The October launch of Columbia University’s Center for Palestine Studies (CPS), the first institution at an American university specifically dedicated to the study of Palestinian Arabs, received surprisingly little notice. Middle East–related brawls on Columbia’s campus have often captured national attention, featuring accusations of anti-Semitism lobbed at professors (recall the alleged bullying of Jewish and pro-Israel students in 2004 by Professor Joseph Massad) and controversial speaking engagements (for example, Iranian president Mahmud Ahmadinejadin September of 2007).
This is the most recent item in a debate about humanitarian intervention.
Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror By Mahmood Mamdani (Pantheon, 398 pp., $26.95) The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and For All By Gareth Evans (Brookings, 349 pp., $24.95) I. IN THE SUMMER OF 2007, Mahmood Mamdani found himself at a meeting of activists and politicians, listening to sentiments that had by then become quite common among a certain class of politically active Americans. The speakers were calling on the United Nations to send peacekeepers to Darfur.
Readers of this website not long ago were provided with a discussion of recent turns in the Darfur crisis prompted by the decision of the International Criminal Court to indict Omar al Bashir for crimes against humanity. None of us had available to us at the time Mahmood Mamdani's new book Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror. The discussion would have been enriched if it had been in our hands. Mamdani, the Herbert Lehman Professor of Government at Columbia University, offers one of the most detailed histories of this part of Africa available to readers in the West.