Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

The Fate of Africa: A History of the Continent Since Independence Rev Upd Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1610390712
ISBN-10: 1610390717
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$4.39 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$15.25 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
49 New from $10.00 65 Used from $4.39
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
$15.25 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Fate of Africa: A History of the Continent Since Independence
  • +
  • Africa: A Biography of the Continent
  • +
  • King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa
Total price: $35.32
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Martin Meredith is a journalist, biographer, and historian who has written extensively on Africa. His books include Mandela: A Biography; Mugabe; Diamonds, Gold and War; Born in Africa; and, most recently, Fortunes of Africa. He lives near Oxford, England.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 816 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; Rev Upd edition (September 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1610390717
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610390712
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Baker on January 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book provides an outstanding survey of the brutal dictators and frequent wars that have plagued Africa since independence. I have nothing to add to the already comprehensive reviews here except to note three possible negatives of the book. Despite these, I still give the book 4 1/2 stars, as my points are mainly about scope, not execution.

1) This is a history in the "old-school" sense. Like earlier histories of Europe that included only the deeds of kings, heroes, and warriors, there is no attempt to convey anything about the daily experience of the ordinary people of Africa. It is a history of the movers and the shakers. In the past several decades, historians have redefined their field to include the actions and experiences of those who are not in the seats of power. If you're looking for this newer kind of history, then this is not the book on Africa for you.

2) Excellent coverage is provided through each decade of the twentieth century, but coverage of the last ten years seemed a little thin in comparison.

3) And finally, after 700 pages of corrupt dictators, I was hoping for at least a little analysis. Why has all this happened over the last 50 years? Why do these corrupt men keep gaining power, and why does the violence persist? I understand that Meredith's intended purpose is merely to report and not to become political, but by the very act of selecting certain aspects of Africa's history and excluding others, he makes a statement. I was hoping, then, for some more explicit exploration of the causes of this long nightmare.
1 Comment 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition
If you are working in or simply fascinated by Africa this is a great start point and I would definitiely recommend this book for your library. I constantly go back to this book to refresh myself on regional and country specific GENERAL issues and history. As an overview of quite possibly one of the most complex socio-political environments in the world, the author does an incredible job. What is often missing is the outside influence on the story and/or the deeper regional dynamics. The author could have focused a little bit more on some of the developmental disasters caused by the very organizations that set out to fix the internal problems prevalent in the continent. This economic experimentation as well as the external security regime are two topics that would have resonated throughout the book. Still, I would not give up my copy and, recognizing that no one can do justice to an entire continent in one book, this is a must have for your Africa shelf.
Comment 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Martin Meredith's history of Africa since independence provides a critical service to the general reader -- telling clearly and comprehensively what has happened in Africa since 1960. In so doing, he covers an vast amount of material. There are at present over 50 African states, and they vary enormously, in terms of culture, resources, history, and on and on. Meredith discusses all of the major and most of the minor countries individually, moving forward through time in what is a triumph of organization. If I want in future to review the recent history of one or another African country -- or of some cross-border phenomena -- I shall know where to turn.

It is probably too much to expect an explanation at the end of this chronicle. Mr. Meredith's history presents a harrowing account of war after war, dictator after dictator, famine after famine, and mass murder after mass murder. They differ from country to country, of course, but the pattern of kleptocracy combined with monomania emerges again and again. At the end, one has to wonder why, and Mr. Meredith does not really present many answers. It may not be possible to do so, but I wish he had tried.

Upon finishing this book, I went back to Amazon to see if there is another on the same topic -- is Africa's history since independence really so totally hopeless? I didn't find anything of anything like Mr. Meredith's level of seriousness that presented a less pessimistic view, at least not based on writeups and reviews. For now, I remain stunned, and curious.
Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
The three Cs dominate reportage on Africa, and that's mostly what we find here. This long book reflects an internalist view: Africans, especially leaders, are to blame for Africa's problems; external factors like neo/colonialism get short shrift. TFOA has several virtues: factual accuracy (but with bibliographic errors); geographical balance; refreshing style; and sympathy for ordinary folks. But focus on public events conveys little of the actual feel of living in admittedly troubled lands, impeding a proper grasp of Africa's situation. Take Zambia: poor but relatively stable and free of ethnic conflict, it's under the radar apart from short passages on Kenneth Kaunda. Meredith's harsh view of Ghana, justified til recent years, neglects its currently flourishing economy, civil society and popularity with visitors. His sources reveal the problems he cites, but what about widespread spirited efforts to cope creatively with daily struggles? Kinship and ethnicity are not just problems, but resources deployed in pragmatic coping strategies. L. Cliggett, "Grains From Grass" and K.T. Hansen, "Salaula" help explain current life in Zambia, while S. Nzenza-Shand, "Songs to an African Sunset" nicely evokes a stable Zimbabwe before it succumbed to corruption and paranoia. Without such insights, especially from Africans themselves, TFOA misses the resilience, humor, courtesy and sheer joie de vivre found throughout the continent.
2 Comments 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

The Fate of Africa: A History of the Continent Since Independence
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: The Fate of Africa: A History of the Continent Since Independence