218pp., illus., paperback, Oakland, 2017
Examines how peaceful neighbours become involved in lethal inter-ethnic violence by studying the sometimes peaceful, sometimes violent interactions between Samburu herders and neighboring groups in northern Kenya.
"Jon Holtzman has written a thoughtful, multilayered meditation on the complexities, contradictions, and cultural contexts of violence and ethnographic research: How do friends become enemies, and enemies friends? Can we make sense of the often ambiguous stories people tell to justify or explain violence? How can we study violence between people and groups ethnographically?" Dorothy Hodgson, Professor of Anthropology, Rutgers University
"Killing Your Neighbors takes us to the heart of a highly topical predicament arising in almost manic shifts between peace and vendetta verging on feud. Holtzman’s fresh and humane insights are about a remarkable ethnographic crossover. Evoking ‘the certainty of uncertainty’ through incompatible perspectives, Holtzman reveals important comparative lessons about the social and cultural force of memories and stories of violation, treachery, and failed amity." Richard Werbner, Emeritus Professor in African Anthropology, University of Manchester, and author of Tears of the Dead
Jon Holtzman is the author of Uncertain Tastes: memory, ambivalence, and the politics of eating in Samburu, Northern Kenya and Nuer Journeys, Nuer Lives: Sudanese refugees in Minnesota. He is Professor of Anthropology at Western Michigan University.