This is the first scholarly study of soldiers and guerrillas demobilized after the civil war in Mozambique (1979-1992). Based on extensive field-work with former combatants from both sides of the civil war in Mozambique and the communities in which they have settled, this takes a critical and empirical look at prevailing stereotypes about this extremely influential, yet poorly researched, social group in war-torn societies throughout Africa and worldwide. Jessica Schafer advances a wholesale re-evaluation of their roles and impact on post-war society. Combatants are "humanized" by examining, rather than assuming, the way war experiences shaped them both as social beings and as political actors. Schafer presents evidence of striking similarities between the social and political discourses of veterans from a wide range of war and post-war contexts, and makes a strong case for a comparative approach to studying veterans rather than the "new war" theories that have become popular in recent scholarly and media analyses.