A LONG WAY GONE – MEMOIRS OF A BOY SOLDIER/ISHMAEL BEAH

Gerhard Van Zyl

Abstract


The relevance of a book review of a fictional account of the life story of a
child soldier in Sierra Leone for a journal such as Scientia Militaria is twofold: a)
Truth (reality) remains stranger (more horrific) than fiction; b) Based on national
foreign policy, the truth (realities) of Sierra Leone is by continental affiliation a
South African reality, and by micro-affiliation an SANDF reality.
This book challenges contemporary society, which is continuously bombarded
and often jaded by faceless or nameless graphic news scenes. Those portions of
society that remain blinded by prejudice and self-centred socio-political gaze to the
severity of these scenes, are now confronted with a face and a name: Ishmael Beah.
Physical combat methods to end human-on-human atrocities are welldocumented.
These methods, augmented by root-level resistance and general human
tenacity to overcome, often brought ends to what were at the height of their
existence perceived as endless oppressive reigns of varied proportions (World War
II, Apartheid, the Berlin Wall, Serbian rule, etc.).

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5787/38-1-85

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Copyright (c) 2018 Gerhard Van Zyl


ISSN 2224-0020 (online); ISSN 1022-8136 (print)

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