The Fate of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence Paperback – 6 Jun 2006
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About the Author
Martin Meredith is a journalist, biographer and historian who has written extensively on Africa. His previous books include "In the Name of Apartheid; Nelson Mandela; Our Votes, Our Guns: Robert Mugabe and the Tragedy of Zimbabwe;" and "Elephant Destiny." He lives near Oxford, England.
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Top Customer Reviews
The author has written the present book that covers the last fifty years in detail, but really it covers most coutries farther back with many references going back to the mid 19th century and earlier. This is a comprehensive 700 page book in medium to small font and I think it takes a few weeks to read and absorb all the details. He has a very brief introduction with historical maps of Africa and it is followed up with about ten pages of notes and comments at the back of the book, plus a number of references for further reading. I have just begun to read the book, but I have skimmed most of the book briefly to get an overall grasp of the writings. He goes through essentially every country in Africa from the north to the south tip, east to west, country by country, decade by decade describing colonial intrusions, resource and country trading by the big colonial powers, revolution, dictatorships, wars, military actions, famines, economic disasters, racism, and on and on.Read more ›
Africa has been cursed with corrupt and incompetent leaders who never cared for their people. There have been at least 40 successful and many more unsuccessful coup attempts over the past five decades, whilst the latest fashion is to hold sham elections as happened recently in Zimbabwe. Wherever there are natural resources like oil, the money ends up in the pockets of small ruling cliques while most ordinary people live in misery.
The rest of Africa has followed Ghana's example. The first African state to gain independence in 1957, the country was bankrupt within 8 years. Upon taking power, African leaders appointed their cronies in government instead of properly trained civil servants, of which there weren't many to begin with. These ruling elites indulged in corruption, oppression and bribery from the beginning. Today the whole continent produces less than Mexico.
The rogue's gallery of African despots includes Amin, Bokassa, Mobutu, Nyerere, Banda, Mugabe, Kaunda, Kenyatta, Mengistu, Nasser, Nguema and Nkrumah. The extent of the corruption has given rise to the term Kleptocracy. Meredith also looks at other reasons for the failure of Africa, for example rapid population increases and trade protectionism in the West.Read more ›
Other titles that treat this African malaise are DISCIPLES OF FORTUNE , AFRICA UNCHAINED, THE SCHACKLED CONTINENT, TRIPLE AGENT DOUBLE CROSS. Together these titles exposed the personal and collective problems of the people and the personal and collective efforts made, and the means and ways to take the Africa forward despite all the constrains.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a brilliant insight to the problems that Africa has and is still facing.....
Read before visiting any of the african countries so that you understand its people a... Read more
I knew the post-independence years in Africa were bad, but didn't realize how bad. Never perhaps has Lord Acton's comment that "power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts... Read morePublished on 31 Jan. 2008 by Roger John Maudsley
I knew the post-independence years in Africa were bad, but didn't realize how bad. Never perhaps has Lord Acton's comment that "power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts... Read morePublished on 26 Jan. 2008 by Roger John Maudsley
This is simply the best book to read if you want to understand why Africa is in the mess it is. What I like about this book is the fact that while it goes some way to explain the... Read morePublished on 29 July 2007 by TheBerns
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