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An assessment of the conflict in this West African country, which asserts that the rain forest is central to causes and solution of the war.
'... a perceptive, passionate and disturbing book which sheds light on issues of great current importance, far beyond the compass of the West African rainforest.' - A.F. Robertson in Journal of Development Studies ---------- 'Fighting for the Rain Forest is a book infused with the importance of ideas, whether the indigenous knowledge of forest communities, youthful film criticism, the RUF's intellectual roots, or arguing for knowledge-intensive "smart relief" and support for in situ analysis and political debate...In his analysis of the war and rebel "mind-set"...Richards has an important point to make: war and violence may not just serve a function. They are also about ideas. A purely functionalist interpretation of war risks producing simple tabloid descriptions of new barbarism...The thesis that violence is a project of the intellect also sends an important message to those intellectuals and policy-makers who...fail to see the consequences of what they write. In Sierra Leone, where the war economy is articulated around the export of diamonds and control of aid, there are powerful foreign interests. Those countries whose economies benefit from the extraction of such resources must acknowledge their responsibilities for the social damage that results. One of the consequences of the new barbarism is to cloak those responsibilities. It is perhaps this violence of ideas that is the most powerful subtext of this book.' - Mark Bradbury in The Times Literary Supplement ---------- 'Paul Richards' 1996 book 'Fighting for the Rain Forest: War, Youth & Resources in Sierra Leone'. Through dedicated scholarship and long-term residence in Sierra Leone, Richards successfully contextualises the RUF struggle as a revolt against the patrimonial rule of Sierra Leone and marginalization of ordinary people rather than one driven by greedy and trigger happy illiterate people.' Doreen Lwanga in Pambazuka News ----------