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Genocide by Attrition: The Nuba Mountains of Sudan Hardcover – 15 Jul 2012


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"This very moving book provides gripping first-hand stories about the persecution and extermination of the Otoro, Kwalib, and Tira peoples (sometimes known collectively as the 'Nuba People') in Sudan, with indispensable analytic essays that expose the international community's manifest lack of political will to enforce the Genocide Convention, or to make the International Criminal Court an effective institution."

--Hannibal Travis, associate professor of law, Florida International University College of Law

"As was the case with the victims of the Darfur and Rwanda genocides, now the victims in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan have found in Samuel Totten their listener, the analyst of their experience, and their advocate. His study makes important advances in our understanding of the genocidal phenomenon. The destructive power of forced starvation and the way follow-up attacks give momentum to a people's attrition have never been so clearly portrayed. Nor has such a compact study ever served up such fruitful generalizations about perpetrator and bystander behavior, combined with promising recommendations for action."

--John Hubbel Weiss, associate professor of history, Cornell University

"It is impressive how Totten went out of his way to consult locals over years, and used Africa-based research and hands-on reports of international organisations, rather than to affirm politics-sponsored rhetoric and universal acclamations. With the interviews being at the centre of the presentation, it is an authentic report of the events, people, ethnic agendas, local interests and religious tensions, from the onset of the persecution to the effects of an ill-advised CPA in post-2011 Sudan. . . . . the glossary provided at the end offers a very helpful reference to terms, people and events in detail and in the Sudanese context. . . . The case of the Nuba, as presented by Totten, is an excellent account of genocide by attrition. It provides precise examples of a continued persecution with the aim to cleanse an area of its people, for reason of their race, religion and culture in a state that is not at war with another country. The absence of theorising decorum and political rhetoric makes it a fascinating read. Totten gives voice to the targeted people without any guidance as to what he wants to hear and let them talk in their language. . . . The main points of Totten's critique are the international failure of response, the failure to acknowledge the genocidal persecution of the Nuba people and a critique of sporadic political exploit of atrocious events in world politics. . . . Totten argues for the importance of grass roots investigations and empirical, case-based research in ways that provide evidence for an overdue rethinking of genocide concepts for conflicts in the 21st century."

--Christiane Grieb, Dialogues on Historical Justice and Memory

"This very moving book provides gripping first-hand stories about the persecution and extermination of the Otoro, Kwalib, and Tira peoples (sometimes known collectively as the 'Nuba People') in Sudan, with indispensable analytic essays that expose the international community's manifest lack of political will to enforce the Genocide Convention, or to make the International Criminal Court an effective institution."

--Hannibal Travis, associate professor of law, Florida International University College of Law

"As was the case with the victims of the Darfur and Rwanda genocides, now the victims in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan have found in Samuel Totten their listener, the analyst of their experience, and their advocate. His study makes important advances in our understanding of the genocidal phenomenon. The destructive power of forced starvation and the way follow-up attacks give momentum to a people's attrition have never been so clearly portrayed. Nor has such a compact study ever served up such fruitful generalizations about perpetrator and bystander behavior, combined with promising recommendations for action."

--John Hubbel Weiss, associate professor of history, Cornell University

"It is impressive how Totten went out of his way to consult locals over years, and used Africa-based research and hands-on reports of international organisations, rather than to affirm politics-sponsored rhetoric and universal acclamations. With the interviews being at the centre of the presentation, it is an authentic report of the events, people, ethnic agendas, local interests and religious tensions, from the onset of the persecution to the effects of an ill-advised CPA in post-2011 Sudan. . . . . the glossary provided at the end offers a very helpful reference to terms, people and events in detail and in the Sudanese context. . . . The case of the Nuba, as presented by Totten, is an excellent account of genocide by attrition. It provides precise examples of a continued persecution with the aim to cleanse an area of its people, for reason of their race, religion and culture in a state that is not at war with another country. The absence of theorising decorum and political rhetoric makes it a fascinating read. Totten gives voice to the targeted people without any guidance as to what he wants to hear and let them talk in their language. . . . The main points of Totten's critique are the international failure of response, the failure to acknowledge the genocidal persecution of the Nuba people and a critique of sporadic political exploit of atrocious events in world politics. . . . Totten argues for the importance of grass roots investigations and empirical, case-based research in ways that provide evidence for an overdue rethinking of genocide concepts for conflicts in the 21st century."

--Christiane Grieb, Dialogues on Historical Justice and Memory

"This very moving book provides gripping first-hand stories about the persecution and extermination of the Otoro, Kwalib, and Tira peoples (sometimes known collectively as the 'Nuba People') in Sudan, with indispensable analytic essays that expose the international community's manifest lack of political will to enforce the Genocide Convention, or to make the International Criminal Court an effective institution."

--Hannibal Travis, associate professor of law, Florida International University College of Law

"As was the case with the victims of the Darfur and Rwanda genocides, now the victims in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan have found in Samuel Totten their listener, the analyst of their experience, and their advocate. His study makes important advances in our understanding of the genocidal phenomenon. The destructive power of forced starvation and the way follow-up attacks give momentum to a people's attrition have never been so clearly portrayed. Nor has such a compact study ever served up such fruitful generalizations about perpetrator and bystander behavior, combined with promising recommendations for action."

--John Hubbel Weiss, associate professor of history, Cornell University



-It is impressive how Totten went out of his way to consult locals over years, and used Africa-based research and hands-on reports of international organisations, rather than to affirm politics-sponsored rhetoric and universal acclamations. With the interviews being at the centre of the presentation, it is an authentic report of the events, people, ethnic agendas, local interests and religious tensions, from the onset of the persecution to the effects of an ill-advised CPA in post-2011 Sudan. . . . . the glossary provided at the end offers a very helpful reference to terms, people and events in detail and in the Sudanese context. . . . The case of the Nuba, as presented by Totten, is an excellent account of genocide by attrition. It provides precise examples of a continued persecution with the aim to cleanse an area of its people, for reason of their race, religion and culture in a state that is not at war with another country. The absence of theorising decorum and political rhetoric makes it a fascinating read. Totten gives voice to the targeted people without any guidance as to what he wants to hear and let them talk in their language. . . . The main points of Totten's critique are the international failure of response, the failure to acknowledge the genocidal persecution of the Nuba people and a critique of sporadic political exploit of atrocious events in world politics. . . . Totten argues for the importance of grass roots investigations and empirical, case-based research in ways that provide evidence for an overdue rethinking of genocide concepts for conflicts in the 21st century.-

--Christiane Grieb, Dialogues on Historical Justice and Memory

-This very moving book provides gripping first-hand stories about the persecution and extermination of the Otoro, Kwalib, and Tira peoples (sometimes known collectively as the 'Nuba People') in Sudan, with indispensable analytic essays that expose the international community's manifest lack of political will to enforce the Genocide Convention, or to make the International Criminal Court an effective institution.-

--Hannibal Travis, associate professor of law, Florida International University College of Law

-As was the case with the victims of the Darfur and Rwanda genocides, now the victims in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan have found in Samuel Totten their listener, the analyst of their experience, and their advocate. His study makes important advances in our understanding of the genocidal phenomenon. The destructive power of forced starvation and the way follow-up attacks give momentum to a people's attrition have never been so clearly portrayed. Nor has such a compact study ever served up such fruitful generalizations about perpetrator and bystander behavior, combined with promising recommendations for action.-

--John Hubbel Weiss, associate professor of history, Cornell University

About the Author

Samuel Totten is professor of curriculum and instruction at the College of Education and Health Professions, University of Arkansas. His research interests include the Holocaust, genocide education, and genocide theory. He is the co-founding editor of Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal, co-editorof the Journal of African Conflicts and Peace Studies, and editor of the Transaction series on Genocide Studies. His numerous books include Plight and Fate of Women During and Following Genocide; Century of Genocide: Critical Essays and Eyewitness Accounts; and Genocide in Darfur: Investigating Atrocities in the Sudan.


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