Posts Tagged ‘Mahmood Mamdani’

Press Release: Saviors and Survivors by Mahmood Mamdani

May 20th, 2010

*Now Available in Paperback* 


Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror 

By Mahmood Mamdani

“Mahmood Mamdani . . . is one of the most penetrating analysts of African affairs. . . . He has written a learned book that reintroduces history into the discussion of the Darfur crisis and questions the logic and even the good faith of those who seek to place it at the pinnacle of Africa’s recent troubles. . . . [An] important book.”

—Howard W. French, New York Times

“Say ‘Darfur’ and horrific images leap to mind: Janjawiid, rape, genocide. But most of us would be hard-pressed to explain the violence there, beyond the popular notion that it’s ethnic cleansing of Africans by Arabs. Columbia University scholar Mahmood Mamdani’s brilliant new book, Saviors and Survivors, explains why this assumption is faulty, and why it’s foiling peace efforts.”

—Katie Baker, Newsweek

“A vivid demonstration of the predictably calamitous results of outsiders meddling in places whose history, politics, and culture they can hardly be bothered to read up on.”

—Benjamin Moser, Harper’s Magazine


An international topic since 2004, with the recent elections, Ponzi scheme protestors, and UN peacekeepers’ kidnappings, Darfur is still very much in turmoil. Now, from Mahmood Mamdani, comes an understanding of that turmoil, SAVIORS AND SURVIVORS: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror (Doubleday Religion; on sale May 25, 2010; $16.00 trade paperback), a groundbreaking and definitive analysis of the crisis in Darfur that considers, unlike any other book on the subject, the events of the last few years within the broad context of the history of Sudan, and that examines the efficacy of the world’s response to the crisis.

Mamdani, who is the author of the critically acclaimed Good Muslim, Bad Muslim, has written an important and provocative work that goes against the grain of what is perceived as the current situation in Darfur. Illuminating the deeply rooted causes of the current conflict, Mamdani explains how it began as a civil war (1987–89) triggered by a severe drought. The war’s effects were shaped by how British colonial officials had tribalized Darfur, dividing its population between “native” and “settler” tribes, creating homelands for the former at the expense of the latter. The war intensified in the 1990s when the Sudanese government tried, unsuccessfully, to address this problem by creating homelands for tribes without any. The involvement of opposition parties gave rise in 2003 to two rebel movements, leading to a brutal insurgency and a horrific counterinsurgency—but not to genocide, as the West has declared.

Mamdani explains how the Cold War exacerbated the forty-year civil war in Chad, viciously affecting neighboring Darfur. By 2003, the conflict involved national, regional, and global forces, including the powerful Western lobby, which called for a military invasion dressed up as a “humanitarian intervention.”

Incisive and authoritative, SAVIORS AND SURVIVORS radically alters our understanding of the ongoing crisis in Darfur.


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A political scientist and anthropologist, Mahmood Mamdani is Herbert Lehman Professor of Government in the Departments of Anthropology and Political Science and the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He was a founding director of the Centre for Basic Research in Kampala, Uganda’s first nongovernmental research organization. His previous books include Good Muslim, Bad Muslim; Citizen and Subject (which won the Herskovits Prize of the African Studies Association of the United States), and When Victims Become Killers. From Uganda, he now divides his time between New York and Kampala.



Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror
By Mahmood Mamdani
On Sale: May 25, 2010
Published by Doubleday Religion
Trade Paperback    ISBN: 978-0-385-52596-1   $16.00

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To schedule your interview with Mahmood Mamdani, please contact Emily Lyman in the Doubleday Religion publicity department at 212.782.8351 or

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