The Anglo-Egyptian re-conquest of Sudan - Churchill's 'River War' - has been well chronicled from the British point of view, but we still know little about its front line troops, the Sudanese soldiers of the Egyptian Army, the men who fought in all the battles, served as interpreters, military recruiters, and ethnic ambassadors throughout the campaign, and who were the real victors at the Battle of Omdurman. Making use of both published contemporary accounts and unpublished primary sources located in the United Kingdom and Sudan, 'Slaves of Fortune' provides an historiographic correction. It argues that nineteenth-century Sudanese slave soldiers were social beings and historical actors, shaping both European and African destinies, just as their own lives were being transformed by imperial forces. Ronald M. Lamothe is Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
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