2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Beautifully written and researched, but very one-sided,
This review is from: I Didn't Do It For You: How the World Used and Abused a Small African Nation (Paperback)
I came to this book having loved "In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz", a fantastic book which veered crazily between the tragic and the hilariously funny in its account of how the Congolese have tried to survive the awfulness which befell their country.
"I didn't do it for you" reads much more like an angry polemic on behalf of the Eritrean people and I liked it less as a result. Its one-sidedness was particularly apparent in the description of the long struggle with Ethiopia for independence where Ms Wrong lionises the EPLF as modern-day Spartans, fantastically brave and resourceful, unswervingly dedicated to their cause - whereas the Ethiopians are never portrayed as anything more than murderous brutes. Her failure to level much criticism at the EPLF makes the post-independence slide of Eritrea into dictatorship and isolation seem a little odd, especially since she rather glosses over this period.
Nevertheless this is a beautifully written book which combines a myriad of personal anecdotes with painstaking historical research. It is well worth reading because it draws attention to a forgotten corner of Africa, and is a sobering reminder of the horrible damage that both of the Cold War superpowers wreaked in the developing world, as well as the enduring legacy of European colonialism.