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Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Ripping Yarns......, 26 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Happy Valley: The Story of the English in Kenya (Kindle Edition)
This is, to coin a phrase, a book of two halves.
The first 50 percent covers the period from the late 19th century to the first world war, the period of exploration and settlement. We meet characters reminiscent of Michael Palin's enactments in his Ripping Yarns series - pith helmeted englishmen fighting against the elements and the natives to carve out a little piece of England in the wilderness - an amusing description of many people who were heroic in their own way, not completely barking mad, but, in my opinion, certainly not playing with a full deck of cards.
However, Kenya flourished and in the second half of the book we firstly learn of the Happy Valley set and their sexual adventures. We the move on to an equally interesting account of the Mau Mau years of the late 1950s - all have their own opinions of this period, but for me Jomo Kenyatta = Gerry Adams, Mau Mau = Provisional IRA.
We are then taken briefly through the Lancaster House meetings, beyond which Kenya survives as a lesser nation than it might have been.
Overall, a good popular history which I enjoyed immensely.
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