Darfur's Sorrow: A History of Destruction and Genocide

M. W. Daly, Author . Cambridge Univ. $22.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-521-69962-4

D aly (A History of the Sudan ), arguably the world's most knowledgeable authority on Darfur, enlists history, politics, economics and geography to disentangle the reasons why up to 400,000 people have been killed and millions more displaced in the continuing genocide. A frontier province that resembles the Wild West, Darfur blends plague, famine, drought, cattle rustling, messianic revivalism and Great Power politics with benign and not-so-benign neglect from the centers of power in Khartoum, Cairo and London; as Daly puts it, “[a]bility to conquer but inability to rule might have been the epitaph of successive regimes in Darfur.” But the subject matter is often obscured by Daly's overly pedantic tone and compendia of eminent personages and their tribal and religious affiliations. The dedicated reader will require a detailed flowchart to keep the cast of characters straight. The first sections recount Darfur's time as an independent sultanate, a colony and finally part of an independent Sudan; only the last 50 pages or so deal directly with the current crisis. Though Daly makes no explicit predictions, he is less than sanguine about the prospects of the peace process in the near term. (July)

Reviewed on: 05/07/2007
Release date: 07/01/2007
Hardcover - 368 pages - 978-0-521-87618-6
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