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A Socialist Peace?Explaining the Absence of War in an African Country$
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Mike McGovern

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226453576

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226453743.001.0001

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Interlude: Palm Wine and Ethnic Cleansing

Interlude: Palm Wine and Ethnic Cleansing

(p.69) Interlude: Palm Wine and Ethnic Cleansing
A Socialist Peace?

Mike McGovern

University of Chicago Press

My dark, dank little room was bright with conversation and good cheer. It was a fête day, and three of my friends had harvested their palm wine, bringing a generous amount over to the house so we could drink and “lecture,” as those who spoke Liberian English said. Ever since I first came to the forest twelve years before, I had developed the local taste for palm wine and talk. The palm wine buzz, heady and mellow, but intensely social and oriented toward conversation, is unlike that brought on by any other alcohol I know. Literally weaned on the stuff (I had often seen babies given a few sips to stop their crying or toddlers given a small cup to cure their constipation), these men knew exactly what their limits were, and the gatherings often became animated, but rarely belligerent....

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