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In 2002, as Sierra Leone ready to announce the tip of its brutal civil warfare, the celebrated anthropologist, poet, and novelist Michael Jackson again to the rustic the place he had intermittently lived and labored as an ethnographer due to the fact 1969. whereas his preliminary challenge used to be to aid his outdated good friend Sewa Bockarie (S. B.) Marah—a widespread determine in Sierra Leonean politics—write his autobiography, Jackson’s reviews in the course of his remain led him to create a extra complicated work: In Sierra Leone, a superbly rendered mosaic integrating S. B.’s relocating tales with own reflections, ethnographic digressions, and meditations on historical past and violence.

Though the innovative United entrance (R.U.F.) ostensibly fought its warfare (1991–2002) opposed to corrupt executive, the folk of Sierra Leone have been its sufferers. by the point the conflict used to be over, greater than fifty thousand have been lifeless, hundreds of thousands extra were maimed, and over 1000000 have been displaced. Jackson relates the tales of political leaders and usual humans attempting to salvage their lives and livelihoods within the aftermath of cataclysmic violence. Combining those along with his personal wisdom of African folklore, heritage, and politics and with S. B.’s bittersweet memories—of his family’s wealthy historical past, his imprisonment as a political detainee, and his place in different of Sierra Leone’s post-independence governments—Jackson has created a piece of elegiac, literary, and philosophical power.

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