Chilson, Peter*: We Never Knew Exactly Where: Dispatches from the Lost Country of Mali (2013)
* RPCV Niger (1985-1987)
Our discussion took place: July 2013. Participating in our discussion was CRPCA’s Peter Chilson, the book’s author.
Synopsis: What happens when a country suddenly splits in two? In 2012, Mali, once a poster child for African democracy, all but collapsed in a succession of coups and countercoups as Islamist rebels claimed control of the country’s north, making it a new safe haven for al Qaeda. Prizewinning author Peter Chilson became one of the few Westerners to travel to the conflict zone in the following months to document conditions on the ground. What he found was a hazy dividing line between the uncertain, demoralized remnants of Mali’s south and the new statelet formed in the north by jihadist fighters, who successfully commandeered a long-running rebellion by the country’s ethnic Tuareg minority to turn Mali into a new frontier in the fast-morphing global war on terror. Chilson’s definitive account — the first in the new Borderlands series of ebooks from Foreign Policy magazine and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting — is a gripping read, taking us back to the founding of French West Africa and right to the very front lines of this contentious new flashpoint.
Where to find it: Only available as an e-book: in Kindle format for Amazon devices; and as a PDF for other e-readers, tablets, and computers. The price is $4.99. Go to http://www.foreignpolicy.com/ebooks/we_never_knew_exactly_where, then either click the “Buy for Amazon Kindle” button or the “Buy the PDF version from FP here” link.