'This book is a labour of love for the people of South
Sudan and an expression of hope for their future. He traces the
history with clarity and a sure touch in identifying the key events
and developments. He had an extraordinary experience of crisscrossing
the country off any beaten track, interviewing both leaders
and foot soldiers as well as many caught in the upheaval of war,
violence, and pillage....
'What in the end movingly comes across from Martell’s accurate analysis, description and story telling is his love for the South Sudanese people. As for all those who visit or work in the country, these are not faces in a crowd; they are those who actually live there, who, like everywhere else, want a job, to look after their families, educate their sons and daughters, and enjoy themselves. '
Tim Morris, British Ambassador to South Sudan, 2015-2017.
'Born with so much hope and promise, the world’s newest state quickly plunged into a fratricidal conflict that has left more than half of its population displaced or in dire need of humanitarian assistance. One of those who has covered South Sudan the longest, Martell combines eyewitness reporting with extensive research to produce a solid account of this tragedy.'
J. Peter Pham, Director of the Atlantic Council's Africa Center, US Special Envoy to the Great Lakes, choses First Raise a Flag as a top books to read
‘A brilliant read for both those new to South Sudan and those familiar with it’ *****
‘Martell tells the untold story of this shattering history with compassion, sensitivity and great insight. Writing from personal experience and an extraordinary depth of research and experience, Martell brings rigour, empathy and humanity to a story the world urgently needs to hear.’ *****
‘Can't recommend this enough. Whether you only have a passing interest in African history or have staked a career on it, First Raise a Flag is a brilliant read.’ *****
‘Peter manages the near impossible with this book: an informative and deeply nuanced history of South Sudan that remains, above-all, tremendously entertaining and accessible. Having read much of the available literature on South Sudan, both in general and academic press, I can say that quite confidently that this book is one of the best out there on the topic.’ *****
‘A gripping and moving account that brings together the written and oral elements of South Sudan's troubled history.’ *****
‘One cannot help but feel angry at the sheer injustice of the betrayal of a dream so long and so difficult in the making. In places, the book is not easy reading. Martell doesn’t shy away from or euphemise the violence of the country’s wars, and on finishing the final pages, I found myself sitting in an angry silence which immediately recalled a memory of reading Adam Hochschild’s King Leopold’s Ghost many years ago. It’s a history from the ground that will leave you angry and a little haunted. And given the ocean of otherwise technocratic reports on South Sudan with statistics that fail to capture what a dream imploding feels like, that’s just about the highest praise I can give. Richard Stupart, LSE in Africa
Date: Monday 8 October 2018
Time: 6:30- 8:00 pm
Venue: LSE Campus, New Academic Building, NAB.2.06
SOLD OUT - SOLD OUT
Juba, South Sudan, 2011.