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Big Men, Little People: The Leaders Who Defined Africa Hardcover – October 1, 2000
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The Sixties were a heady time for Africans. All over the continent colonial flags were being lowered and Africans looked forward to freedom and a glittering future. But for most of the continent the last forty years have been a shattering experience. Since independence Africans have been terribly betrayed by the Europeans, the superpowers, and tragically, by their own leaders.
Can a new generation of leaders turn the tide? Will they learn from their predecessors' mistakes and fuel a new African renaissance? Or is Africa doomed to further decades of turmoil?
In this witty and informative book, Alec Russell answers these questions by telling the stories of his encounters with Africa's Big Men. Each one represents a theme which has shaped the continent: Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire, the "King of Kleptocracy" whose staggering corruption crippled Zaire; Jonas Savimbi, the life-long guerrilla and symbol of the Cold War's destructive legacy on the continent; the quixotic Hastings Banda, the ultimate product of colonialism; and, of course, Nelson Mandela, symbol of reconciliation and hope for an entire continent.
By any measure, this has been a terrible century for Africa. However Russell detects signs of hope in the fledgling human rights troupe he encounters deep in the steamy heart of the Congolese jungle and in the group of journalists keeping Moi's tottering regime in Kenya on its toes.
Big Men, Little People is a vividly written portrait of a continent, which avoids the usual stereotypes and dire prophecies and entertains from start to finish.
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"Sirin and Fine...render visible the complex lives of a profoundly maligned and misunderstood group--Muslim-American youth. They deploy surveys, focus groups, in-depth interviews, and identity maps to explore how Muslim-American youth are creating and re-creating themselves within these politically and socially charged times . . . This is a must read."
-M. Brinton Lykes, Lynch School of Education and Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Boston College
"This book provides a unique, powerful, rich, and nuanced understanding of identity development among Muslim-American youth. The publication of Muslim American Youth is a landmark event in developmental science."
-Richard M. Lerner, Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science, Tufts University
"This book will be particularly useful for any professional who needs well-researched support for what their instinct tells them their community needs."
-"VOYA Voices of Youth Advocates",
"This work complexly and richly captures the diversity in the lived identities of Muslim-American youth, highlighting the power and potential of mixed methodologies in studying the phenomenon of life on the hyphen."
-"Harvard Educational Review",
"With heart and eloquence, the authors illuminate vital concerns about our society's treatment of Muslim-American youth."
About the Author
- Publisher : NYU Press (October 1, 2000)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 081477542X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0814775424
- Item Weight : 1.5 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.98 x 0.94 x 9.02 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,781,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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It examines the move into independence of several of the previously colonised countries in sub-Saharan Africa and walks you through the problems they faced. It also looks at the issue of tribalism and its effects on African politics and corruption of those in power. This book gives the reader a better understanding of why making democracy work for Africa, has been so long and difficult process - and indeed something not yet achieved by a large number of African countries.
An in depth synopsis, well worth reading.