In Sierra Leone -

Jackson, Michael D.

Published by Duke Univ
ISBN 10: 0822333015 / ISBN 13: 9780822333012
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Synopsis: In 2002, as Sierra Leone prepared to announce the end of its brutal civil war, the distinguished anthropologist, poet, and novelist Michael Jackson returned to the country where he had intermittently lived and worked as an ethnographer since 1969. While his initial concern was to help his old friend Sewa Bockarie (S. B.) Marah—a prominent figure in Sierra Leonean politics—write his autobiography, Jackson’s experiences during his stay led him to create a more complex work: In Sierra Leone, a beautifully rendered mosaic integrating S. B.’s moving stories with personal reflections, ethnographic digressions, and meditations on history and violence.

Though the Revolutionary United Front (R.U.F.) ostensibly fought its war (1991–2002) against corrupt government, the people of Sierra Leone were its victims. By the time the war was over, more than fifty thousand were dead, thousands more had been maimed, and over one million were displaced. Jackson relates the stories of political leaders and ordinary people trying to salvage their lives and livelihoods in the aftermath of cataclysmic violence. Combining these with his own knowledge of African folklore, history, and politics and with S. B.’s bittersweet memories—of his family’s rich heritage, his imprisonment as a political detainee, and his position in several of Sierra Leone’s post-independence governments—Jackson has created a work of elegiac, literary, and philosophical power.

From the Inside Flap: "A fascinating document that reflects importantly on widescale violence and war, the nature of narrative, the sensibilities of witnessing, the play of memory, and the predicament of anthropology in places and among peoples that the discipline has studied in calmer times."—George Marcus, author of Ethnography through Thick and Thin

"Throughout In Sierra Leone interpersonal, domestic relations of inequality—the everyday resentments, harshness, and ironies that characterize hierarchical relations between Big Men and their entourage, older brothers and their juniors—unfold against the backdrop of History with a capital H. Only someone with Michael Jackson’s unique blend of anthropological and poetic sensibility and long-term engagement with Sierra Leone could write this book."—Mariane Ferme, author of The Underneath of Things: Violence, History, and the Everyday in Sierra Leone

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Title: In Sierra Leone -
Publisher: Duke Univ
Book Condition: BRAND NEW

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