Emma's War: A True Story [With Earbuds] (Playaway Adult Nonfiction)

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9781441706942: Emma's War: A True Story [With Earbuds] (Playaway Adult Nonfiction)
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Emma McCune’s passion for Africa, her unstinting commitment to the children of Sudan, and her youthful beauty and glamour set her apart from other relief workers from the moment she arrived in southern Sudan. But no one was prepared for her decision to marry a local warlord—a man who seemed to embody everything she was working against—and to throw herself into his violent quest to take over southern Sudan’s rebel movement.

With precision and insight, Deborah Scroggins—who met McCune in Sudan—charts the process by which McCune’s romantic delusions led to her descent into the hell of Africa’s longest-running civil war. Emma’s War is at once a disturbing love story and an up-close look at Sudan: a world where international aid fuels armies as well as the starving population, and where the northern-based Islamic government—backed by Osama bin Laden—is locked in a war with the Christian and pagan south over religion, oil, and slaves.

A timely, revelatory account of the nature of relief work, of the men and women who choose to carry it out, and of one woman’s sacrifice to its ideals.

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From the Back Cover:

“[A] brilliantly penetrating portrait...McCune, who came to Sudan in 1987 as a 23-year-old British aid worker and married a Sudanese rebel commander, is only among the latest in a long line of adventuring moralists. In her, Scroggins has found a feckless, captivating subject, as insufferable as the white man’s insatiable need for redemption in Africa...Scroggins uses McCune’s story to illuminate much more than her subject’s erotic and humanitarian escapades...After reading this powerful book, I find her fury contagious.” –Lorraine Adams, Washington Post Book World

"[A] compelling portrait of an independent-minded British aid worker who married a Sudanese warlord...Scroggins uses the story of Emma McCune, a young woman with fashion-model looks who found something in African culture missing from her own life, as a through-line to follow the neglected history of Africa in the 1980s and '90s...Once in Sudan, [Emma] proved herself a diligent and charismatic figure, eschewing white privileges, behaving at times more Sudanese than Western, and developing a cult-like following...Solid background, cinematic descriptions, and the author's own intimate knowledge of the Sudan and the international aid community in Africa enhance this profile of a woman who gave herself fully to her ideals, and to her fate."

"This is an important book. Scroggins quietly sets down the catalog of horrors - the perpetual violation of one culture by another, and the wretched populations left on the bloodied field without safety or self-sufficiency. What is considered somehow 'a black thing,' 'an African thing,' is just a sad parody of the worst of colonialism: greed, corruption, anarchy and violence. What I admired above all is Scroggins's ability to both think and write, superbly well, about not only the deep complexities of Sudan and its neighbors, but also about the eternal ethnic and religious disputes that have now landed right on our doorstep. EMMA'S WAR should be read not only for its fascinating historical roadmaps, but its furious recital of our narcissistic fantasies of making the black, the other, white in our image. We all know that nobody gives a damn about Africa, but what Scroggins is also telling us is that Africa, the East, and Islam are getting closer every day."
–Carolyn Slaughter, author of Before the Knife

"Deborah Scroggins has done her homework, and it shows. Emma's War is a fascinating journey through hell, on levels both macro and micro, its many threads woven into a fine tapestry. On the one hand, we have the Sudan, its complicated history expertly limned. On the other, we have Emma: beautiful, passionate, flawed, and doomed."
–Deborah Copaken Kogan, author of Shutterbabe

"In Africa, hideous conditions mix with magical settings. Thus western humanitarianism there has combined true bravery with romantic delusion. Deborah Scroggins illuminates this concept through a love story filled with thrilling, unforgettable characters: the most revealing book on Africa and the West's obsession with it that I have read in several years."
–Robert D. Kaplan, author of The Ends of the Earth and The Coming Anarchy

"Deborah Scroggins weaves a tale that is heart-wrenching and oddly inspiring, and in the process carries us deep into the heart of Africa. Emma's War is wonderfully written, meticulously researched: a haunting journey that is as memorable as Emma was remarkable."
–David Lamb, author of The Africans

"This is a wrenching journey through one of Africa's most cruel civil wars with, at its center, a reckless, romantic heroine no novelist could invent."
-–Kati Marton, author of Hidden Power

"This is an illuminating portrait of an epic, tragically divided country, which was one of the cradles of Islamism, and an early haven of bin Laden. Scroggins writes beautifully, and she casts and impressively wide net. She was there and she takes the reader there, too. The quality of her reporting and the depth of her research are superb. The book fills in a piece of the African puzzle that I was missing. I am sure I will be referring to this book often in the future. It is a solid addition to the scant literature on the Sudan."
–-Alex Shoumatoff, author of African Madness

"A fantastic story–and a complex one to tell. Deborah Scroggins has managed to explain the inexplicable about this war and this country, and has also managed to render it all into a page turner. Her passion for and commitment to Sudan is almost heartbreaking. Emma's War goes beneath the surface–it teaches all khawajas a big lesson about how difficult it is to be a white person in love with Africa, how careful one must be not to mistake one's love for blindness, and how to keep one's identity and one's ideals of justice in the midst of such horrors. Scroggins' honesty, loyalty and passion are impressive...This is a marvelous and important book."
–-Francesca Marciano, author of Rules of the Wild

About the Author:

Deborah Scroggins has won six national journalism awards for her reporting from Sudan and the Middle East. A former correspondent for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she has published articles in Granta, The Independent, Playboy, and elsewhere. She lives in Atlanta.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780375403972: Emma's War: An aid worker, a warlord, radical Islam, and the politics of oil--a true story of love and death in Sudan

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0375403973 ISBN 13:  9780375403972
Publisher: Pantheon, 2002