Shadows of War: Violence, Power, and International Profiteering in the Twenty-First Century

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University of California Press, May 17, 2004 - Business & Economics - 293 pages
"This should be made into a movie!"—Katia Lund, Co-director of City of God

"Carolyn Nordstrom destroys the categories through which we normally look at war. This is a major achievement. Her eyewitness reporting, when contrasted with the official histories later compiled of the same events, is a revelation. The amount of 'extra-state' activity surrounding any war is vast, and Nordstrom evokes and analyzes it so fully, so deftly, that no one who reads this book will look at war news quite the same way again. Meanwhile, the extra-state itself, typified by Al Qaeda, has begun to drive world politics and generate wars with terrifying success."—William Finnegan, author of A Complicated War: The Harrowing of Mozambique

"A gripping account of what the author calls 'research into the shadows' -- the often dangerous world of the powerful and wealthy who inhabit global extra-governmental organizations. It is also about the dehumanizing effects of war and violence on the victims. Nordstrom says: 'It is the only way I know how to write about war: being there.' This book provides a rare opportunity of 'being there' with a courageous and highly observant anthropologist. I recommend it highly."—Richard Goldstone, Former Chief Prosecutor of the International War Crimes Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda

"Carolyn Nordstrom, a pioneer in warzone ethnography, gives us an up-close view of the shadowy worlds of wartime economics. Money laundering, blood diamonds, gun running -- Nordstrom puts faces on each of these. Seeing the faces makes the moral dilemmas of war not simpler, but more realistic. This is an innovative and important book."—Cynthia Enloe, author of Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women's Lives

"Nordstrom is a compassionate scholar who simply and doggedly uses ethnography to follow the question. This approach takes Nordstrom from the spectacular violence of armed conflict--the flames and mobs and murder--to the even more destructive but hidden structural violence--the 'shadows' that few seek to understand. This is engaged, urgent scholarship at its best."—Paul Farmer, M.D., author of Pathologies of Power


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About the author (2004)

Carolyn Nordstrom is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame. She is the author of A Different Kind of War Story (1997) and the coeditor of Fieldwork under Fire: Contemporary Studies of Violence and Survival (California, 1995) and The Paths to Domination, Resistance, and Terror (California, 1992).

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