Waal, author of 'Darfur: A New History of a Long War'

'While I disagree with much of Mr Crilly's analysis, he provides us with a solid journalistic account of his first-hand experiences in Darfur.' --Mia Farrow, actress and activist

From the Inside Flap

`A haunting and brutally honest account of international
failure and African suffering' - Fergal Keane, BBC News

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By V.Luckie on 31 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
Former Times East Africa Correspondent Rob Crilly's Saving Darfur is surprisingly amusing considering the deadly serious subject matter. Liberated from the Times tight word-count, the writing style is very English and reminded me a little of Mac Donald Frazer's Flashman than more earnest (and duller) accounts.

I suspect this book is not destined to be carried around campus by bleeding hearts and angry young men. Which is a shame, because the self - depreciating Crilly comes across as an intelligent and likeable chap. I suspect he likes Africa a bit too much. Because he sets out to achieve what he knows will be hard to sell, to `complicate' the story of Darfur.

The result is not only a personal account par excellence. For along with a heavy dose of bluff humour, the odd stray misogynistic description, and tall (but I suspect in this case entirely truthful) tales. The book is packed with a rich vein of sometimes colourful, often plain irrelevant, but always interesting facts. It also tells the often tragic stories of those involved with objectivity and kindness and without show-boating.

It does what journalism is meant to - gives the reader with no-knowledge of the subject the vital wider context that would be impossible to slot in to five hundred words, told in the voice of a regular at your local pub. But Crilly's inclusion of the occasional conspiratorial gossipy tit-bit, and his often acerbic analysis of the world-view of the situation somehow promises to achieve the difficult balancing act of also amusing the most-jaded old Africa hand.

The book starts as a gloriously honest romp through the area's political landscape.
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Format: Paperback
I second the comments in the reviews made above. There are many books milling around documenting the experiences of journalists and aid workers in Africa. Saving Darfur is among the more well-informed, thought-provoking and accessible. As he crisscrosses the region, the author's anecdotes thread together, allowing the reader to build up a broader picture into the West's often fraught relationship with Sudan. In doing so, he presents a very complex situation in very readable chunks.

He convincingly shows how Western audiences are often presented a very simplistic analysis of the causes and dynamics of the conflict in Darfur by Western media and well-intentioned lobby-groups; which may be misleading, or, in the worst case, may be detrimental to peace efforts in the region. Even the rather seedy description of the author's journalistic romp covering the Mohammed the Teddy Bear fiasco shows how surreal the West's relationship with Sudan can become, driven by stereotypes and misunderstandings on both sides.

Should definitely be on the reading list of anyone working in, traveling to, interested in the region.
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Format: Paperback
Eminently readable without being overly-simplistic. Does an astonishingly good job of taking the reader on an informative and entertaining journing into what is a deeply complex conflict - certainly far more complex that the Western media would have you believe. As someone that also covered Sudan and the Darfur conflict at a similar time, I can't really fault Rob's analysis of it in any meaningful way. Here's a guy that really understands what's going on, and yet, as a good journalist should be able to, can communicate it in a way that ordinary folk can understand.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Darfur - the truth. 23 Mar. 2010
By James M. Laurie - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a beautiful but terrible story.
So much is beautiful about Africa, so much is terrible. It is a continent that is growing up and the growing pains are intense and prolonged.
The magnificence of the vistas, the brilliance of the smiles, the laughter of the children, all are starkly contrasted by the desolation of burned villages and vast refugee camps, the tears of the raped and widowed and the wailing of the orphans.
In a land blessed by great riches but wracked by wars, hatred, greed and corruption Rob Crilly - one of a new breed of journalist prepared to get behind the black-and-white headlines - dissects just one of those wars or, as he calls it, "Everyone's Favourite African War" - Darfur.
Crilly says he did not set out on a mission to upset the popular view of the conflict - the tales of genocide by hordes of mounted Arabs sweeping under cover of darkness into peaceful Black African villages.
Such raids are happening, but this simple picture of light-skinned North versus dark-skinned South, Evil versus Good, presented, often in good faith, by some celebrities, organisations and much of the western press - far from helping the suffering people of Darfur - could, argues Crilly, be hindering a solution.
The failure of the international organisations big enough to stop the horror, to understand and accept the complexities behind what is going on, appears to be yet another black mark in their African exercise book.
Whatever your viewpoint, don't claim that you understand the Darfur tragedy without reading this book.
You don't have to buy it; you can borrow it or steal it, but read it.
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