The eruption of a violent Maoist insurgency in Nepal in the late 1990s was met with bewilderment even among many who claimed to know the country well. The so-called "people's war" was launched in 1996 by the Communist Party of Nepal to overthrow the political establishment, including the monarchy. Tactics have included killing members of rival parties as well as attacks on police stations, banks, and power installations. The indiscriminate nature of the government's military response has been widely criticized. In 2001, Nepal's political situation came to the attention of Western news media with the murders of members of the royal family. This book provides historical, social, and political background on the movement and related events in this ongoing struggle. The contributors examine the war's origins and antecedents, provide ethnographic accounts from rural and urban perspectives, and draw comparisons with other Maoist movements elsewhere in the world. Includes full text of key documents by the rebels and government.