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The Fate of Africa: A History of the Continent Since Independence Rev Upd Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was very easy to read & gives an 'overall' view of Africa & it's many problems.Published 5 months ago by Diane Howe NZ
Well researched and well written, giving the struggles of the beginning of Independence until now in Africa.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Highly recommend for anyone interested in political science as this book covers, in incredible detail, the rise and fall of the many regimes throughout Africa's history.Published 11 months ago by Chase Bloch
As a primer on recent African history, this can't be beat. Martin Meredith is a brilliant synthesizer of history and news. Obscure figures are fleshed out in quick paragraphs. Read morePublished 13 months ago by David Weigel
This is a thorough, authoritative, and heartbreaking history of a long list of African countries. The stories vary in detail but are very much alike in outline. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Robert B. Miller
As a gossip manual this would be superb. It outlines the foibles, flaws, sins and savageries of various postcolonial African leaders with a nearly perverse relish. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Abdulahad Ayub
It's so damn depressing. Contemporary Africa is an unfortunate European creation where history repeats itself again and again. Read morePublished 14 months ago by George
This book is very good! Meredith did a tremendous job recounting Africa's history since its independence. Excellent book worth reading!Published 15 months ago by Marcus Goncalves
Profoundly complete account of Africa's fifty years history.Published 15 months ago by Habtamu G Deme