This is a sharply observed assessment of the history of the last half century by a distinguished group of historians of Kenya. At the same time the book is a courageous reflection in the dilemmas of African nationhood.
Professor B. A. Ogot says:
“The main purpose of the book is to show that decolonization does not only mean the transfer of alien power to sovereign nationhood; it must also entail the liberation of the worlds of spirit and culture, as well as economics and politics.
“The book also raises a more fundamental question, that is: How much independence is available to any state, national economy or culture in today’s world? It asks how far are Africa’s miseries linked to the colonial past and to the process of decolonization?
“In particular the book raises the basic question of how far Kenya is avoidably neo-colonial? And what does neo-colonial dependence mean? The book answers these questions by discussing the dynamic between the politics of decolonization, the social history of class formation and the economics of dependence. The book ends with a provocative epilogue discussing the transformation of the post-colonial state from a single-party to a multi-party system.”
B. A. Ogot is the director of the Institute of Research and Postgraduate Studies, Maseno University College. He was central to the establishment of the study of history in Kenya. He was later president of the international committee of historians that drafted the Unesco General History of Africa, of which he edited volume 5. He is the author and editor of numerous other books.
W. R. Ochieng' is a principal of Maseno University College. He is author and editor of several books, including Themes in Kenyan History.
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