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4.3 out of 5 stars
12
4.3 out of 5 stars
My First Coup d'Etat: Memories from the Lost Decades of Africa
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on 5 December 2012
My First Coup d'Etat: Memories from the Lost Decades of Africa I really enjoyed this autobiographical account of growing up in Ghana, set against the political backdrop of post-independence. Having spent a lot of my adult life in northern Ghana and being familiar with much of the historical, cultural and geographical settings certainly added to the enjoyment, but this would be a good read for anyone looking for insights into post-colonial development and challenges. The author, John Dramani Mahama, is now president of Ghana, having stepped into the position on the recent death of John Atta Mills. With elections coming on 7th December 2012, he may possibly not be president for much longer, but if that gives him more time for writing, I shall look forward to his next book. In fact I think this book gives a good window on why Ghana has developed into a democratic nation where changes of government take place upon the expressed wishes of the people. John Mahama comes across as an unpretentious person who loves his country and seeks peace rather than power. Long may that trait continue in Ghanaian politicians.
UPDATE: On a recent 6-week working visit to Ghana (May 2013)we were asked to vacate our Guest House rooms near the northern border because the President (John Mahama, duly re-elected for a further 4-year term) was on an official visit to the area and needed to eat his lunch there, with his considerable entourage. Of course, we complied, but unfortunately didn't get a chance to meet him.
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on 3 October 2012
I bought this book because Matthew Parris gave it such high praise in his column in The Times and I got the impression it was a series of snapshots of a rural life lived in Ghana. In fact this is a memoir by the current President which includes his early life in Ghana which paints a picture of a happy family life lived in the rural North of the country.

As he grows up things change,there have been several coups mostly by the army and at times things have been really bad, food shortages and transport difficulties, corruption and the people have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.

I feel this is a very honest account of what actually happened and am sure Mr Mahama will be a very good President. It was not the book I wanted to read but I enjoyed it anyway.
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on 4 September 2012
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this personal account of the life and experiences of President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana. It is a tender mix of personal rememberances, set in the larger context of Ghana during these difficult post-independence years. I consider it a beautiful complement to "The State of Africa" by Martin Meredith, which is much more factual and broad in scope.
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on 16 September 2013
I love this book because this is a period of African history that our parents carry with them. Mahama's stories are African stories, even if they are based in Ghana. The post-independence euphoria and optimism - such things are universal. But this is really a memoir of his life, but told through a series of anecdotes rather than a straight biography. his storytelling skills are second to none and it feels like an exploration of a country and a period of time, as well as one man's life. He's funny and humble and his love for his family comes across strongly. We need more of these stories to be captured and I'm glad Mahama committed his memories to paper for all of us to share.
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on 9 January 2013
A heartfelt memoir by a man passionate about his country. Mahama writes with affection and illustrates his memories in a way that makes the reader feel fully immersed in the story. Highly recommended.
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on 7 September 2012
This is a really evocative book, giving details of a way of life, now gone. I really enjoyed reading this book, but the Kindle version was marred by the title page being repeatedly included.
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on 3 June 2014
He is a friendly writer, he will not harm anyone without it is a common truth. If it was a novel, the writing would not be considered as advanced. But his own bibliographer it is good enough. His stories from Northern Ghana and from boarding schools in Ghana are very interesting indeed.
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on 22 September 2013
Born in the same town and lived in the country around about the same time I connected with the book so easily as I can relate to most of the events. A real memory journey. I just couldn't put it down until the very last page. JDM please write again!
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on 15 March 2015
Can relate to the authors personal experience as I attended the same boarding school and University
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on 25 December 2015
Great expectation. This is amazing.
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