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Africa Betrayed Paperback – November 15, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; Reprint edition (November 15, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312104006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312104009
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #354,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This vigorous attack on corruption and mismanagement by post-colonial African leaders is bolstered by the author's experience as a dissident in his native Ghana. Ayittey, who teaches economics at the American University in Washington, D.C., blames African elites, foreign powers and even black Americans for aiding and abetting black dictators. Surveying indigenous political institutions--but neglecting the treatment of women--he argues that current leaders distort history when they claim their heritage supports not democracy but one-party and/or military rule. He ranges through the colonial and independence periods before cataloguing depredations in places like authoritarian Zimbabwe and Zaire, the "epitome of African kleptocracy." Ayittey proposes decentralized, democratic government based on indigenous principles to counter tribalism, a problem examined too briefly. Arguing that the West can best help Africa by promoting freedom of expression, Ayittey calls upon Africans to author their own intellectual, political and economic reforms.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"As a black African, Ayittey brings a personal, passionate commitment to his analysis. He develops a comprehensive prescription for addressing the continent's lack of representative, responsible government."--Christian Science Monitor

"Mr Ayittey's bitter reading is an appropriate first therapy to the malaise American politics have helped to breed."--Wall Street Journal

"This vigorous attack on corruption and mismanagement by post-colonial African leaders is bolstered by the author's experience as a dissident in his native Ghana. Ayittey, who teaches economics at the American University in Washington, D.C., blames African elites, foreign powers and even black Americans for aiding and abetting black dictators. Surveying indigenous political institutions--but neglecting the treatment of women--he argues that current leaders distort history when they claim their heritage supports not democracy but one-party and/or military rule. He ranges through the colonial and independence periods before cataloguing depredations in places like authoritarian Zimbabwe and Zaire, the "epitome of African kleptocracy." Ayittey proposes decentralized, democratic government based on indigenous principles to counter tribalism, a problem examined too briefly. Arguing that the West can best help Africa by promoting freedom of expression, Ayittey calls upon Africans to author their own intellectual, political and economic reforms."--Publishers Weekly

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By El Cutachero on June 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
I was a geographic specialist concerned with the mapping of Africa from 1964 to my retirement in 1998. I well remember the high hopes we once had that the newly freed Africans would be able to develop and join the developed world on equal terms. The author, of African heritage himself, has covered in great detail what went wrong. Resulting in the current anarchial state of affairs,with international and civil wars, ethnic cleansing, and economic ruin. With the end of the Cold War and the cutting back of aid from the First and Second Worlds, the Third is greatly the worse for it. This is a dam sad book and I never could finish it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven H. Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on January 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
George Ayittey (born 1945) is a Ghanaian economist, author and president of the Free Africa Foundation in Washington DC. He is also a professor at American University, and an associate scholar at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. He has also written Africa Unchained: The Blueprint for Africa's Future, and Africa in Chaos: A Comparative History.

He writes in the Prologue to this 1992 book, "This book does not assess the leadership qualities, aims, or achievements of individual African heads of state or attempt to evaluate their objectives and policies for development. Nor is this book written to titillate the Western cultural palate. Rather, it offers an African perspective on the crisis plaguing the continent---a perspective which is often lacking in news coverage of African events. No apologies are offered, as the pertinent theme of this book is straightforward---FREEDOM."

Here are some quotations from the book:

"Economically, politically, AND culturally, Africans today are worse off than they were at the time of independence in the 1960s." (Pg. 7-8)
"Africa has been betrayed. Freedom from colonial rule has evolved into ghastly tyranny, artibrary rule, denial of civil liberties, brutal suppression of dissent, and the wanton slaughter of peasants." (Pg. 10)
"Each African country celebrated its day of independence with unbounded euphoria. Freedom at last!... But not for long. That fresh breath of freedom from colonial rule was to prove emphemeral. 'One man, one vote' came to Africa only one time." (Pg.
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