Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Fate of Africa

If you remember the excellent e-mail I received last month from the anonymous academician after my Zimbabwe currency post, you may also remember that he recommended a book about Robert Mugabe.

What I didn't mention at the time was that he also highly recommended a general study of post-colonial Africa titled The Fate of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence. I finished reading it a few days ago, and it's a terrific book. Thorough, detailed, and highly engrossing, it's an excellent survey of what's happened in Africa in the last five decades.

It's also discouraging in the details, which is unfortunately to be expected, given the massive amount of suffering that has taken place in Africa. That doesn't make it any less interesting reading, though, and it's a remarkable piece of scholarship by author Martin Meredith. And what it does do is put all of this suffering into a historical framework and give it context, which is impossible to get from reading news stories.

It's also available in a Kindle edition, which is here: Kindle version.

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