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Other titles in the California Series in Public Anthropology series:

California Series in Public Anthropology #24: I Did It to Save My Life: Love and Survival in Sierra Leone

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California Series in Public Anthropology #24: I Did It to Save My Life: Love and Survival in Sierra Leone Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Utilizing narratives of seven different people—soldier, rebel, student, trader, evangelist, father, and politician—I Did it To Save My Life provides fresh insight into how ordinary Sierra Leoneans survived the war that devastated their country for a decade. Individuals in the town of Makeni narrate survival through the rubric of love, and by telling their stories and bringing memory into the present, create for themselves a powerful basis on which to reaffirm the rightness of their choices and orient themselves to a livable everyday. The book illuminates a social world based on love, a deep, compassionate relationship based on material exchange and nurturing, that transcends romance and binds people together across space and through time. In situating their wartime lives firmly in this social world, they call into question the governments own narrative that Makeni residents openly collaborated with the rebel RUF during its three-year occupation of the town. Residents argue instead that it was the governments disloyalty to its people, rather than rebel invasion and occupation, which destroyed the town and forced uneasy co-existence between civilians and militants.

Synopsis:

“Ethnographically rich, these accounts come to life in beautiful prose. These are inspiring and at times heartbreaking stories of how people living in such difficult and dangerous circumstances find ways to survive, love and take care of each other. This will be a valuable contribution as well as a welcome counter to the more popular images of warzones as places of total immorality.”—Catherine Besteman, author of Transforming Cape Town

About the Author

Catherine Bolten is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Peace

Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

List of Acronyms

Timeline of the Key Events of War and Aftermath, 1991–2003

Note on Sources

Introduction: Sierra Leonean Emotions, Sierra Leonean War

Chapter 1: Understanding Makeni and Nested Loyalties: Marginality and Collaboration in the Northern Capital

Chapter 2: “I Must Be Grateful to Them for Freeing Me”: The Soldier

Chapter 3: “They Said Nobody Would Hide from This War”: The Rebel

Chapter 4: “I Held a Gun but I Did Not Fire It”: The Student

Chapter 5: “The Government Brought Death, the Rebels Allowed Us to Live”: The Trader

Chapter 6: “It Was the Lord Who Wanted Me to Stay”: The Evangelist

Chapter 7: “They Really Damaged Me”: The Father

Chapter 8: “The RUF Thought I Was on Their Side”: The Politician

Epilogue and Conclusions: Makeni, May 2010

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520273795
Author:
Bolten, Catherine E.
Publisher:
University of California Press
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
anthropology;cultural anthropology
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
California Series in Public Anthropology
Series Volume:
24
Publication Date:
20121031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
3 b/w photographs
Pages:
296
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.25 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » African American Studies » Black Civilization Studies
History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
History and Social Science » World History » Africa

California Series in Public Anthropology #24: I Did It to Save My Life: Love and Survival in Sierra Leone New Trade Paper
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Product details 296 pages University of California Press - English 9780520273795 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
“Ethnographically rich, these accounts come to life in beautiful prose. These are inspiring and at times heartbreaking stories of how people living in such difficult and dangerous circumstances find ways to survive, love and take care of each other. This will be a valuable contribution as well as a welcome counter to the more popular images of warzones as places of total immorality.”—Catherine Besteman, author of Transforming Cape Town

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