A Rope from the Sky
The Making and Unmaking of the World's Newest State
- Zach Vertin
15th October 2018
The euphoric birth of South Sudan was celebrated around the world – a triumph for global justice and a sign that one of the world’s most devastating wars was finally over. But the party would not last; the Republic’s freedom-fighters soon plunged their new nation back into chaos, shattering the promise of liberation and exposing the hubris of their Western backers. An epic tale of paradise won and lost, A Rope from the Sky is an extraordinary journey into the rise and fall of the world’s newest state.
Weaving together narratives local and global, this is a story of hope, power, greed, compassion, and conscience-shocking violence from the world’s most neglected patch of territory. But it is also the story of an audacious attempt to forge a state from scratch, an intervention that reflects both the best of the West and its uncomfortable reckoning with the limits of Western power amid a world in disarray.
The author’s first-hand accounts, from deadly war zones to Washington’s halls of power, bring readers inside this unique episode in global history – an unprecedented experiment and a cautionary tale.
From moonlit battlefields and glitzy hotel ballrooms to the emerald marshes of the Nile, South Sudan’s story is a richly painted canvas. Present before, during, and after independence, the author has taken tea with everyone: guerrilla fighters and corrupt ministers, teenage cattle rustlers and shadowy intelligence agents. Coupling his years on the ground with a role in the Obama administration, Zach Vertin is uniquely positioned to give the insider account of this modern-day Greek tragedy.