I am so honored that Truth Without Reconciliation has been named a 2018 Outstanding Academic Title by the American Library Association Choice magazine.
“Every year in the January issue, in print and online, Choice publishes a list of Outstanding Academic Titles that were reviewed during the previous calendar year. This prestigious list reflects the best in scholarly titles reviewed by Choice and brings with it the extraordinary recognition of the academic library community.
The list is quite selective: it contains approximately ten percent of some 6,000 works reviewed in Choice each year. Choice editors base their selections on the reviewer’s evaluation of the work, the editor’s knowledge of the field, and the reviewer’s record.
In awarding Outstanding Academic Titles, the editors apply several criteria to reviewed titles:
- overall excellence in presentation and scholarship
- importance relative to other literature in the field
- distinction as a first treatment of a given subject in book or electronic form
- originality or uniqueness of treatment
- value to undergraduate students
- importance in building undergraduate library collections
The Choice Reviews feature on Truth Without Reconciliation is found in the December 2018 issue.
“This fascinating work explores the thousands of testimonies collected by the truth and reconciliation commission (TRC) in Ghana in 2003 and 2004. Asare (Africana studies, Stony Brook Univ.) critiques the limitations of the reconciliation framework that gained popularity after the South African TRC of the 1990s. Rather than simply deflate the pretensions of individual testimony and national healing, however, this study takes on the challenging task of constructing narratives from the widely divergent collection of statements by victims of political violence since Ghanaian independence in 1957. This allows Asare to explore how ordinary Ghanaians, soldiers, and civil servants negotiated with political authorities. Ghanaians appropriated human rights rhetoric not to support a general notion of national unity. Instead, they raised a wide range of individual concerns about matters ranging from the ways soldiers targeted female traders as traitors to the nation to the ambiguous position of the military itself, since many soldiers became victims of military regimes. Deftly drawing from a broad range of critical theoretical approaches, Asare’s study is a model for its methodology and organization. Truth without Reconciliation should be required reading for anyone interested in national reconciliation programs.
–J. M. Rich, Marywood University