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Africa Since Independence A Comparative History by Paul Nugent

Africa Since Independence A Comparative History


Africa Since Independence A Comparative History by Paul Nugent

Africans have achieved their independence through very different means. While the former French colonies and most of the British ones reached an accord with the European power concerned, the Portuguese colonies, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa achieved their liberation after protracted wars and internal political struggles. In this genuinely comparative study, Paul Nugent explores the different trajectories and experiences of independent African states. Following the independence of the Sudan and Ghana in 1956-7, Africans have been engaged in efforts to fashion a workable political and economic dispensation for the post-colonial era. Nugent examines the record of African Socialist, Afro-Marxist and self-professed Capitalist regimes over the first two decades, and compares the record of military and civilian regimes in implementing their preferred development paths. Subsequent chapters explore the retrenchment associated with structural adjustment, as well as the record of multi-partyism after 1989. Africa since Independence also addresses the impact of HIV and AIDS, the contagion of warfare and efforts at achieving national reconciliation, both in the past and at the start of the new millennium.


'This is clearly a fabulous study - perhaps the best, most incisive, and most comprehensive treatment of African history and politics that I have seen.' - Joshua Forrest, University of Vermont, USA

'This is an impressive book. Those who know little of modern African history - start here! And those who have read everything before this publication, add this to your collection.' - Bruce Baker, Democratization 'Nugent's book is easily the best single-volume history of postcolonial Africa written in the last 20 years.' - Nicolas Van De Walle, Foreign Affairs 'Writing the history of continents is difficult...Nonetheless, it is possible to provide a comprehensive single-volume view of short period of continental African history. David Nugent's Africa Since Independence deals excellently with the problem by taking a thematic approach in which the main features of African history are considered within a broadly chronological structure. Although it is a scholarly work that addresses the arguments of other authorities, it also provides a clear narrative account of African experience that is interesting to informed general readers.' - Times Higher Education Supplement 'This is comparitive history as it ought to be written: thematic, wide-ranging, scholarly and full of insights'. - Alan Cousins, History 'It is the success in narrating these complex varied historical and cultural inheritances, as well as the subtle forms of foreign intervention that have influenced events in Africa since independence, that makes this book a valued resource for students and the general reader...few will resist the urge to read it from cover to cover. - Ukoha Ukiwo, African History

'Overall, the research that went into Africa Since Independence is impressive...The text contains professorial synopses of the classic works in African historiography...' - David Laitin, New Left Review'

About the Author

PAUL NUGENT is Professor of Comparative African History and Director of the Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh, UK.

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Book Info

Publication date

9th July 2004


Paul Nugent

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Palgrave Macmillan


640 pages


African history
20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000



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