The Sudan Handbook
The Sudan Handbook—based on the Rift Valley Institute’s Sudan and South Sudan Field Course—is an intensive introduction to the Sudans, written and edited by outstanding Sudanese and South Sudanese scholars and international specialists.
The handbook covers Sudan, South Sudan and the North-South borderlands. It offers an authoritative introduction to the two countries, rooted in an historical account of the development of the state. The book comprises a set of eighteen essays by specialists including Abdelrahman Ali Mohammed, Peter Woodward, Gérard Prunier, Jérôme Tubiana, Derek Welsby, and Ahmad Sikainga. It is edited by John Ryle, Justin Willis, Suliman Baldo and Jok Madut Jok. The handbook includes chapters on current politics, religion, urbanisation, popular culture, the wars in the south and in Darfur and the archaeology of the early states on the Nile. The text is accompanied by commissioned maps, a glossary, capsule biographies, a chronology, and a bibliography.
Randall Fegley, writing in African Affairs, describes The Sudan Handbook is one of “a tiny minority of rare reference works that can be pulled off the shelf as a compendium of facts or read cover to cover as a collection of well-written narratives”. He notes the Rift Valley Institute’s influence on academics, policy makers, activists, and field workers.
Tom Porteous of Human Rights Watch, writing on the Lawfare website, welcomes the RVI’s efforts “to collect, preserve, and transmit knowledge and understanding of Sudan’s ground-truth”.
A South Sudanese reviewer, Peter Run, writing in the Australasian Review of African Studies, comments on the succinct and comprehensive text, the insightful analysis of oil and its influence on the Sudanese political economy and the timeliness of the discussion of “the clash between the traditional mechanism of conflict resolution and the state’s judicial system”.
JOHN RYLE is Legrand Ramsey Professor of Anthropology at Bard College, New York, and founding Director of the Rift Valley Institute.
JUSTIN WILLIS is Professor in History at Durham University.
SULIMAN BALDO was formerly Director of the Africa Program at the International Center for Transitional Justice.
JOK MADUT JOK is Assistant Professor of History at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, recently seconded as Undersecretary in the Ministry of Culture and Heritage of the Government of South Sudan.