Emma McCune’s passion for Africa, her unstinting commitment to the children of Sudan and her youthful beauty and glamour set her apart from other relief workers almost from the moment she arrived in southern Sudan. But no one was prepared for her decision to marry a local warlord—a man who seemed to embody everything she was working against—and to throw herself into his violent quest to take over Sudan’s rebel movement.

With precision and insight, Deborah Scroggins—who met McCune in Sudan—charts the process by which McCune’s romantic delusions led to her descent into the hell of Africa’s longest running civil war. Emma’s War is at once a disturbing love story and an up-close look at Sudan in the 1990s:  a world where international aid fueled armies as well as the starving population, and where the northern-based Islamic government—backed by Osama bin Laden—remained locked in a war with the Christian and pagan south over religion, oil, and slaves.

A timely, revelatory account of the nature of relief work, of the men and women who choose to carry it out and of one woman’s sacrifice to its ideals.