This book is a 'primer' on Somali culture and recent history. It is a dense book that reads easily. It should be required reading for anybody who deals with Somalia, from diplomats to journalists and from NGO workers to United Nations staff. Because if there is one clear lesson that emerges from Lewis's precise and sweeping assessment, it is that Somalia is a walking and moving exception to many rules about the nation-state and that trying to deal with it in 'usual' fashion not only does not help but on the contrary tends to compound the problems.' --Gerard Prunier, author of Darfur: The Ambiguous Genocide and of From Genocide to Continental War: The 'Congolese' Conflict and the Crisis of Contemporary Africa
About the Author
I.M. Lewis FBA, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the LSE, is recognised internationally as the leading academic authority on the history and cultures of the Somali people, on which he has written dozens of books and articles over the last fifty years.