The Making And Unmaking Of The World's Newest State

Jan 14, 2019

The birth of South Sudan was celebrated the world round, a triumph for global justice and the end of one of the world’s most devastating wars. The Republic’s historic independence was acclaimed not only by its long-oppressed people, but by three U.S. presidents and the legions of Americans who championed their cause. But the celebration would not last; South Sudan’s freedom-fighters soon plunged their new nation back into chaos, shattering the promise of liberation and exposing the hubris of their American backers.

Drawing on personal stories of identity, liberation, and survival, "A Rope from the Sky" tells an epic story of paradise won and then lost. Zach Vertin’s firsthand accounts from deadly war zones to the halls of Washington power bring readers on an extraordinary journey into the rise and fall of the world’s newest state. South Sudan’s untold story is a unique episode in global history: an unprecedented experiment in international state-building, and a cautionary tale.

Zach Vertin is an American writer, foreign policy expert, and former diplomat; he has spent the last twelve years working in international peace and conflict issues, not least in South Sudan. He is currently a Lecturer at Princeton University and a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Doha Center. He previously served in the Obama Administration as a Senior Adviser to the U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan and Sudan South Sudan, and prior to that he was a Senior Analyst for the International Crisis Group. He has written or commented for: The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, The Economist, The Atlantic, CNN, the BBC, and more.