In December 1989, Charles Taylor invaded Liberia from neighbouring Ivory Coast. A 14-year conflict ensued, with various factions fighting for control of the country's diamond, timber, rubber and iron ore wealth.
“Charles Taylor and Liberia” recounts what happened during those years and inspects the life of Taylor, who is on trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for war crimes in neighbouring Sierra Leone.
“Campaigner, insurgent, arms dealer, warlord, commodity trafficker, elected president, international fugitive and finally prisoner, Charles Taylor sought to lead his native Liberia to change but instead destroyed it in a frenzy of violence, greed and uncontrolled personal ambition,” Zed Books writes on its website.
Author Colin Waugh draws on a variety of testimonies and original interviews, including with Taylor himself.
The civil war left around 250,000 dead and forced more than half the population from their homes.