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This is an excellent book on the history and people of Sudan. There are beautiful pictures. It, however, seems to be promoting a unified Sudan, which does not seem to be the best solution. Having been there two months ago, it seems that an independent Southern Sudan government is a much better solution. Hopefully, the referendum in January, 2011 will go through and the people of Southern Sudan, who are much different, socially, and in religion and culture, from those in Northern Sudan, will be able to finally have their independence. Otherwise, this is a great book, although very expensive.
The book is a great read for those who want to know about Sudan beyond news stories, whether Sudanese or non-Sudanese. It provides a good account for what made Sudan such a unique country, that is before the separation/independence of the Republic of South Sudan in July 2011! It offers wonderful pictures and very good narrative for the history and geography of Sudan as well as the diverse people of Sudan.
Having personally grown up with retired foreign diplomat Timothy Carney in Atlanta, and knowing his family, I give this beautiful book 5 star rating. Several friends who were with Doctors Without Borders and volunteered over the years in Sudan, some near Darfur, shared stories with me over the years; I brought this gem of a book to their attention to share with their friends and families. The pictures are breathtaking, Michael is an incredible photographer. Tim and his wife, Victoria, did themselves proud with this spectacular book. I recommend it highly. Barbara Pollard Adair, San Diego, California.
I love this book because it shows the diversity of Sudan - not just famine, war and poverty (of which there is plenty in Sudan) but the richness of the culture of this vast country. I have shared it with local communities in Sydney, Australia, where we have lots of people from Sudan and it shows people where these Sudanese are coming from and why they are here.
This book, published in 2005 covers both the countries of Sudan and South Sudan which became independent in 2011. As I write this in mid 2016, South Sudan is in the midst of an active Civil War and most western countries recommend against travel to Sudan. It is possible and actually quite safe to visit the central north part of Sudan from Khartoum and see the pyramids etc which rival anything in Egypt at Meroe, Karima, Jebel Barkal, El Kurru and cruise on the Nile to Nuri. I have better books covering the ancient civilizations (Kush etc.) in the area and the archaeological sites. I think this book is the best available to understand the people and environment of Sudan and South Sudan in the 21st century. Having seen parts of the "Arab" north with my own eyes, this was particularly useful in giving a view of the "African" south which is near impossible to visit.
Note that there is another version of this book published in the UK by Thames & Hudson which has a different dust jacket picture but appears identical inside.