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The Invention of Somalia
by Ali Jimak Ahmed
Price: $21.95
The Invention of Somalia
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"The Somali civil war had caught many people by surprise.  How was it possible that a nation that had so much in common - or so it seemed - could suddenly 'snap' and easily descend into such a fratracidal binge and mayhem?  What had become of the Somali 'national character' that was enshrined in the national lore and propagated in books by both Somali and non-Somali scholars?  How did 'homogeneity,' stubbornly and unbeknownst to anyone, degenerate into the worst forms of mosaic fiefdoms?  This book is the first real attempt by scholars on Somalia to identify and analyze the basic assumptions which had informed the construction of the now debunked Somali myth.  The authors do not only suggest alternative ways of seeing and interpreting existing data, but also initiate and propose new ways of reading Somali past and present.  This new way of reading is not born on the heels of the disintegration of the Somali state.  Rather the seminal thesis of the book - that Somalia had indeed come to a sticking place both in terms of ideas and of state power - has its origins in a paper read at the University of Southern California (USC) in 1983 by one of the book's authors.

The relevance of the findings in this anthology is not only limited to the Somali experience, but is germane to the discussion of any country where so much energy had gone into the analysis if a single myth variant in a nation's history."

Peppercorn Book Number: 410-0013
Publisher: Red Sea Press
ISBN: 0-932415-98-9
Language: English
Place of Publication: Lawrencevill, NJ
Year of Publication: 1995
Medium: book
Format: paperback
Size: 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches, paperback
Length: 265 pages

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