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War Stories: A Memoir of Nigeria and Biafra by John Sherman tells the story of an American who served with a food/medical team operated by the International Committee of the Red Cross during the civil war in Nigeria in the late 1960s. It contains flashbacks to the time when the author had been a Peace Corps Volunteer in the same area of West Africa (in 1966-67). The book has 16 pp. of photographs taken by the author during the war and also includes illustrations of some memorabilia of Nigeria and Biafra collected by the author. Front matter includes a chronology of events for Nigeria and Biafra, 1960-70, and maps of the area, along with a glossary, to provide readers with perspective on the situations described in the book.
The memoir began as a diary kept by John Sherman when he lived in West Africa in the late 1960s. Sherman arrived in Nigeria in September 1966 as a Peace Corps Volunteer teacher assigned to a school in the then-Eastern Region of the country. On May 30, 1967, the Eastern Region seceded and became the Republic of Biafra. Civil war soon followed and Sherman was evacuated. He spent the next year with the Peace Corps in Malawi, in southeastern Africa, then returned to Nigeria to work with the International Committee of the Red Cross. At first, he was assigned to work at the airport at Lagos, then the country's capital. Soon, he was sent to work with a food/medical team in an area that had been, briefly, a part of Biafra but was now again in Nigerian hands.
Sherman worked with a doctor and two nurses and several young men who were responsible for distributing the food each day at clinics where they treated hundreds and fed thousands of people who were struggling to survive the horrible conditions brought about by the war.
Sherman's book brings the reader uncomfortably close to the horrors of war, especially how it affects those least responsible for the war -- the children. The team he served with attempted to save the lives of hundreds of children every day, many of whom were suffering from kwashiorkor -- extreme malnutrition.
The book shows Sherman's evolution from being pro-Biafran (he had attempted to return to Biafra, but was unable to get there, so he joined the Red Cross on the Nigerian side of the civil war) to someone who saw the good and evil on both sides and who quickly understood the futility of all war, particularly the one he became so personally involved in.
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This is, unfortunately, a timely book. Sadly, a book about war and the futility of war is always a timely topic. Although the story I tell took place 35 and more years ago, I am confident that readers too young to remember the events will, nonetheless, benefit from the story and learn a piece of history that, at the time, held the world's attention. Those who do remember can relate to the tragedy described in the book. Being a memoir, it is a highly personal view of a broader situation, but readers of the book who were not aware of the events described have found it compelling.About the Author:
John Sherman has published three books of poetry (Marjorie Main: Rural Documentary Poetry is available through amazon.com)and pictorial history books on Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico. He has also served as the ghostwriter for three books. Sherman has edited additional publications and has published his poetry, essays, feature articles, and photos in most major newspapers and many magazines. He has earned many prizes for his poetry and holds the New Mexico Governor's Award of Honor for Historic Preservation for Santa Fe: A Pictorial History. Sherman is a member of the Authors Guild and PEN and is listed in many writers' directories. He is listed in the 57th edition of Marquis' Who's Who in America.
Sherman, the owner of a public relations firm in Indianapolis, serves a variety of clients, including many authors around the U.S.
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Book Description Mesa Verde Press, 2002. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110960722025
Book Description Mesa Verde Press, 2002. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0960722025
Book Description Mesa Verde Press, 2002. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0960722025