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88 Book Reviews the collectivism of a UN organization with limited resources and the pivotal role of the powerful Western democracies with effective means for implementing UN decisions. This has clearly established a leadership role for the West. (p.117) Reading between these lines, one senses an identification of UN leadership with the West, and even with one person, and takes this as a necessarily desirable development. The problem, of course, is that there is no guarantee that such leadership will not be exercised in the pursuit of partisan interests. This immediately raises other questions. If the United Nations is inadequate for this task, what other option is available? If no other option is immediately available, how can one ensure that the United Nations discharges this task in a responsible manner? If the use of military force is required, how is this to be made operational in such a way that the intervening forces themselves do not commit abuses no less serious than those inflicted by governments? How does one harmonize military and civilian interventions? These are not idle questions; they have already surfaced in connection with the United Nations intervention in Somalia, for example . They are also questions to which it would be unfair to expect readymade answers. But they need to be raised, because there may be a large gap between enunciating a principle and its satisfactory implementation. On the whole, however, this is a thoughtful, well-written book which many will find excellent and stimulating reading on the daunting problem of displacement and on how the international community may deal with it. Eshetu Chole Princeton University Port Sudan: The Evolution of a Colonial City Kenneth J. Perkins Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1993. 264 pp. Kenneth J. Perkins's book on the history of Port Sudan is a timely contribution to the literature of the Red Sea region of eastern Sudan. The status of our knowledge of this region is scanty compared to that of many other areas of northern Sudan. This goes for the Beja communi- Book Reviews 89 ties living in the rural areas of the Red Sea Hills, as well as for the regional towns with their inhabitants of mixed occupational and ethnic backgrounds. Increased knowledge about Port Sudan stands out as being of particular importance. It has been a major market in the region, functioning as a force of capitalist penetration of the hinterland. As Sudan's major port, it has been of crucial importance to the capital, Khartoum, and the nation as a whole. It has also been a gateway eastward, into the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden areas and, hence, to the Indian Ocean. Perkins's book places Port Sudan within all these contexts, but the major focus is on the city itself—its founding, and its development. The story of Port Sudan starts in 1904, when it was founded by the British at Shaikh Barghuth, the burial place of a Muslim saint, and ends in the 1950s, when the administration of the city increasingly became the concern of the Sudanese themselves. The place of the new city was chosen because of the area's suitability as a harbor, but the book takes a broader view of the development of Port Sudan. In three chronologically ordered parts (1904-1918, 1919-1942, 1943-1953), the author deals with themes such as the creation of an orderly urban community, the supply of the city's basic needs, how it was administered and governed , and how its growth was managed. After the British decided that Suakin, the old urban center on the western shore of the Red Sea, was no longer a suitable harbor for the twentieth-century Sudan, the development of Port Sudan became a major concern for British colonial rule. Perkins shows how many of the developmental issues that faced the Port Sudan planners in the early days also remained important issues throughout the periods with which the book is concerned. Since the city was to be built on a new site, its establishment was believed to be undertaken without taking into account any preexisting society. Therefore, Port Sudan was modeled on the planners' notions of an ideal colonial city. But reality...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-6574
Print ISSN
0740-9133
Pages
pp. 88-91
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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