READ // The Fate of Africa : From the Hopes of Freedom to the Heart of Despair : A History of Fifty Years of Independence

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READ // The Fate of Africa : From the Hopes of Freedom to the Heart of Despair : A History of Fifty Years of Independence

Recommended Title

The Fate of Africa : From the Hopes of Freedom to the Heart of Despair : A History of Fifty Years of Independence
By Martin Meredith
New York : Public Affairs, c2005
DT30.5.M455 2005

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From Fr. Stephen Sundborg, S.J.:

2005 was supposed to be ‘The Year of Africa’ but other world news didn't allow that to happen. Africa has for so long a time been marginalized and of little strategic interest to us. I have long felt that the people of Africa deserve our attention more than any other people. So when the book The Fate of Africa by the well-informed commentator, Martin Meredith, came along and I saw that it was a history of fifty years of independence, I decided this was where I needed to start to lay a solid foundation of knowledge of the people of the forgotten continent. It is far and away the best and most important book I have read in the last year and has opened up much wider reading and interest about what I believe matters most. At a university with the motto 'Connecting the Mind to What Matters,' this really counts.

From the Publisher:
Today, Africa is a continent rife with disease, death, and devastation. Most African countries are effectively bankrupt, prone to civil strife, subject to dictatorial rule, and dependent on Western assistance for survival. The sum of Africa's misfortunes — its wars, its despotisms, its corruption, its droughts — is truly daunting. … What went wrong? What happened to this vast continent, so rich in resources, culture and history, to bring it so close to destitution and despair in the space of two generations?

Focusing on the key personalities, events and themes of the independence era, Martin Meredith's riveting narrative history seeks to explore and explain the myriad problems that Africa has faced in the past half-century, and faces still. From the giddy enthusiasm of the 1960s to the "coming of tyrants" and rapid decline, The Fate of Africa is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand how it came to this — and what, if anything, is to be done.

About the Author:
Written with a passionate focus on Africa, it’s recent evolution and plight, Martin Meredith’s books include Coming to Terms: South Africa’s Search For Truth, In the Name of Apartheid, Nelson Mandela, and Our Votes and Our Guns: Robert Mugabe and the Tragedy of Zimbabwe. The author and commentator worked as a foreign correspondent for the London Observer and Sunday Times. He was also a research fellow at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, England.