Mauritania: A Country Study replaces the edition published in 1972, twelve years after Mauritania became independent. Between 1960 and 1972, Mauritania struggled to achieve political unity and economic independence. It also suffered a drought and an attendant economic dislocation that lasted through the 1970s. In the period between 1972 and 1987, intermittent drought, desertification, and the war in the Western Sahara further exacerbated Mauritania's political and economic problems.
Like the earlier study, this edition seeks to provide a concise and objective account of the history and dominant social, political, economic, and military aspects of contemporary Mauritania. Sources of information included scholarly monographs and journals, official reports of governments and international organizations, periodicals, and foreign and domestic newspapers. Measurements are given in the metric system.
The authors have spelled place-names in accordance with usage established by the United States Board on Geographic Names. In transliterating personal names, they have followed standard usage in official Mauritanian sources.
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