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Richard Cockett's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Richard Cockett recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Richard Cockett's favorite book recommendations of all time.



My True Story

Mende Nazer lost her childhood at age twelve, when she was sold into slavery. It all began one horrific night in 1993, when Arab raiders swept through her Nuba village, murdering the adults and rounding up thirty-one children, including Mende.

Mende was sold to a wealthy Arab family who lived in Sudan's capital city, Khartoum. So began her dark years of enslavement. Her Arab owners called her "Yebit," or "black slave." She called them "master." She was subjected to appalling physical, sexual, and mental abuse. She slept in a shed and ate the family leftovers like a dog. She had no...
Recommended by Richard Cockett, and 1 others.

Richard CockettIt’s another firsthand account of Sudan and some of the worst aspects of living there. Mende Nazar is a Southerner, born and brought up in the Nuba mountains, in the borderland between the Muslim North and the Christian South, where the two sides of Sudan have mixed most impressively. A lot of families there will have Christian and Muslim members, and she writes about this well: reflecting which... (Source)

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War Child

A Child Soldier's Story

Recommended by Richard Cockett, and 1 others.

Richard CockettWar Child by Emmanuel Jal, who’s mainly known as a Sudanese rapper. The story he tells in songs is that he was a child soldier, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, basically the children of South Sudanese who were killed, and their villages destroyed, in the 1990s by North Sudanese militias, the forerunners of the Janjaweed. The Lost Boys then had to trudge for months across Sudan to find safe haven... (Source)

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A History of Modern Sudan

Sudan's modern history has been consumed by revolution and civil war. The country attracted international attention in the 1990s as a breeding ground of Islamist terrorism and recently tensions between the prosperous centre and the periphery, between north and south, have exploded in Darfur. In his latest book, Robert Collins, a frequent visitor and veteran scholar of the region, traces Sudan's history across two hundred years to show how many of the tragedies of today have been planted in its past. The story begins with the conquest of Muhammad 'Ali in 1821, and moves through the... more
Recommended by Richard Cockett, and 1 others.

Richard CockettA History of Modern Sudan, by an American historian called Robert Collins. It’s probably the best narrative academic study of the country ever produced. He manages to draw a lot of his own scholarship and other people’s books together to get a comprehensive view of the country. Although he was writing before the conflict in Darfur, there’s an appendix dealing with the causes of the war there, so... (Source)

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The civil war that has intermittently raged in the Sudan since independence in 1956 is, according to Francis Deng, a conflict of contrasting and seemingly incompatible identities in the Northern and Southern parts of the country. Identity is seen as a function of how people identify themselves and are identified in racial, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and religious terms. The identity question related to how such concepts determine or influence participation and distribution in the political, economic, social, and cultural life of the country.

War of Visions aims at shedding light...
Recommended by Richard Cockett, and 1 others.

Richard CockettTo me it remains the best book on Sudan. It was written in the early 1990s, so it’s almost a generation old now, but it remains the best analysis of why Sudan has descended into so much conflict. Better than that, though, it’s the best analysis of both North and South Sudan. The problem with a lot of books on Sudan is that the authors come from one part of the country and only write about the... (Source)

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