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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Book Review: The Sudan Handbook

By Peter Elborn

This is a book that is what it says on the label – it is a handbook. But that makes it sound like the dull product of a propaganda ministry and it is far from that. Indeed it is a collection of readable, thought provoking and intelligent essays that provide a thorough introduction to Sudan and South Sudan. … The Handbook started life as a series of contributions to a one-week course organised each year form 2004 by the Rift Valley Institute in Southern Sudan. …

The scope of The Sudan Handbook is wide-ranging and comes with an extremely useful glossary, chronology and list of key figures in Sudanese history, culture and politics. While it is in no way a specialist book, it deals with issues intelligently. It is clearly written and, despite having many different contributors, there is little overlap and a reasonable consistency in style. It will be invaluable to anyone who does not have a deep prior knowledge, but is seriously interested in Sudan and South Sudan.

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