Friday, January 3, 2014

Book Review: Emma's War

As I stated in my previous post, I'm starting a new internship at the State Department next week where I'll be working with the Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan.  When I first found out that I had gotten this internship, it was suggested to me by the current intern at the time to read up on Sudan and South Sudan.  She suggested a book called Emma's War by Deborah Scroggins.  So I took the suggestion...

Considering how busy I was with classes I wasn't able to read this book until the Fall semester was finished.  So as soon as I found the time in December, I began reading this book and I leisurely made my way through it over the Christmas holiday.

Deborah Scroggins is a journalist from Atlanta, who was doing extensive reporting on Sudan for a local paper in Atlanta back in the late 80's and early 90's.  This is when she first met Emma McCune, a British aid worker.  Emma McCune is the main focus of Scroggins book Emma's War.  Emma was born the child of colonialist parents who were living in India, but the family moved back to the UK when colonialism fell.  After her father committed suicide, Emma struggled with her own identity and this is how she first established her love affair with Sudan.  In the late 80's, Emma started her new life as an aid worker in Sudan.  She worked for several years for the UN establishing schools in parts of southern Sudan.

Scroggins book is an intertwined story of Emma McCune and how she eventually married Reik Machar, a rebel warrior of southern Sudan, and Scroggins own personal experiences in Sudan.  Emma's War gives a descriptive, well-rounded view of Sudan, its people, and its political state.  Having read this book and also keeping up with the current political turmoil that is occurring in South Sudan, I feel prepared to start work on Monday.

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