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Emma's War: Love, Betrayal and Death in the Sudan (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 2. Februar 2004

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'One of the best (books) I have ever read on the difficult relationship between the developed world and the Third World. An eye-opener. Scroggins is as brave as her subject...she has written a wonderful and challenging book.' William Shawcross, Sunday Times 'A wonderful book and a gripping history of the Sudan which doesn't shrink the complexities.' Observer 'Scroggins is to be congratulated for making the story of McCune's ill-fated foray into Africa such a good read.' Sunday Telegraph 'Deborah Scroggins' analysis provides sharp relevance. It is the story both of a woman and a strange and sorrowful world.' Sunday Independent 'Remarkable...it has the feel of an epic tale, taking in the tragedy of Sudan...Scroggins steers a tight path between writing this book as an account of her own fascination with Sudan and as the story of McCune's life.' New Statesman 'Her biography is a painstaking and loving portrait of this remarkable woman.' Evening Standard 'Deborah Scroggins has a sharp eye. "Emma's War" is about the politics of the belly, and what happens when the fat white paunch meets the swollen stomachs of the hungry in Africa. It is a sorry story, but Ms Scroggins tells it awfully well.' Economist 'Part history, part biography and part Scroggins' own memoir, "Emma's War" offers an enthralling, accessible account of Sudan's most recent history.' Sunday Business Post


This is the story of aid worker Emma McCune. Beautiful, compassionate, driven in her work, she was famous throughout eastern Africa and the aid community for going about her work in a mini-skirt. Initially a Princess Diana, she became a Lady Macbeth after marrying one of the local warlords, who was deeply enmeshed in both rebellion and murder. Her eventual death in a road accident commanded a full-page in the Independent, and the fascination of her story continues. It is a mixture of Romeo and Juliet and Heart of Darkness, with a large helping of Graham Greene; a story about love and lust and power and corruption and revolution.

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Format: Taschenbuch
I read Emma's War only after I've been to Africa to volunteer, but I find it a perfect insight into the world of volunteering and international aid. At the same time, it's written in such a fascinating way that it's no problem to read until the very end. It seemed so realistic to me I felt like having met Emma myself :-) And I was intreagued along the way by the author's openess and blunt style of writing. Thanks for a breathtaking book!
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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Dieses Buch möchte man nicht mehr aus den Händen geben, wenn man mal angefangen hat zu lesen. Es erzählt nicht nur die Geschichte der jungen abenteuerlichen Enländerin Emma Mc Cune, die als Entwicklungshelferin voller Ideale nach Sudan fährt, und sich dort in einen Guerrillaführer verliebt und diesen schließlich heiratet; es erzählt gleichzeitig die blutige Geschichte Sudans, Afrikas größtem Land, von der Spaltung zwischen Nord und Süd, zwischen Moslems und Christen, von gewissen Stämmen, wo bis heute noch die Kinder zu Sklaven reicher Familien werden. Auch wenn man vorher nicht so einen guten Einblick in die afrikanische Geschichte hat, vermittelt die Autorin mit klarer Sprache und bewundernswerter Einfachheit ein leicht verständliches Bild über dieses interessante LAnd. Dieses Buch erzählt also Emmas Geschichte, Sudans Geschichte, und dazwischen auch Deborah Scroggins Geschichte: ihre ersten Erfahrungen als Journalistin in Sudan, sie pricht von Hungerkatastrophen, von Kriegen und Konflikten, und sie beleuchtet interessante Aspekte der Entwicklungshilfe. Man meint naiverweise als Europäer oft, daß Entwicklungshilfe nur Gutes tut und armen Menschen hilft. Aber hier werden auch die Schäden angezeigt, die man als Entwicklungshelfer anrichten kann.
Also, ein Super-Buch für alle die sich für Afrika und die Problematik der Entwicklungshilfe interessieren.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.3 von 5 Sternen 35 Rezensionen
16 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Raw and Incredible Look at Sudan's Aid Community 21. Dezember 2004
Von B. Bauer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I'm an NGO worker in a post-conflict society, and was intrigued at reading this account of one woman's experience in the Sudanese aid community, and her subsequent marriage to a warlord. My fears of this being a book too bogged by history/biography were quickly tossed aside...Emma's War is so engaging because it is actually three stories in one: the story of an English woman who married a Sudanese rebel, the contentious history of southern Sudan, and a very delightful first-person narrative about the author herself and her experiences with the first two.

What I like so much about this book is that it never takes sides; Scroggins is somewhat sympathetic towards Emma, but never apologetic over her (sometimes) inhumane actions. This book also really illuminates the situation in Darfur now, and how the conflict of the last 20 years has fueled the current crisis there. I'd call it a must-read for anyone interested in the region, and anyone struggling to understand the conflicts of interest between humanitarian aid and armed conflict.
8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Powerful story of war, aid, aid workers and the politics of the Sudan 27. August 2005
Von A. Woodley - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
With yet another crisis in the Sudan (did it ever go away?) this book is a powerful source of information on the machievelian politics of the region, but also of the Aid, the aid workers and one in particular, Emma McCune.

In the early 1990's Emma was an aid worker and idealist, working in the Sudan on programmes to provide young people with education (and assisting them in avoiding being drafted into the armies of the fighting factions of the region. Deborah Scroggins who met her once, unravels her life, and ties it in with the actions of the those around her - the warlords, the aid organisations, and the man she married, Northern Nile Warlord Riek.

This is a fascinating and well written book, almost Shakesperian in its tragedy. From tragic childhood to idealist aid worker to blindly in love, to prime manipulator and finally tragic heroine - It seemed her life and made a complete circle.

Scroggins clearly knows the area, its politics and history and is able to draw in immense amounts of background to situations which might otherwise be inexplicable - but she is an easy writer to read, it is eloquently put. I found myself unable to put this down until I was finished, and is easily one of the best reads of the year for me.

I found myself by turns exasperated and annoyed with Emma - she seemed frivolous with everyone but herself and yet, she obviously achieved such a lot before she became enamoured with Reik. Even perhaps afterwards.

I think reading this book will do more than explain the life of one woman, it will provide a background to one of those little understood regions - we are expected to give aid to the suffering masses without understanding why - and whether you actually give aid after you read this book will be interesting!
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen The Imperialists' New Cloths 8. September 2009
Von Omer Belsky - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Welcome to Sudan. The ravaged country, its society torn apart by endless war, as if cursed with every possible curse - Ethnic strife, widespread corruption, religious warfare, famine - and that Modern curse, the one that makes powerful foreigners interested: oil.

Deborah Scoggins uses the story of Emma McCune, a young Englishwoman who - obsessed with Sudan, its people, and its men, came to marry a Sudanese warlord, to shed light on the forsaken land, and of the people who populate it - not merely the Sudanese themselves, but also, perhaps especially, the Westerners who come to "save" them.

Scoggins sees continuity between the present day Aid workers, Journalists and other do-gooders and the Western Imperialists of the 19th century. Their implicit model was Charles George Gordon, the Victorian soldier and adventurer who led African soldiers in a "campaign" against slavery, and whose mix - of idealism, thrill seeking, and utter ignorance of the country and the people he came to save - they share (This is also a theme of William Easterly's The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good).

Like their Imperialists forerunners, the white aid-workers become immediate elite, separated and elevated above the population by the color of their skin. Also like the Imperialists, they get powers above and beyond anything they might have had back in the West. 25 years old Emma McCune, for example, became a school coordinator, essentially an education Minister for the area under the Sudanese Rebels' control. Indeed, one of the most penetrating insights of Scoggins is that a certain nostalgic quality for the days of Imperialism may be a motivating factor for Africa's whites; McCune herself was born in India, where her father had continued his Imperial Era post as manager of a Tea estate up to the mid 1960s. In India, an Englishman was a marked aristocrat, and Mr. McCune could never adapt to the bourgeois England he was forced to return to as the British Indian world came to an end. By going to Sudan, wasn't Emma at least partially recovering something her father had had and had lost?

And yet this is not quite fair, because for better or worse, Emma identified herself with the Sudanese as the Imperialists never had. She worked, apparently diligently, for them and with them. If she was guilty of Orientalism (a term popularized by Edward Said in Orientalism - and heavily criticized by other scholars; see Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America (Policy Papers (Washington Institute for Near East Policy), No. 58.) and Dangerous Knowledge: Orientalism and Its Discontents) - her brand of romantic, even erotic attraction to Africa lacked the exploitive elements that made the "White Man's Burden" so repulsing. She may have had a fetish for Sudan - and Sudanese men; she may have had an idealized view of them - but I don't think she patronized them, lorded over them with the mystical power of her white skin (the Locals referred to Westerners as Khawajas - white).

In Sudan, Emma met, fell in love with, and soon married Riek Machar, an already married, British educated, high-rank commander of the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) - a rebel force of Sudan's Southern, Christian and Pagan people. As her relationship with Machar deepened, she came to see things from his perspective, putting her in conflict with her UN colleagues and supervisors. One of the best parts of Scoggins' book is her description of the problematics of the morality of hunger. Machar's men had been stealing food that was going to the camp's starving children. He exhibited the starving children in special camps, with "caretakers", who supposedly were watching after them, but in fact were taking their food. But as horrible as it seems, "it was not easy to tell right from wrong". How different were the rebels and the saviors?

"It was not as if the aid workers themselves were going without meals... [the] discrepancy made some people uncomfortable, especially when grain stocks were low and aid workers had to put more than one hundred thousand refugees on half rations. But - face it - food tastes awfully good after a day that begins at five AM and continues until nightfall with all manners of frustrations in between. Who could blame the khawajas if they enjoyed an extra helping of canned fish? Think of what they could be eating if they were at home in Manhattan or Melbourne. True, children were dying. But if the aid-workers didn't keep up their strength, more would die." (pp. 234-235).

Her marriage cost Emma her job, and she became a propagandist and an apologist for Riek Machar, who was busy in a war against the SPLA leader, John Garang. As the war deteriorated to a tribal blood-fest, which benefited only the Islamic government in Khartoum, Emma's life became endangered. "There are some people out there who would gladly put a bullet through my head", she said. Machar gave her two bodyguards. And Emma did not believe any harm would come to her.

That Emma's story would end tragically seems inevitable. Yet, astonishingly, Emma died in a mundane car accident; she was never important enough for anyone to kill. She had been five months pregnant. Her death was tragic but meaningless.

Scroggins' book tells is really a triple narrative: a biography of Emma McCune; a brutal account of the sad history of Sudan and the naïve Westerners who tried to help it; and a sketch of Scoggins's own experience reporting from Sudan. None of the narrative end very effectively - all fizzle out, like Emma, stopping before the tale is over. Scoggins's own reporting is the least satisfying element of it all - chapters upon chapters of her experiences in Sudan (and even, for some mysterious reason, Somalia), which don't add up to much.

And yet Scroggins's prose is effective, and her insights, particularly of the mentality and problems of the white aid-workers, quite illuminating. If you're interested in Sudan's sad history, in the colorful life of Emma McCune, or especially in the complexities of aid-work in Africa, you are likely to find `Emma's War' a useful and readable account.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Emma's War 9. Februar 2006
Von V. M. Sheffield - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Emma's War is the result of a tremendous effort of research into the history of Sudan and an "on the ground" experience of Sudan today. Having spent five years on and off in Sudan in the late 1980s, I was able to relate to much that was written, but also learned a great deal. Especially the way the author brought the history of tribal relationships, the long conflicts between North and South, Muslims vs Christians and Animists, the economy of oil, the state of women in Sudan, and the role of Sudan in Africa as well as the Middle East. Sudan has wonderful people and a large heart, it leaves a large mark on one's soul. All of this is more the better read because it is integrated into a violent, reckless, true story of a young woman seeking adventure and to save the world who fell in love with a rebel, crossing the line and leading herself and everyone around her into extremely difficult circumstances. If you know Africa and especially Sudan, get the book, it's worth the read.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Not a love story. 17. November 2004
Von R. Rogers - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Scroggins' account of the Sudanese war is not for pleasure reading. Scroggins presents the horrors of the Sudanese civil war in their naked and atrocious form, without the embellishment or emotional pandering some writers may use. The author is incredibly insightful and offers a unique perspective on humanitarian aid efforts arround the world. She attempts to move humanitarians outside their comfort zones and uncovers the true effects of their help. Incredibly cynical but worth the read for anyone who looks for the causes behind the atrocities in Sudan.
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