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Another Man's War The Story of a Burma Boy in Britain's Forgotten African Army by Barnaby Phillips
  

Another Man's War The Story of a Burma Boy in Britain's Forgotten African Army

Biography / Autobiography   History   

Sue Baker's view...

Barnaby Phillips writes of Isaac Fadoyebo, just one of the 100,000 soldiers who signed on and were conscripted to fight in World War II. Isaac’s fate was to be sent to the killing grounds of the Burmese jungle to fight the Japanese and stop their assault on India. Just sixteen when he signed up, he was injured in the fighting, the Japanese leaving him for dead. His life was saved by local rice farmers, and he lived with them for nine months before he was rescued and sent home. Barnaby Phillips has researched Isaac Fadoyebo’s story, through him telling the story of some of the African soldiers whose sacrifices have been forgotten.

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Who is Sue Baker

Synopsis

Another Man's War The Story of a Burma Boy in Britain's Forgotten African Army by Barnaby Phillips

At age sixteen Isaac Fadoyebo ran away from his West African village to join the British Army. The Second World War was raging, and Nigeria's colonial masters were desperate to find men to defend the Empire. He was taking breakfast deep in the Burmese jungle when the Japanese ambushed his unit and left him for dead. With the help of a local family he survived, but in every other way Isaac was forgotten, all the more so as Nigeria struggled to come to terms with newfound independence. Yet Isaac could not forget the debt he owed to the Burmese family, now trapped in a simmering sectarian conflict. In Another Man's War, veteran foreign correspondent Barnaby Phillips delivers the gripping, unforgettable story of a Burma Boy in the Second World War and the legacy of the British Empire in Africa and Asia.

Reviews

'Barnaby Phillips has uncovered a tale which touches the world in every sense. The story is a deceptively simple one, of a lanky boy who runs away from his dusty Nigerian village to join the British Army and is left for dead thousands of miles from home in the Burmese jungle. The miraculous sheltering and survival of Isaac Fadoyebo not only make an irresistible human drama. They also illustrate the terrifying global swirl of the conflict. Told with warmth and colour, this account of a forgotten soldier in a forgotten army in a forgotten war will not itself be easily forgotten.'
Ferdinand Mount, author of The New Few

'From start to finish the reader's heart belongs to Isaac Fadoyebo and the West African soldiers. Dramatic, moving, often shocking, painstakingly researched and brilliantly told, Another Man's War is a story the world should hear, not just so that West Africans may know the part they played in the Burma campaign and in the Second World War, but so that Britain and the world knows it too.'
Aminatta Forna, author of The Hired Man and The Memory of Love

'Barnaby Phillips has written a fine account of the forgotten African soldiers who fought in WW2. Another Man's War is a testament to the kindness of strangers and the power of memory. The denouement of Isaac's absorbing story - spanning three continents and seven decades - is deeply moving. Meticulous research is matched by profound human emotion.'
Lindsey Hilsum, International Editor, Channel 4 News

'A rich story, richly told. An inspiring instance of common human, handled brilliantly by a writer whose research is as dogged as his touch is fine. Reading Another Man's War will add hugely to any person's understanding of how the Second World War was fought and, just as importantly, how it was presented. Superb.'
Tim Butcher, author of Blood River and Chasing the Devil

'The hard-won victories of the Second World War define British identity to an extraordinary degree. Travelling from Africa to Southeast Asia, Barnaby Philips illuminates vividly, through a very human story, how that ostensible struggle between democracy and fascism was experienced and interpreted by a large majority of the world's population. Another Man's War admirably complicates and deepens our sense of history. '
Pankaj Mishra, author of From the Ruins of Empire

'Barnaby Phillips has written a magnificent book. It is an enthralling human story of soldiers whose sacrifice has been too long neglected. He brings to his subject a sharp intelligence and a true Writer's eye. This book deserves to become a classic of war history.'
Fergal Keane, BBC Foreign Correspondent and author of Road of Bones

'A riveting narrative that traces Africa's crucial yet forgotten contribution to the Second World War. Brimming with facts, anecdotes and pathos, this page-turner is a must-read/indispensable for anyone interested in military history and Nigeria's socio-political transformation in the mid-20th century.'
Noo Saro

-Wiwa, author of Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria 'A real-life thriller with sobering implications for the British reader - but I found it impossible to put down.
Hilary Spurling, author of Burying the Bones

About the Author

Barnaby Phillips is a senior correspondent for Al Jazeera English, which he joined at the time of its launch in 2006. His documentary Burma Boy won the prestigious CINE Golden Eagle Award. Previously, he was for fifteen years a correspondent for the BBC, reporting primarily from Africa. Phillips grew up in Kenya and now lives in London. This is his first book.

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Book Info

Publication date

4th September 2014

Author

Barnaby Phillips

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Publisher

Oneworld Publications

Format

Hardback
336 pages

Categories

Biography / Autobiography
History

Second World War
Asian history
20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000

ISBN

9781780745220

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