The War Machines: Young Men and Violence in Sierra Leone and Liberia

The War Machines: Young Men and Violence in Sierra Leone and Liberia

by Danny Hoffman
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0822350777

ISBN-13: 9780822350774

Pub. Date: 09/16/2011

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

In The War Machines, Danny Hoffman considers how young men are made available for violent labor both on the battlefields and in the diamond mines, rubber plantations, and other unregulated industries of West Africa. Based on his ethnographic research with militia groups in Sierra Leone and Liberia during those countries’ recent civil wars, Hoffman

Overview

In The War Machines, Danny Hoffman considers how young men are made available for violent labor both on the battlefields and in the diamond mines, rubber plantations, and other unregulated industries of West Africa. Based on his ethnographic research with militia groups in Sierra Leone and Liberia during those countries’ recent civil wars, Hoffman traces the path of young fighters who moved from grassroots community-defense organizations in Sierra Leone during the mid-1990s into a large pool of mercenary labor.

Hoffman argues that in contemporary West Africa, space, sociality, and life itself are organized around making young men available for all manner of dangerous work. Drawing on his ethnographic research over the past nine years, as well as the anthropology of violence, interdisciplinary security studies, and contemporary critical theory, he maintains that the mobilization of West African men exemplifies a global trend in the outsourcing of warfare and security operations. A similar dynamic underlies the political economy of violence in Iraq, Afghanistan, and a growing number of postcolonial spaces. An experienced photojournalist, Hoffman integrates more than fifty of his photographs of young West Africans into The War Machines.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822350774
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
09/16/2011
Series:
The Cultures and Practice of Violence
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xxiii

Introduction: War Machines 1

I. Histories

1. The Mano River War: A Chronology 27

2. Hunters, Lumpens, and War Boys: A Social History of the Kamajors 55

3. States of Conflict: A Social History of the Kamajors Continued 88

II. Building The Barracks

4. Big Men, Small Boys 127

5. The Barracks 162

6. The Hotel Kamajor 194

7. The Magic of War 224

Conclusion: A Laboratory of the Future 252

Notes 261

Bibliography 273

Index 289

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