6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Exactly what the title suggests,
This review is from: Charles Taylor and Liberia: Ambition and Atrocity in Africa's Lone Star State (Paperback)
This book is neither a biography of Charles Taylor, nor a history of Liberia and its civil war. Rather, it is exactly what the title suggests - a study of the both Taylor and Liberia and how each affected and continues to affect the other. The book is impressive in its meticulous portrayal of multiple viewpoints. We rarely, if ever, see only one side of the story. This inclusion of multiple viewpoints enables us as readers to weigh the evidence for ourselves and contributes significantly to the thought-provoking nature of the book.
In terms of the evidence probided, the author gives us not only a multitude of statistics, but also numerous, well-selected quotes from a variety of relevant people, including those close to Taylor. This kind of evidence brings the events to life for us as readers and gives us insight into the context in which these horrendous events took place.
Waugh has succeeded in creating a highly readable account. For the most part, especially during the places where the story is told chronologically, the narrative flows in a way which makes you not want to stop reading. On occasion, however there are some disjointed transitions. These generally occur in places where Waugh has digressed to give further detail on topics such as the general conditions prevailing in Taylor's Greater Liberia. It can be difficult in these places to keep hold of where each of the pieces fit within the complex story being told. Overall, however, these are few, and do not detract from a generally fluid style. I highly recommend this book to all who want to undestand this period of history and the personalities who made it.