“This work is an excellent introduction to the topic…. [I]t deserves a place in all college and public libraries.”
Charles W. McClellan, Radford University
“I cannot rate this book more highly.”
This bold, popularizing synthesis presents a readily accessible introduction to one of the major themes of twentieth-century world history. Between 1922, when self-government was restored to Egypt, and 1994, when nonracial democracy was achieved in South Africa, 54 new nations were established in Africa. Written within the parameters of African history, as opposed to imperial history, this study charts the processes of nationalism, liberation and independence that recast the political map of Africa in these years. Ranging from Algeria in the North, where a French colonial government used armed force to combat Algerian aspirations to home-rule, to the final overthrow of apartheid in the South, this is an authoritative survey that will be welcomed by all students tackling this complex and challenging topic.
David Birmingham lived in Switzerland from 1947 to 1954 as a child and returned there in the 1990s as a visiting historian. From 1980 to 2001 he held the chair of Modern History in the University of Kent at Canterbury in England. He is the author of many books, including Portugal and Africa.
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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.
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