On 25 January 1885, a Sudanese Islamic revolutionary army entered Khartoum. The slaughter continued from dawn until noon and involved the beheading of British officer General Charles Gordon
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(234mm x 156mm x 10mm)
Sutton Publishing Ltd
Publisher: The History Press Ltd
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UK Kirkus Review »
Muhammad Ahmed, who was to become known as the Mahdi of Sudan, was born the son of a humble boatbuilder in 1844. Before his death 41 years later, he would become revered as a holy man and would become the pivotal figure in his country's break from occupation and oppression by the Egyptians who ruled the territory on behalf of the Ottoman Empire, and with the tacit agreement of Britain, under Gladstone. When Britain's policy changed and General Gordon was sent to evacuate Sudan, he was set on a personal collision course with the Mahdi, and the courteous letters they exchanged, even as each was plotting the demise of the other, make fascinating reading. You don't need to be a military tactician to be fascinated by the strategies the Mahdi used to ensure his barefoot and ragged legions defeated the world's most sophisticated and well-armed forces, and the immense personal charisma that galvanised his followers in their quest for an Islamic state; and the terrible events that led to Gordon's head being displayed in Khartoum's marketplacemarked a turning point in Britain's African policy. BBC correspondent Nicoll has lived and worked in Sudan, and his incidental remarks about how particular places appear today bring a thoroughlymodern perspective to a 19th-century life. It also makes particularly salutary reading now that another Mahdi army has vowed to resist Western forces... (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Fergus Nicoll
Fergus Nicoll is a freelance current affairs journalist and presenter, working for BBC's World Service and CNN and as media consultant for a UK security firm.