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African Reading List

Notice

The content provided on the reading lists is for educational and informational purposes. The sources of the content are cited, and the content used represents a small portion of the whole. The use of the content, in such context and circumstance, falls under “Fair Use” pursuant of Section 107 of the Copyright Act. If you are the copyright owner and wish to have your content removed, please contact Corey Parson at corey.parson@ung.edu

Conflict

Wars, Guns, and Votes Democracy in Dangerous Places

Wars, Guns, and Votes Democracy in Dangerous Places

Paul Collier, 2009

Africa—Democracy

"In Wars, Guns, and Votes, esteemed author Paul Collier offers a groundbreaking, radical look at the world’s most violent, corrupt societies, how they got that way, and what can be done to break the cycle. George Soros calls Paul Collier “one of the most original minds in the world today,” and Wars, Guns, and Votes, like Collier’s previous award-winning book The Bottom Billion, is essential reading for anyone interested in current events, war, poverty, economics, or international business."

Collier, Paul. Wars, Guns, and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places. HarperCollins, 2009.

Africa in Chaos: A Comparative History

Africa in Chaos: A Comparative History

George R. N. Ayittey, 1999

Africa—General

"In a follow-up to his ground-breaking Africa Betrayed, George Ayittey takes up the plight of Africa at the end of the twentieth century. As he sees countries like Nigeria go over the edge of economic and social disaster, Ayittey uses his formidable powers of analysis to look at the political economy of Africa, the incursion of foreign powers and the relationship of Africa to the world market. He contrasts the indigenous systems of government that existed in Africa before the arrival of Europeans with the colonial and postcolonial systems that were forced on the country and the effect these systems have had on Africa's inability to move forward. Ayittey's view is dark and, as always, his stinging conclusions will infuriate some and invigorate others. Certain to create controversy, Africa in Chaos is a must-read for fans of Ayittey's earlier work as well as anyone interested in the world economic scene today."

Ayittey, George B.N. Africa in Chaos: A Comparative History. Palgrave Macmillan, 1999.

Africa: A Continent Self-Destructs

Africa: A Continent Self-Destructs

Peter Schwab, 2001

Africa—General

"Can Africa survive? Many of the nations of sub-Saharan African have all but ceased to exist as organized states: tyranny, diseases such as AIDS, civil war, ethnic conflict and border invasions threaten the complete disintegration of a region. Peter Schwab offers a clear, authoritative portrait of a continent on the brink. Globalization and an accompanying level of economic health have passed over Africa. Added to these factors is a patronizing attitude from the West that change in Africa must take place within Western parameters, a UN that lacks any real power, and a US foreign policy in Africa that is unclear. Looking to South Africa as an example of successful Western support of an African nation, Schwab suggests that the US should use its leverage to help democrats into positions of power and then work with them under a framework dictated by the leaders themselves. It is only with a distinctly African approach to African problems that the survival of the continent can be assured."

Schwab, Peter. Africa: A Continent Self-Destructs. Palgrave Macmillan, 2001.

African Guerrillas: Raging Against the Machine

African Guerrillas: Raging Against the Machine

Morten Boas, Kevin Dunn, 2007

Africa—Insurgency

"At the center of many of Africa's violent conflicts are movements that do not seem to fit any established theories of armed resistance. African Guerrillas offers new models for understanding these movements, eschewing one-dimensional explanations.

The authors build on—and in some cases debate—insights provided in Christopher Clapham's groundbreaking work. They find a new generation of fighters—one that reflects rage against the machinery of a dysfunctional state. Their analysis of this phenomenon, combining thematic chapters and a range of representative case studies, is a crucial contribution to any effort to understand Africa's war-torn societies."

Boas, Morten and Kevin Dunn. African Guerrillas: Raging Against the Machine. Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2007.

War Dogs: Fighting Other People’s Wars—The Modern Mercenary in Combat

War Dogs: Fighting Other People’s Wars—The Modern Mercenary in Combat

Al Venter, 2006

Africa—Mercenaries

"Mercenaries have been with us since the dawn of civilization, yet in the modern world they are little understood. While many of today's freelance fighters provide support for larger military establishments, others wage war where the great powers refuse to tread. In War Dog, Al Venter examines the latter world of mercenary fighters effecting decisions by themselves. In the process he unveils a remarkable array of close-quarters combat action."

Venter, Al. War Dog: Fighting Other People’s Wars—The Modern Mercenary in Combat. Casemate, 2004.

 

Africa’s Armies: From Honor to Infamy

Africa’s Armies: From Honor to Infamy

Robert B. Edgerton, 2002

African—Military

"Africa's Armies traces the military history of sub-Saharan Africa from the pre-colonial era to the present. Robert Edgerton begins this sweeping chronicle by describing the role of African armies in pre-colonial times, when armed forces or militias were essential to the maintenance and prosperity of their societies. During the colonial era, African soldiers fought with death-defying courage, earning such respect as warriors that they were often recruited into the colonial armies not simply to enforce colonial rule in Africa, but to fight for the European homelands as well. After independence swept through Africa, African military men seized political power in country after country, ruling dictatorially for their own benefit and for that of their kinsmen and cronies. The author describes the post-colonial civil wars that have devastated much of sub-Saharan Africa – catastrophes marked by genocide, famine, disease, economic collapse, and steadily declining life expectancy. He closes by describing the role that Africa's military forces can and must play if the future is to bring better times to the continent's many peoples."

Edgerton, Robert E. Africa’s Armies: From Honor to Infamy. Basic Books, 2002.

Composite Warfare: The Conduct of Successful Ground Forces Operations in Africa

Composite Warfare: The Conduct of Successful Ground Forces Operations in Africa

Eeben Barlow, 2015

Africa—Military

“As a continent, Africa presents her armies with a vast, dynamic and multidimensional operating environment. It has numerous complex and diverse ethnic, religious, cultural and tribal interests and loyalties, along with many multifaceted threat-drivers coupled to varied and infrastructure-poor terrain plus vast climatic variations. The continent is, furthermore, characterized by numerous half-won conflicts and wars fought by incorrectly structured, inadequately trained and ill-equipped armies. For many reasons, these forces have difficulty adapting to the complex, demanding and rapidly changing environments they do battle in. Similarly, the armies have difficulty in decisively defeating the various threats they face. Many of these problems stem from the fact that numerous modern-day African armies are merely clones of the armies established by their once-colonial masters, their Cold War allies or their new international allies. Many of the principles and tactics, techniques and procedures they were - and still are - being taught relate to fighting in Europe and not in Africa. Some of these concepts are not even relevant to Africa.

“This book is intended as a guide and textbook for African soldiers and scholars who wish to understand the development of hostilities, strategy, operational design, doctrine and tactics. It also illustrates the importance of nonpartisanship and the mission and role of the armed forces. Officers, NCOs and their subordinates need to, furthermore, understand their role in defending and protecting the government and the people they serve. They additionally need to know how to successfully accomplish their numerous missions with aggression, audacity, boldness, speed and surprise. The book provides the reader with valuable information relating to conventional and unconventional maneuver. It also discusses how African armies can, with structured and balanced forces, achieve strategic, operational and tactical success. It covers the role of government along with operations related to war, operations other than war and intelligence operations and how these operations, operating in a coordinated and unified manner, can secure and strengthen a government. ## Composite Warfare draws on the author's experiences and lessons in Central, Southern, East, West and North Africa where he has served numerous African governments as a politico-military strategist, division commander, division adviser, battalion commander and special operations commander.”

Barlow, Eeben. Composite Warfare: The Conduct of Successful Ground Forces Operations in Africa. Helion and Company, 2015.

All Things Must Fight to Live: Stories of War and Deliverance in Congo

All Things Must Fight to Live: Stories of War and Deliverance in Congo

Bryan Mealer, 2008

Central–Congo

“In 1996, the fighting in Rwanda spilled over the Congolese border, sparking a conflict that would eventually claim more lives than any other since the Second World War. Based on Mealer’s three years in Congo, All Things Must Fight to Live is an unforgettable tour through the aftermath of war and colonialism, in a country that is still the site of the greatest humanitarian catastrophe on earth. It is nonfiction at its finest: harrowing, gorgeous, and in the end redemptive.”

Mealer, Bryan. All Things Must Fight to Live: Stories of War and Deliverance in Congo. Bloomsbury, 2008.

The Dynamics of Violence in Central Africa

The Dynamics of Violence in Central Africa

Rene Lemarchand, 2009

Central—Great Lakes

“Endowed with natural resources, majestic bodies of fresh water, and a relatively mild climate, the Great Lakes region of Central Africa has also been the site of some of the world's bloodiest atrocities. In Rwanda, Burundi, and the Congo-Kinshasa, decades of colonial subjugation—most infamously under Belgium's Leopold II—were followed by decades of civil warfare that spilled into neighboring countries. When these conflicts lead to horrors such as the 1994 Rwandan genocide, ethnic difference and postcolonial legacies are commonly blamed, but, with so much at stake, such simple explanations cannot take the place of detailed, dispassionate analysis.

The Dynamics of Violence in Central Africa provides a thorough exploration of the contemporary crises in the region. By focusing on the historical and social forces behind the cycles of bloodshed in Rwanda, Burundi, and the Congo-Kinshasa, René Lemarchand challenges much of the conventional wisdom about the roots of civil strife in former Belgian Africa. He offers telling insights into the appalling cycle of genocidal violence, ethnic strife, and civil war that has made the Great Lakes region of Central Africa the most violent on the continent, and he sheds new light on the dynamics of conflict in the region.”

Lemarchand, Rene. The Dynamics of Violence in Central Africa. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009.

The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide

The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide

Gerard Prunier, 1997

Central—Rwanda

“In the spring of 1994 the tiny African nation of Rwanda exploded onto the international media stage, as internal strife reached genocidal proportions. But the horror that unfolded before our eyes had been building steadily for years before it captured the attention of the world. 

“In The Rwanda Crisis, journalist and Africa scholar Gérard Prunier provides a historical perspective that Western readers need to understand how and why the brutal massacres of 800,000 Rwandese came to pass. Prunier shows how the events in Rwanda were part of a deadly logic, a plan that served central political and economic interests, rather than a result of ancient tribal hatreds―a notion often invoked by the media to dramatize the fighting.

The Rwanda Crisis makes great strides in dispelling the racist cultural myths surrounding the people of Rwanda, views propogated by European colonialists in the nineteenth century and carved into "history" by Western influence. Prunier demonstrates how the struggle for cultural dominance and subjugation among the Hutu and Tutsi―the central players in the recent massacres―was exploited by racially obsessed Europeans. He shows how Western colonialists helped to construct a Tutsi identity as a superior racial type because of their distinctly "non-Negro" features in order to facilitate greater control over the Rwandese.

“Expertly leading readers on a journey through the troubled history of the country and its surroundings, Prunier moves from the pre-colonial Kingdom of Rwanda, though German and Belgian colonial regimes, to the 1973 coup. The book chronicles the developing refugee crisis in Rwanda and neighboring Uganda in the 1970s and 1980s and offers the most comprehensive account available of the manipulations of popular sentiment that led to the genocide and the events that have followed.

“In the aftermath of this devastating tragedy, The Rwanda Crisis is the first clear-eyed analysis available to American readers. From the massacres to the subsequent cholera epidemic and emerging refugee crisis, Prunier details the horrifying events of recent years and considers propsects for the future of Rwanda.”

Prunier, Gerard. The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide. Columbia University Press, 1997.

We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda

We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda

Philip Gourevitch, 1998

Central—Rwanda

“This remarkable debut book chronicles what has happened in Rwanda and neighboring states since 1994, when the Rwandan government called on everyone in the Hutu majority to murder everyone in the Tutsi minority. Though the killing was low-tech--largely by machete--it was carried out at shocking speed: some 800,000 people were exterminated in a hundred days. A Tutsi pastor, in a letter to his church president, a Hutu, used the chilling phrase that gives Philip Gourevitch his title.

“With keen dramatic intensity, Gourevitch frames the genesis and horror of Rwanda's "genocidal logic" in the anguish of its aftermath: the mass displacements, the temptations of revenge and the quest for justice, the impossibly crowded prisons and refugee camps. Through intimate portraits of Rwandans in all walks of life, he focuses on the psychological and political challenges of survival and on how the new leaders of postcolonial Africa went to war in the Congo when resurgent genocidal forces threatened to overrun central Africa.

“Can a country composed largely of perpetrators and victims create a cohesive national society? This moving contribution to the literature of witness tells us much about the struggle everywhere to forge sane, habitable political orders, and about the stubbornness of the human spirit in a world of extremity.”

Gourevitch, Philip. We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998.

Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda

Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda

Alison Des Forges, 1999

Central—Rwanda

“This study, based on Rwandan government records, dissects the deceptive discourse of genocide and shows how ordinary administrative structures and practices were turned into mechanisms of murder. It describes opposition to the killing campaign and how it was broken. In the words of survivors, it relates how they resisted and escaped. Using diplomatic and court documents, the study details the transformation of international indifference into tardy criticism. By showing how even feeble censure caused changes in the genocidal program, the study suggests what might have been the result had the world promptly and firmly cried "Never Again."”

Des Forges, Alison. Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda. Human Rights Watch, 1999.

Across the Red River

Across the Red River

Christian Jennings, 2000

Central—Rwanda

"'When seven Burundian paratroopers booted down the door of my hotel room and arrested me, I was wearing nothing but a towelling dressing-gown. With angry movements of their Kalashnikovs, they gestured to me to get dressed. What, I wondered in that long, slow-motion second before the fear kicked in, do you wear to your own execution? Would the Gap jeans do one more day?' In the summer of 1994, Christian Jennings arrived in Rwanda with an almost impossible mission: he had five days to track down the army officers and government ministers responsible for the slaughter of 850,000 people and persuade them to participate in a TV documentary about their crimes. He had fifteen thousand dollars taped to his thigh, a satellite phone, thirty feet of rope, eighteen litres of mineral water and a good command of French. Nothing in his past - which included service in the French Foreign Legion and a spell in publishing - prepared him for the three and a half years that followed. Across the Red River is an epic account of the terror and beauty of Central Africa, both moving and harrowing in its detail, and frequently appallingly funny."

Jennings, Christian. Across the Red River. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2000.

Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda

Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda

Romeo Dallaire, 2003

Central—Rwanda

“For the first time in the United States comes the tragic and profoundly important story of the legendary Canadian general who "watched as the devil took control of paradise on earth and fed on the blood of the people we were supposed to protect." When Roméo Dallaire was called on to serve as force commander of the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda, he believed that his assignment was to help two warring parties achieve the peace they both wanted. Instead, he was exposed to the most barbarous and chaotic display of civil war and genocide in the past decade, observing in just one hundred days the killings of more than eight hundred thousand Rwandans. With only a few troops, his own ingenuity and courage to direct his efforts, Dallaire rescued thousands, but his call for more support from the world body fell on deaf ears. In Shake Hands with the Devil, General Dallaire recreates the awful history the world community chose to ignore. He also chronicles his own progression from confident Cold Warrior to devastated UN commander, and finally to retired general struggling painfully, and publicly, to overcome posttraumatic stress disorder—the highest-ranking officer ever to share such experiences with readers.”

Dallaire, Romeo. Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda. Da Capo Press, 2003.

Sowing the Mustard Seed: The Struggle for Freedom and Democracy in Uganda

Sowing the Mustard Seed: The Struggle for Freedom and Democracy in Uganda

Yoweri K. Museveni, 1997

Central—Uganda

“The autobiography of Yoweni Kaguta Museveni. Museveni led a guerilla war to liberate his country from tyranny and, as President of Uganda, has established a reputation as one of the most widely respected African leaders of his generation.”

Museveni, Yoweri K. Sowing the Mustard Seed: The Struggle for Freedom and Democracy in Uganda. Macmillan Education, 1997.

Battle for the Bundu: The First World War in East Africa

Battle for the Bundu: The First World War in East Africa

Charles Miller, 1974 – Out of Print

East—World War I

"The Battle for the Bundu puts the reader on the front lines in one of the more obscure yet most fascinating theaters of the First World War. The book's narrative is clear and the story it tells of fascinating personalities, human virtues and foibles, and of the always fascinating and often harrowing face of war is more than compelling. I recommend this book without reservation for military history enthusiasts and for those who wish to gain insights into the worlds of the late colonial and of the post-colonial eras of sub-Saharan Africa."

Miller, Charles. Battle for the Bundu: The First World War in East Africa. Westland Sundries, 1976.

Against All Odds: A Chronicle of the Eritrean Revolution With a New Afterword on the Postwar Transition

Against All Odds: A Chronicle of the Eritrean Revolution With a New Afterword on the Postwar Transition

Dan Connell, 1993

Horn—Eritrea

"Against All Odds is the firsthand account of Eritrea's epic 30-year struggle for political independence and social justice. With almost no outside support, Eritrean nationalists brought successive U.S.- and Soviet-backed Ethiopian governments to their knees. At the same time, they worked to liberate women, workers and peasant farmers from centuries of grinding poverty, chronic hunger and numbing oppression. Connell argues that it was the blending of a social revolution with political objectives that enabled this uniquely self-reliant liberation front to weld Eritrea's fractious society - half Christian, half Muslim, from nine ethnic groups - into one of the most remarkable fighting forces in modern history. In a new Afterword, he describes their efforts to translate wartime values and experience into sustainable strategies for developing the new country."

Connell, Dan. Against All Odds: A Chronicle of the Eritrean Revolution, With a New Afterword on the Postwar Transition. Africa World Press Books, 1993.

I Didn’t Do it For You: How the World Betrayed a Small African Nation

I Didn’t Do it For You: How the World Betrayed a Small African Nation

Michela Wrong, 2005

Horn—Eritrea

“Scarred by decades of conflict and occupation, the craggy African nation of Eritrea has weathered the world's longest-running guerrilla war. The dogged determination that secured victory against Ethiopia, its giant neighbor, is woven into the national psyche, the product of cynical foreign interventions. Fascist Italy wanted Eritrea as the springboard for a new, racially pure Roman empire; Britain sold off its industry for scrap; the United States needed a base for its state-of-the-art spy station; and the Soviet Union used it as a pawn in a proxy war.

“In I Didn't Do It for You, Michela Wrong reveals the breathtaking abuses this tiny nation has suffered and, with a sharp eye for detail and a taste for the incongruous, tells the story of colonialism itself and how international power politics can play havoc with a country's destiny.”

Wrong, Michela. I Didn’t Do it For You: How the World Betrayed a Small African Nation. HarperCollins, 2005.

Me Against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan, and Rwanda

Me Against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan, and Rwanda

Scott Peterson, 2000

Horn—Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda

“As a foreign correspondent, Scott Peterson witnessed firsthand Somalia's descent into war and its battle against US troops, the spiritual degeneration of Sudan's Holy War, and one of the most horrific events of the last half century: the genocide in Rwanda.  In Me Against My Brother, he brings these events together for the first time to record a collapse that has had an impact far beyond African borders. In Somalia, Peterson tells of harrowing experiences of clan conflict, guns and starvation.  He met with warlords, observed death intimately and nearly lost his own life to a Somali mob. From ground level, he documents how the US-UN relief mission devolved into all out war - one that for America has proven to be the most formative post-Cold War debacle.  In Sudan, he journeys where few correspondents have ever been, on both sides of that religious front line, to find that outside "relief" has only prolonged war.  In Rwanda, his first-person experience of the genocide and well-documented analysis provide rare insight into this human tragedy. Filled with the dust, sweat and powerful detail of real-life, Me Against My Brother graphically illustrates how preventive action and a better understanding of Africa - especially by the US - could have averted much suffering. Also includes a 16-page color insert.”

Peterson, Scott. Me Against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan, and Rwanda. Routledge, 2000.

Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed

Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed

John Phillips, Martin Evans, 2008

North—Algeria

"In this lucid and gripping account, Martin Evans and John Phillips explore Algeria’s recent and very bloody history, demonstrating how the high hopes of independence turned into anger as young Algerians grew increasingly alienated. Unemployed, frustrated by the corrupt military regime, and excluded by the West, the post-independence generation needed new heroes, and some found them in Osama bin Laden and the rising Islamist movement.

"Evans and Phillips trace the complex roots of this alienation, arguing that Algeria’s predicament―political instability, pressing economic and social problems, bad governance, a disenfranchised youth―is emblematic of an arc of insecurity stretching from Morocco to Indonesia. Looking back at the pre-colonial and colonial periods, they place Algeria’s complex present into historical context, demonstrating how successive governments have manipulated the past for their own ends. The result is a fractured society with a complicated and bitter relationship with the Western powers―and an increasing tendency to export terrorism to France, America, and beyond."

Phillips, John and Martin Evans. Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed. Yale University Press, 2008.

In the Country of Men

In the Country of Men

Hisham Matar, 2006

North—Libya

In the Country of Men begins with a simple declaration: “I am recalling now that last summer before I was sent away.” It is a simple start to a story of startling depth. Through the eyes of young Suleiman, we experience a child’s often misguided attempts to make sense of the adult world. Suleiman’s mother is an alcoholic, his father is being hunted by the Libyan revolutionary regime, and neighbors may disappear at any time and appear on television for interrogation and public execution. The title of the story is particularly telling, as the novel raises questions about what it means to be a man, what is involved in humanity, and how much of one’s identity is tied to one’s country. The characters are outsiders, doing the best they can to uphold their beliefs and survive. While the setting of the novel—the turbulent Libya of 1979, ruled by the terror-inducing Qaddafi regime—certainly propels the narrative, the novel is ultimately about universal issues: human faults and triumphs, the resilience of the human spirit, the dynamic of relationships between parent and child, friend and neighbor, a country and its citizens.”

Matar, Hisham. In the Country of Men. Random House, 2006.

A Call for Democracy in Sudan

A Call for Democracy in Sudan

John Garang, 1992

North—Sudan

“This is a comprehensive and moving account of the founding and objectives of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). Both these organizations were established by John Garang de Mabior who, born and brought up in Southern Sudan, has fought passionately for democracy there. He believes the aspirations of the Sudanese people should not be affected by race, religion or sex. This second edition, containing four new chapters, presents the historical factors leading to the founding of the Movement and provides a clear picture of the means by which it hopes to achieve its objective of freedom for the country as a whole. It traces the efforts of the SPLM to achieve a peaceful settlement of Sudan’s problems since the failure of the Koka Dam initiative, and provides a fully documented account of the peace negotiations. The book concludes with John Garang’s reactions to the failure of Sudan’s third parliamentary democracy and the initiation of Sudan’s third parliamentary democracy and the initiation of Sudan’s third military dictatorship in June, 1989."

Garang, John. A Call for Democracy in Sudan. Routledge, 1992.

Inside Sudan: Political Islam, Conflict, and Catastrophe

Inside Sudan: Political Islam, Conflict, and Catastrophe

Donald Petterson, 2003

North—Sudan

“Sudan, governed by an Islamist dictatorship, became a pariah nation among the global community not because of its religious orientation but because of its record of human-rights abuses and its fostering of notorious international terrorists. As the last American ambassador to complete an assignment in Sudan, Don Petterson provides unduplicated insights into how Sudan became what it is. Petterson recounts the consequences of the execution of four Sudanese employees of the U.S. government by Sudanese security forces in the southern city of Juba. He relates the experiences of Americans in Khartoum after Washington put Sudan on the black list of state sponsors of terrorism. He offers his personal observations on war-devastated southern Sudan. In this newly revised edition of Inside Sudan, Petterson recounts the events in Sudan from 1998 to the present, considers Sudan's connections to international terrorists, including Carlos the Jackal and Osama bin Laden, and assesses the changes in the relationship between Sudan and the United States after 9/11.”

Petterson, Donald. Inside Sudan: Political Islam, Conflict, and Catastrophe. Basic Books, 2003.

The Root Causes of Sudan’s Civil Wars (African Issues) Updated to the Peace Agreement ed.

The Root Causes of Sudan’s Civil Wars (African Issues) Updated to the Peace Agreement ed.

Douglas Hamilton Johnson, 2003

North—Sudan

“Sudan's post-independence history has been dominated by political and civil strife. Most commentators have attributed the country's recurring civil war either to an age-old racial divide between Arabs and Africans, or to recent colonially constructed inequalities. This book attempts a more complex analysis, briefly examining the historical, political, economic and social factors which have contributed to periodic outbreaks of violence between the state and its peripheries. In tracing historical continuities, it outlines the essential differences between the modern Sudan's first civil war in the 1960s and today, including an analysis of the escalation of the Darfur war, implementation of the 2005 peace agreement and implications of the Southern referendum in 2011 and the new war in Sudan's new south and South Sudan. The author also looks at the series of minor civil wars generated by, and contained within, the major conflict, as well as the regional and international factors - including humanitarian aid - which have exacerbated civil violence. This introduction is aimed at students of North-East Africa, and of conflict and ethnicity. It will be essential reading for those in aid and international organizations who need a straightforward analytical survey which will help them assess the prospects for a lasting peace in Sudan.”

Johnson, Douglas Hamilton. The Root Causes of Sudan’s Civil Wars, Updated Edition. The International Africa Institute and Indiana University Press, 2003.

Emma's War

Emma’s War

Deborah Scroggins, 2004

North—Sudan

“Tall, striking, and adventurous to a fault, young British relief worker Emma McCune came to Sudan determined to make a difference in a country decimated by the longest-running civil war in Africa. She became a near legend in the bullet-scarred, famine-ridden country, but her eventual marriage to a rebel warlord made international headlines—and spelled disastrous consequences for her ideals.

“Enriched by Deborah Scroggins’s firsthand experience as an award-winning journalist in Sudan, this unforgettable account of Emma McCune’s tragically short life also provides an up-close look at the volatile politics in the region. It’s a world where international aid fuels armies as well as the starving population, and where the northern-based Islamic government—with ties to Osama bin Laden—is locked in a war with the Christian and pagan south over religion, oil and slaves. Tying together these vastly disparate forces as well as Emma’s own role in the problems of the region, Emma’s War is at once a disturbing love story and a fascinating exploration of the moral quandaries behind humanitarian aid.”

Scroggins, Deborah. Emma’s War. Vintage, 2004.

Darfur: A New History of a Long War

Darfur: A New History of a Long War

Julie Flint, Alex de Waal, 2005

North—Sudan

“The humanitarian tragedy in Darfur has stirred politicians, Hollywood celebrities and students to appeal for a peaceful resolution to the crisis. Beyond the horrific pictures of sprawling refugee camps and lurid accounts of rape and murder lies a complex history steeped in religion, politics, and decades of internal unrest.

“Darfur traces the origins, organization and ideology of the infamous Janjaweed and other rebel groups, including the Sudan Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement. It also analyzes the confused responses of the Sudanese government and African Union. This thoroughly updated edition also features a powerful analysis of how the conflict has been received in the international community and the varied attempts at peacekeeping.”

 

Flint, Julia and Alex de Waal. Darfur: A New History of a Long War. University of Chicago Press, 2005.

Darfur: A 21st Century Genocide

Darfur: The Ambiguous Genocide

Gerard Prunier, 2005

North—Sudan

 

Darfur: A 21st Century Genocide explains what lies behind the conflict in Western Sudan, how it came about, why it is should not be oversimplified, and why it is so relevant to the future of Africa. As the world watches, governments decide if, when, and how to intervene, and international organizations struggle to distribute aid, Gérard Prunier's book provide crucial assistance. The third edition features a new chapter covering events through mid-2008.”

Prunier, Gerard. Darfur: A 21st Century Genocide. Cornell University Press, 2005.

They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan

They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan

Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng, Benjamin Ajak, first published 2005, republished 2015

North—Sudan

“Between 1987 and 1989, Alepho, Benjamin, and Benson, like tens of thousands of young boys, took flight from the massacres of Sudan's civil war. They became known as the Lost Boys. With little more than the clothes on their backs, sometimes not even that, they streamed out over Sudan in search of refuge. Their journey led them first to Ethiopia and then, driven back into Sudan, toward Kenya. They walked nearly one thousand miles, sustained only by the sheer will to live.

They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky is the three boys' account of that unimaginable journey. With the candor and the purity of their child's-eye-vision, Alephonsian, Benjamin, and Benson recall by turns: how they endured the hunger and strength-sapping illnesses—dysentery, malaria, and yellow fever; how they dodged the life-threatening predators—lions, snakes, crocodiles and soldiers alike—that dogged their footsteps; and how they grappled with a war that threatened continually to overwhelm them. Their story is a lyrical, captivating, timeless portrait of a childhood hurled into wartime and how they had the good fortune and belief in themselves to survive.”

Deng, Benson, Alephonsion Deng, and Benjamin Ajak. They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan. 2005. PublicAffairs Books, 2015.

Bloodsong! An Account of Executive Outcomes in Angola

Bloodsong! An Account of Executive Outcomes in Angola

James Hooper, 2003

Southern—Mercenaries

“Executive Outcomes was the title of the most successful private army of modern times. In Angola, Sierra Leone and Papua New Guinea, it stepped in while the UN revealed itself as little more than a debating society. But the motives of this mercenary army are open to question: was it more interested in protecting Sierra Leone's diamond mines than the people caught up in a savage guerilla war? Journalist Jim Hooper followed Executive Outcomes on operations all over Africa and in this book reveals the story of a mercenary army in action.”

Hooper, Jim. Bloodsong!: An Account of Executive Outcomes in Angola. HarperCollins, 2002.

A Complicated War: The Harrowing of Mozambique

A Complicated War: The Harrowing of Mozambique

William Finnegan, 1992

Southern—Mozambique

“Powerful, instructive, and full of humanity, this book challenges the current understanding of the war that has turned Mozambique—a naturally rich country—into the world's poorest nation. Before going to Mozambique, William Finnegan saw the war, like so many foreign observers, through a South African lens, viewing the conflict as apartheid's "forward defense." This lens was shattered by what he witnessed and what he heard from Mozambicans, especially those who had lived with the bandidos armado, the "armed bandits" otherwise known as the Renamo rebels. The shifting, wrenching, ground-level stories that people told combine to form an account of the war more local and nuanced, more complex, more African—than anything that has been politically convenient to describe. 

A Complicated War combines frontline reporting, personal narrative, political analysis, and comparative scholarship to present a picture of a Mozambique harrowed by profound local conflicts—ethnic, religious, political and personal. Finnegan writes that South Africa's domination and destabilization are basic elements of Mozambique's plight, but he offers a subtle description and analysis that will allow us to see the post-apartheid region from a new, more realistic, if less comfortable, point of view.”

Finnegan, William. A Complicated War: The Harrowing of Mozambique. University of California Press, 1992.

Boer War

Boer War

Thomas Pakenham, 1979 – Out of Print

Southern—South Africa

“Uses firsthand accounts to reconstruct Britain's last great imperial war which proved to be one of the costliest, deadliest, and most humiliating wars in British history.”

Pakenham, Thomas. Boer War. Random House, 1979.

The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots from a Hidden War

The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots from a Hidden War

Greg Marinovich, Joao Silva, 2001

Southern—South Africa

“The Bang-Bang Club was a group of four young war photographers, friends and colleagues: Ken Oosterbroek, Kevin Carter, Greg Marinovich and Joao Silva, war correspondants during the last years of apartheid, who took many of the photographs that encapsulate the final violent years of racist white South Africa. Two of them won Pulitzer Prizes for individual photos. Ken, the oldest and a mentor to the others, died, accidentally shot while working; Kevin, the most troubled of the four, committed suicide weeks after winning his Pulitzer for a photograph of a starving baby in the Sudanese famine. Written by Greg and Joao, The Bang-Bang Club tells their uniquely powerful war stories. It tells the story of four remarkable young men, the stresses, tensions and moral dilemmas of working in situations of extreme violence, pain and suffering, the relationships between the four and the story of the end of apartheid. An immensely powerful, riveting and harrowing book, and an invakuable contribution to the literary genre of war photography. An eye-opening book for readers of Susan Sontag.”

Marinovich, Greg and Joao Silva. The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots from a Hidden War. Penguin, 2001.

Military History of Modern South Africa

Military History of Modern South Africa

Ian Van der Waag, 2015

Southern—South Africa

“The 20th Century has been one of enduring, rapid and fundamental social and political change. In Southern Africa, innumerable wars, rebellions, uprisings and protests have marked the integration, disintegration and then reintegration of both society and subcontinent during this period. The century started with a brief but total war. Less than ten years later victorious Britain brought the conquered Boer republics, and the Cape and Natal colonies, together into the Union of South Africa. And the military of this early creation served not only in all of the major wars of the twentieth century, but also in a number of regional struggles: rebellion on the part of Afrikaner nationalists, industrial unrest fanned by syndicalists, and uprisings conducted chiefly but not exclusively by disenfranchised black South Africans. The century ended as it started, with a war. But this was a limited war, a flashpoint of the Cold War, which embraced more than just the subcontinent and lasted a long, twenty-three years. The first of its kind, A Military History of Modern South Africa provides an overview of South African military history from 1899 to 2000. Focusing on the campaigns and battles, it also brings discussion on the evolving military policy and the development of the South African military as an institution into a single volume.”

Van der Waag, Ian. Military History of Modern South Africa. Jonathan Ball Publishers, 2015.

Selous Scouts: Top Secret War

Selous Scouts: Top Secret War

Ron R. Daly, 1982

Southern—Zimbabwe

"The Selous Scouts were the toughest and most efficient killing machine anywhere in Africa, and its members consisted of the finest guerrilla fighting men in the Western world. Unconventional in many ways, disregardful of parade ground discipline, unorthodox in their dress, yet a force so tightly knit in the face of danger that those who knew anything about them could only marvel."

Daly, Ron R. Selous Scouts: Top Secret War. Galago Publishing, 1982.
 

Dead Leaves: Two Years in the Rhodesian War

Dead Leaves: Two Years in the Rhodesian War

Dan Wylie, 2002

Southern—Zimbabwe

“It is January 1978. Groups of nervous, dutiful white conscripts begin their National Service with Rhodesia’s security forces. Ian Smith’s minority regime is in its dying days and negotiations towards majority rule are already under way. For these inexperienced eighteen-year-olds, there is nothing to do but go on fighting, hold the line while the transition happens around them . . .

“Cattle are moving . . . and Mbiti says quietly, ‘Don’t shoot, it is cows only.’ There are more than cows. There are two men, dressed in the classic dark denims of the CT, bowing away into the shadowy bush, melting away. I am looking through the legs of cattle, I do not want to shoot the cows. I do not want to shoot. I see the men. I know that I have seen them. But I do nothing, say nothing. I am spooked. No one else appears to have seen them; I am prepared even to doubt my own eyes; I can take the sighting with me to the grave. The consequence of my silence isn’t long in coming . . .

Dead Leaves: Two Years in the Rhodesian War is a richly textured memoir in which an ordinary troopie grapples with the unique dilemmas presented by an extraordinary period in history: the spectres of inner violence and death; the pressurised arrival of manhood; and the place of conscience, friendship and beauty in the pervasive atmosphere of futile warfare.”

Wylie, Dan. Dead Leaves: Two Years in the Rhodesian War. University Of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2002.

Security and Democracy in Southern Africa

Security and Democracy in Southern Africa

Abillah Omari, Andre du Pisani, Gavin Cawthra, 2007

Southern—South Africa

“Southern Africa has embarked on one of the world’s most ambitious security co-operation initiatives, seeking to roll out the principles of the United Nations at regional levels. This book examines the triangular relationship between democratization, the character of democracy and its deficits and national security practices and perceptions of eleven southern African states.

“Based on national studies conducted by African academics and security practitioners over three years, it includes an examination of the way security is conceived and managed, as well as a comparative analysis of regional security co-operation in the developing world.”

Omari, Abillah, and Andre du Pisani, Gavin Cawthra. Security and Democracy in Southern Africa. Wits University Press, 2007.

The Graves Are Not Yet Full: Race, Tribe, and Power in the Heart of Africa

The Graves Are Not Yet Full: Race, Tribe, and Power in the Heart of Africa

Bill Berkeley, 2001

Sub-Sahara—Strongmen

“Since 1983 journalist Bill Berkeley has traveled through Africa's most troubled lands-Rwanda, Liberia, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, and Zaire-seeking out the tyrants and military leaders who orchestrate seemingly intractable wars. Shattering the myth that ancient tribal hatred lies at the heart of the continent's troubles, Berkeley instead holds accountable the "Big Men" who came to power during this period, describing the very rational methods behind their apparent madness.”

Berkeley, Bill. The Graves Are Not Yet Full: Race, Tribe, and Power in the Heart of Africa. Basic Books, 2001.

The Mask of Anarchy: The Destruction of Liberia and the Religious Dimension of an African Civil War

The Mask of Anarchy: The Destruction of Liberia and the Religious Dimension of an African Civil War

Stephen Ellis, 2001

West—Liberia

“The Liberian civil war generated some of the most frightening news images of the recent past: camera crews and photographers recorded striking pictures of teenage boys, high on drugs, firing machine guns while dressed in masks or women's clothes. Men of the infamous "Butt Naked Brigade" fought street battles without the benefit of clothing. There were so many cases of gunmen eating their victims' hearts and other body parts that the Catholic Church had to issue a formal denunciation of the practice. The Mask of Anarchy tells the story of the war, and explains why it unfolded in such dramatic fashion. The keys to understanding the fighters' behavior are to be found among the religious and cultural repertoires that once formed the core of rural Liberian life but which became deformed and abused in over a century of foreign settlement.”

Ellis, Stephen. The Mask of Anarchy: The Destruction of Liberia and the Religious Dimension of an African Civil War. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2001.

Liberia: The Heart of Darkness

Liberia: The Heart of Darkness

Gabriel L. H. Williams, 2006

West—Liberia

“This book is about Liberia, once one of Africa's most stable and prosperous countries, which plunged into one of the most brutal civil wars in recent world history.”

Williams, Gabriel L.H. Liberia: The Heart of Darkness. Trafford Publishing, 2006.

How De Body? One Man’s Terrifying Journey through an African War

How De Body? One Man’s Terrifying Journey through an African War

Teun Voeten, 2002

West—Sierra Leone

“Most in the calamities that have captured the headlines in recent months is the civil war that has raged in the tiny Western African nation of Sierra Leone for nearly a decade. In 1998, acclaimed photojournalist Teun Voeten headed to Sierra Leone for what he thought would be a standard assignment on the child soldiers there -- many of whom are only seven years old. No sooner had Voeten arrived, the cease-fire ended, and the battle between peacekeeping forces and the military junta erupted in full force. Taking refuge in the bush from rebels intent on killing him, Voeten was convinced his life was about to end.

How de Body? is Voeten's amazing story of survival and escape in a nation engulfed by civil war and features his award-winning, and heartbreaking, black-and-white photographs -- many of which have appeared in Vanity Fair -- from his multiple trips to this conflicted area.”

Voeten, Teun. How De Body? One Man’s Terrifying Journey through an African War. Thomas Dunne Books, 2002.

In the Land of Magic Soldiers: A Story of White and Black in West Africa

In the Land of Magic Soldiers: A Story of White and Black in West Africa

Daniel Bergner, 2004

West—Sierra Leone

“Sierra Leone is the world's most war-ravaged country. There, in a West African landscape of spectacular beauty, rampaging soldiers--many not yet in their teens--have made a custom of hacking off the hands of their victims, then letting them live as the ultimate emblem of terror. The country is so anarchic and so desperate that, forty years after independence, its people long to be recolonized. And the West wants to save it.

“Daniel Bergner's In the Land of Magic Soldiers follows both a set of white would-be saviors--a family of American missionaries, a mercenary helicopter gunship pilot, and the army of Great Britain--and also a set of Sierra Leoneans, among them a father who rescues his daughter from rape, loses his hands as punishment, then begins to rebuild his life; a child soldier and sometime cannibal; and a highly Westernized medical student who claims immunity to bullets and a cure for H.I.V.

“A story of black and white, of the First World and the world left infinitely behind, of those who would nation-build and those who live in a land of fire and jungle, In the Land of Magic Soldiers is an unforgettable work of literary reportage by "a terrific reporter with a novelist's eye" (Peter Applebome, The New York Times Book Review).”

Bergner, Daniel. In the Land of Magic Soldiers: A Story of White and Black in West Africa. Macmillan, 2004.

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

Ishmael Beah, 2007

West—Sierra Leone

“This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Children have become soldiers of choice. In the more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them.

“What is war like through the eyes of a child soldier? How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But until now, there has not been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived.

“In the #1 New York Times bestseller, A Long Way Gone, Beah, now twenty-five years old, tells a riveting story: how at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he'd been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts.

“This is a rare and mesmerizing account, told with real literary force and heartbreaking honesty.”

Beah, Ishmael. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. Sarah Crichton Books, 2008.

The Fabric of Peace in Africa: Looking beyond the State

The Fabric of Peace in Africa: Looking beyond the State

Pamela Aall and Chester Crocker—2017

“Africa has experienced dozens of conflicts over a variety of issues during the past two decades. Responding to these conflicts requires concerted action to manage the crises - the violence, the political discord, and the humanitarian consequences of prolonged fighting. It is also necessary to address the long-term social and economic impacts of conflict, to rebuild communities, societies and states that have been torn apart. To accomplish this requires the involvement of institutions and groups rarely considered in formal official African conflict management activities: schools, universities, religious institutions, media, commercial enterprises, legal institutions, civil society groups, youth, women and migrants. These groups and organizations have an important role to play in building a sense of identity, fairness, shared norms and cohesion between state and society - all critical components of the fabric of peace and security in Africa. 

“This volume brings together leading experts from Africa, Europe and North America to examine these critical social institutions and groups, and consider how they can either improve or impede peaceful conflict resolution. The overarching questions that are explored by the authors are: What constitutes social cohesion and resilience in the face of conflict? What are the threats to cohesion and resilience? And how can the positive elements be fostered and by whom? 

“The second of two volumes on African conflict management capacity by the editors, The Fabric of Peace in Africa: Looking beyond the State opens new doors of understanding for students, scholars and practitioners focused on strengthening peace in Africa; the first volume, Minding the Gap: African Conflict Management in a Time of change, focused on the role of mediation and peacekeeping in managing violence and political crises.”

Aall, Pamela and Chester Crocker. The Fabric of Peace in Africa: Looking beyond the State. CIGI Press, 2017.

War & Conflict in Africa

War & Conflict in Africa

Paul D. Williams—2016

“After the Cold War, Africa earned the dubious distinction of being the world's most bloody continent. But how can we explain this proliferation of armed conflicts? What caused them and what were their main characteristics? And what did the world's governments do to stop them?

“In this fully revised and updated second edition of his popular text, Paul Williams offers an in-depth and wide-ranging assessment of more than six hundred armed conflicts which took place in Africa from 1990 to the present day - from the continental catastrophe in the Great Lakes region to the sprawling conflicts across the Sahel and the web of wars in the Horn of Africa. Taking a broad comparative approach to examine the political contexts in which these wars occurred, he explores the major patterns of organized violence, the key ingredients that provoked them and the major international responses undertaken to deliver lasting peace.

“Part I, Contexts provides an overview of the most important attempts to measure the number, scale and location of Africa's armed conflicts and provides a conceptual and political sketch of the terrain of struggle upon which these wars were waged.

“Part II, Ingredients analyses the role of five widely debated features of Africa's wars: the dynamics of neopatrimonial systems of governance; the construction and manipulation of ethnic identities; questions of sovereignty and self-determination; as well as the impact of natural resources and religion.

“Part III, Responses, discusses four major international reactions to Africa's wars: attempts to build a new institutional architecture to help promote peace and security on the continent; this architecture's two main policy instruments, peacemaking initiatives and peace operations; and efforts to develop the continent.

War & Conflict in Africa will be essential reading for all students of international peace and security studies as well as Africa's international relations.”

Williams, Paul D. War & Conflict in Africa. Polity, 2011.

Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa

Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa

Jason Stearns—Year

“At the heart of Africa is Congo, a country the size of Western Europe, bordering nine other nations, that since 1996 has been wracked by a brutal and unstaunchable war in which millions have died. And yet, despite its epic proportions, it has received little sustained media attention.

“In this deeply reported book, Jason Stearns vividly tells the story of this misunderstood conflict through the experiences of those who engineered and perpetrated it. He depicts village pastors who survived massacres, the child soldier assassin of President Kabila, a female Hutu activist who relives the hunting and methodical extermination of fellow refugees, and key architects of the war that became as great a disaster as–and was a direct consequence of–the genocide in neighboring Rwanda. Through their stories, he tries to understand why such mass violence made sense, and why stability has been so elusive.

“Through their voices, and an astonishing wealth of knowledge and research, Stearns chronicles the political, social, and moral decay of the Congolese State.”

Stearns, Jason. Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa. PublicAffairs, 2012.

The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe

The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe

Peter Godwin—2011

“Journalist Peter Godwin has covered wars. As a soldier, he’s fought them. But nothing prepared him for the surreal mix of desperation and hope he encountered when he returned to Zimbabwe, his broken homeland. 

“Godwin arrived as Robert Mugabe, the country’s dictator for 30 years, has finally lost an election. Mugabe’s tenure has left Zimbabwe with the world’s highest rate of inflation and the shortest life span. Instead of conceding power, Mugabe launched a brutal campaign of terror against his own citizens. With foreign correspondents banned, and he himself there illegally, Godwin was one of the few observers to bear witness to this period the locals call The Fear. He saw torture bases and the burning villages but was most awed as an observer of not only simple acts of kindness but also churchmen and diplomats putting their own lives on the line to try to stop the carnage.

The Fear is a book about the astonishing courage and resilience of a people, armed with nothing but a desire to be free, who challenged a violent dictatorship. It is also the deeply personal and ultimately uplifting story of a man trying to make sense of the country he can’t recognize as home.”

Godwin, Peter. The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe. Little, Brown and Company, 2011.

Another Fine Mess

Another Fine Mess

Helen Epstein—2017—Uganda

“Is the U.S. to blame for the agony of Uganda and its neighbors?

“In this powerful account of Ugandan dictator Yoweri Museveni’s 30 year reign, Helen C. Epstein chronicles how Western leaders’ single-minded focus on the War on Terror and their naïve dealings with strongmen are at the root of much of the turmoil in eastern and central Africa.

“Museveni’s involvement in the conflicts in Sudan, South Sudan, Rwanda, Congo, and Somalia has earned him substantial amounts of military and development assistance, as well as near-total impunity. It has also short-circuited the power the people of this region might otherwise have over their own destiny.

“Epstein set out for Uganda more than 20 years ago to work as a public health consultant on an AIDS project. Since then, the roughly $20 billion worth of foreign aid poured into the country by donors has done little to improve the well-being of the Ugandan people, whose rates of illiteracy, mortality, and poverty surpass those of many neighboring countries. Money meant to pay for health care, education, and other public services has instead been used by Museveni to shore up his power through patronage, brutality, and terror. Another Fine Mess is a devastating indictment of the West’s Africa policy and an authoritative history of the crises that have ravaged Uganda and its neighbors since the end of the Cold War.”

Epstein, Helen. Another Fine Mess. Columbia Global Reports, 2017.

Nigeria: A New History of a Turbulent Century

Nigeria: A New History of a Turbulent Century

Richard Bourne—2015—Nigeria

“Seen from some angles, Nigeria is a remarkable success story: despite its poorly conceived colonial origins, the lingering damage of its colonial subjugation, tenacious civil war, wildly unequal economy, and the recent insurgency by Boko Haram, it has nonetheless remained one nation, growing in population and power, for more than a century now.

“This new look at Nigeria traces the country’s history from its pre-colonial days as the home region to a number of distinct tribal powers through its definition by Britain as a single nation in 1914, to the hopeful early days of independence after World War II and the ongoing, often tragic disappointments of its governance and economic performance in the decades since. Richard Bourne pays particular attention to the failure to ensure that the wealth from Nigeria’s abundant oil, mineral, and agricultural resources is widely shared, and he offers an incisive analysis of the damaging effects that such gross inequality has on the nation’s stability and democratic prospects.

“The most up-to-date and comprehensive analysis of Africa’s most important and populous nation in decades, this history—rooted in more than three decades of visiting and working in the country—will instantly be the standard account of Nigeria.”

Bourne, Richard. Nigeria: A New History of a Turbulent Century. Zed Books, 2015.

Counterinsurgency in Africa: The Portuguese Way of War 1961-1974

Counterinsurgency in Africa: The Portuguese Way of War 1961-1974

John P. Cann—1997—Portuguese Colonial Wars, 1961–1974 (Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau)

“The first comprehensive account in English of how the Portuguese Armed Forces prepared for and conducted a distant counterinsurgency campaign in its African possessions with very limited resources, choosing to stay and fight despite the small odds for success. The Portuguese military crafted its doctrine and implemented it to match the guerrilla strategy of protracted war, and in doing so, followed the lessons gleaned from the British and French experiences in small wars. The Portuguese approach to the conflict was distinct in that it sought to combine the two-pronged national strategy of containing the cost of the war and of spreading the burden to the colonies with the solution on the battlefield. It describes how Portugal defined and analyzed its insurgency problem in light of the available knowledge on counterinsurgency, how it developed its military policies and doctrines in this context, and how it applied them in the African colonial environment. The uniqueness of its approach is highlighted through a thematic military analysis of the Portuguese effort and a comparison with the experiences of other governments fighting similar contemporaneous wars.”

Cann, John P. Counterinsurgency in Africa: The Portuguese Way of War 1961-1974. Helion and Company, 1997.

Portugal's Guerrilla Wars in Africa

Portugal's Guerrilla Wars in Africa

Al J. Venter—2013— Portuguese Colonial Wars, 1961–1974 (Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau)

“Portugal's three wars in Africa in Angola, Mozambique and Portuguese Guinea (Guiné-Bissau today) lasted almost 13 years - longer than the United States Army fought in Vietnam. Yet they are among the most underreported conflicts of the modern era.

“Commonly referred to as Lisbon's Overseas War (Guerra do Ultramar) or in the former colonies, the War of Liberation (Guerra de Libertação), these struggles played a seminal role in ending white rule in Southern Africa.

“Though hardly on the scale of hostilities being fought in South East Asia, the casualty count by the time a military coup d'état took place in Lisbon in April 1974 was significant. It was certainly enough to cause Portugal to call a halt to violence and pull all its troops back to the Metropolis. Ultimately, Lisbon was to move out of Africa altogether, when hundreds of thousands of Portuguese nationals returned to Europe, the majority having left everything they owned behind. Independence for all the former colonies, including the Atlantic islands, followed soon afterwards.

“Lisbon ruled its African territories for more than five centuries, not always undisputed by its black and mestizo subjects, but effectively enough to create a lasting Lusitanian tradition. That imprint is indelible and remains engraved in language, social mores and cultural traditions that sometimes have more in common with Europe than with Africa. Today, most of the newspapers in Luanda, Maputo - formerly Lourenco Marques - and Bissau are in Portuguese, as is the language taught in their schools and used by their respective representatives in international bodies to which they all subscribe.

“Indeed, on a recent visit to Central Mozambique in 2013, a youthful member of the American Peace Corps told this author that despite having been embroiled in conflict with the Portuguese for many years in the 1960s and 1970s, he found the local people with whom he came into contact inordinately fond of their erstwhile 'colonial overlords'.

“As a foreign correspondent, Al Venter covered all three wars over more than a decade, spending lengthy periods in the territories while going on operations with the Portuguese army, marines and air force. In the process he wrote several books on these conflicts, including a report on the conflict in Portuguese Guinea for the Munger Africana Library of the California Institute of Technology.

“Portugal's Guerrilla Wars in Africa represents an amalgam of these efforts. At the same time, this book is not an official history, but rather a journalist's perspective of military events as viewed by somebody who has made a career of reporting on overseas wars, Africa's especially. Venter's camera was always at hand; most of the images used between these covers are his.

“His approach is both intrusive and personal and he would like to believe that he has managed to record for posterity a tiny but vital segment of African history.”

Venter, Al J. Portugal's Guerrilla Wars in Africa. Helion and Company, 2013.

Making Sense of the Central African Republic

Making Sense of the Central African Republic

Tatiana Carayannis and Louisa Lombard—2015—Central African Republic

“Despite its position at the center of a tumultuous region that has drawn substantial international attention and intervention over the decades, the Central African Republic is often overlooked when discussions turn to questions of postcolonial development, democracy, and change in Africa. This book seeks to remedy that oversight, bringing together the foremost experts on the Central African Republic to offer the first in-depth analysis of the nation’s recent history of rebellion and instability. Gathering contributions from nearly every scholar and international policy maker who has written on the Central African Republic in recent years, the book presents a close look at the two major coups of the past twenty years, the successes and failures of attempts at international intervention, the ongoing series of UN and regional peacekeeping efforts, and the potential for peaceful, democratic change in the nation’s future.”

Carayannis, Tatiana (ed.) and Louisa Lombard (ed.). Making Sense of the Central African Republic. Zed Books, 2015.

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The First World War in Africa

Hew Strachan—2004—Africa in WWI

“To Arms is Hew Strachan's most complete and definitive study of the opening of the First World War. Now, key sections from this magisterial work are published as individual paperbacks, each complete in itself, and with a new introduction by the author. The First World War was not just fought in the trenches of the western front. It embraced all of Africa. Embracing the perspectives of all the nations who fought there, this is the first ever full account of the Great War in Africa.”

Strachan, Hew. The First World War in Africa. Oxford University Press, 2004

A History of the Sudan: From the Coming of Islam to the Present Day

A History of the Sudan: From the Coming of Islam to the Present Day

P. M. Holt, M. W. Daly, first published 1961, republished in 2000

North—Sudan

“This is the best selling and comprehensive introductory history of the Sudan. Starting with a brief account of the region from the first contacts between the Muslim Arabs and the Christian Nubians, to the Funji Kingdom in the pre-modern Sudan, the authors take us in detail from the Turco-Egyptian period, through the Mahdist Revolution and the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium, to the independent Republic of today.

A History of the Sudan has now been updated to include coverage of recent events including the disintegration of the country in the brutal civil war and the attempts to establish an Islamist state under a new military regime. It also describes the making of modern Sudan over the last 150 years and offers a clear, readable and succinct introduction to an area that is seldom out of the world's headlines.”

Holt, P.M. and M. W. Daly A History of the Sudan: From the Coming of Islam to the Present Day. Pearson, 2000.

Colonialism

The Scramble for Africa: White Man’s Conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876–1912

The Scramble for Africa: White Man’s Conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876–1912

Thomas Pakenham, 1992

Africa—Colonialism

“From the rear cover of this 738 page book: “A phenomenal achievement, clear, authoritative and compelling......Thomas Pakenham's fine book tells the story of this particular gold rush with admirable and judicious poise....Contains some of the best-known episodes of 19th-Century history as well as some of the most mythologized and colorful characters the world has ever seen.....Livingstone and Stanley, Brazza and Rhodes, Kitchener and Gordon, Lugard and Jameson.....Highly readable." and "Taking the entire continent as his canvas, Pakenham has painted a picture of heroism and horror. He writes both with compassion and with an effective combination of detachment and judgment. A splendid book."

Pakenham, Thomas. The Scramble for Africa: White Man’s Conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876–1912. Avon Books, 1992.

The Wretched of the Earth

The Wretched of the Earth

Franz Fanon, first published 1963, republished 2005

Africa—Colonialism

“A distinguished psychiatrist from Martinique who took part in the Algerian Nationalist Movement, Frantz Fanon was one of the most important theorists of revolutionary struggle, colonialism, and racial difference in history. Fanon's masterwork is a classic alongside Edward Said's Orientalism or The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and it is now available in a new translation that updates its language for a new generation of readers. The Wretched of the Earth is a brilliant analysis of the psychology of the colonized and their path to liberation. Bearing singular insight into the rage and frustration of colonized peoples, and the role of violence in effecting historical change, the book incisively attacks the twin perils of post independence colonial politics: the disenfranchisement of the masses by the elites on the one hand, and intertribal and interfaith animosities on the other. Fanon's analysis, a veritable handbook of social reorganization for leaders of emerging nations, has been reflected all too clearly in the corruption and violence that has plagued present-day Africa. The Wretched of the Earth has had a major impact on civil rights, anticolonialism, and black consciousness movements around the world, and this bold new translation by Richard Philcox reaffirms it as a landmark.”

Fanon, Franz. The Wretched of the Earth. 1963. Grove Press, 2005.

French Lessons in Africa: Travels with my Briefcase through French Africa

French Lessons in Africa: Travels with my Briefcase through French Africa

Peter Biddlecombe, 1993

Africa—France

“Having traveled across West Africa for over ten years, Peter Biddlecombe’s often hilarious account of a long and lingering liaison dangereuse with the 60 percent of the continent that is French–speaking is a hugely entertaining introduction to the je ne sais quoi of French Africa. In countries like Togo, Mali, and Burkina Faso, Biddlecombe encounters old–fashioned camel butchers, modern witch doctors with mail–order businesses, and counterfeiters who send their sons to Oxford. He also enjoys a delicious mélange of experiences and places, from eerie voodoo ceremonies in the old slave port of Ouidah to Italian ice cream parlors in the middle of the Sahara Desert. And Biddlecombe reveals not only French Africa’s often bizarre politics, business transactions, and culture, but he also offers up a wealth of practical advice on everything from how to eat a water–rat to talking your way through a road block in the middle of an attempted coup.”

Biddlecome, Peter. French Lessons in Africa: Travels with my Briefcase through French Africa. Little, Brown Book Group, 1993.

The Black Man’s Burden: Africa and the Curse of the Nation-State

The Black Man’s Burden: Africa and the Curse of the Nation-State

Basil Davidson, 1992

Africa—General

“Basil Davidson on the nation-state in Africa and its huge disappointments, its relationship to the colonial years and the parallels with events in Eastern Europe.”

Davidson, Basil. The Black Man’s Burden: Africa and the Curse of the Nation-State. James Currey Publisher, 1992.

The Search for Africa: History, Culture, Politics

The Search for Africa: History, Culture, Politics

Basil Davidson, 1994

Africa—General

“Following the success of his highly acclaimed The Black Man's Burden, Davidson offers a timely collection of essays which are essential to the understanding of the passionate spirit of modern African studies.”

Davidson, Basil. The Search for Africa: History, Culture, Politics. Crown, 1994.

Bury the Chains, Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves

Bury the Chains, Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves

Adam Hochschild, 2005

Africa—Slavery

“From the author of the widely acclaimed King Leopold's Ghost comes the taut, gripping account of one of the most brilliantly organized social justice campaigns in history -- the fight to free the slaves of the British Empire. In early 1787, twelve men -- a printer, a lawyer, a clergyman, and others united by their hatred of slavery -- came together in a London printing shop and began the world's first grass-roots movement, battling for the rights of people on another continent. Masterfully stoking public opinion, the movement's leaders pioneered a variety of techniques that have been adopted by citizens' movements ever since, from consumer boycotts to wall posters and lapel buttons to celebrity endorsements. A deft chronicle of this groundbreaking antislavery crusade and its powerful enemies, Bury the Chains gives a little-celebrated human rights watershed its due at last.”

Hochschild, Adam. Bury the Chains, Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves. Mariner Books, 2005.

King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa

King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa

Adam Hochschild, 1998

Central—Congo

“In the 1880s, as the European powers were carving up Africa, King Leopold II of Belgium seized for himself the vast and mostly unexplored territory surrounding the Congo River. Carrying out a genocidal plundering of the Congo, he looted its rubber, brutalized its people, and ultimately slashed its population by ten million—all the while shrewdly cultivating his reputation as a great humanitarian. Heroic efforts to expose these crimes eventually led to the first great human rights movement of the twentieth century, in which everyone from Mark Twain to the Archbishop of Canterbury participated. King Leopold's Ghost is the haunting account of a megalomaniac of monstrous proportions, a man as cunning, charming, and cruel as any of the great Shakespearean villains. It is also the deeply moving portrait of those who fought Leopold: a brave handful of missionaries, travelers, and young idealists who went to Africa for work or adventure and unexpectedly found themselves witnesses to a holocaust. Adam Hochschild brings this largely untold story alive with the wit and skill of a Barbara Tuchman. Like her, he knows that history often provides a far richer cast of characters than any novelist could invent. Chief among them is Edmund Morel, a young British shipping agent who went on to lead the international crusade against Leopold. Another hero of this tale, the Irish patriot Roger Casement, ended his life on a London gallows. Two courageous black Americans, George Washington Williams and William Sheppard, risked much to bring evidence of the Congo atrocities to the outside world. Sailing into the middle of the story was a young Congo River steamboat officer named Joseph Conrad. And looming above them all, the duplicitous billionaire King Leopold II. With great power and compassion, King Leopold's Ghost will brand the tragedy of the Congo—too long forgotten—onto the conscience of the West.”

Hochschild, Adam. King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa. Houghton Mifflin, 1998.

Sowing the Mustard Seed: The Struggle for Freedom and Democracy in Uganda

Sowing the Mustard Seed: The Struggle for Freedom and Democracy in Uganda

Yoweri K. Museveni, 1997

Central—Uganda

“The autobiography of Yoweni Kaguta Museveni. Museveni led a guerilla war to liberate his country from tyranny and, as President of Uganda, has established a reputation as one of the most widely respected African leaders of his generation.”

Museveni, Yoweri K. Sowing the Mustard Seed: The Struggle for Freedom and Democracy in Uganda. Macmillan Education, 1997.

Against All Odds: A Chronicle of the Eritrean Revolution With a New Afterword on the Postwar Transition

Against All Odds: A Chronicle of the Eritrean Revolution With a New Afterword on the Postwar Transition

Dan Connell, 1993

Horn—Eritrea

Against All Odds is the firsthand account of Eritrea's epic 30-year struggle for political independence and social justice. With almost no outside support, Eritrean nationalists brought successive U.S.- and Soviet-backed Ethiopian governments to their knees. At the same time, they worked to liberate women, workers and peasant farmers from centuries of grinding poverty, chronic hunger and numbing oppression. Connell argues that it was the blending of a social revolution with political objectives that enabled this uniquely self-reliant liberation front to weld Eritrea's fractious society - half Christian, half Muslim, from nine ethnic groups - into one of the most remarkable fighting forces in modern history. In a new Afterword, he describes their efforts to translate wartime values and experience into sustainable strategies for developing the new country.”

Connell, Dan. Against All Odds: A Chronicle of the Eritrean Revolution, With a New Afterword on the Postwar Transition. Africa World Press Books, 1993.

Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed

Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed

John Phillips, Martin Evans, 2008

North—Algeria

“After liberating itself from French colonial rule in one of the twentieth century’s most brutal wars of independence, Algeria became a standard-bearer for the non-aligned movement. By the 1990s, however, its revolutionary political model had collapsed, degenerating into a savage conflict between the military and Islamist guerillas that killed some 200,000 citizens.

“In this lucid and gripping account, Martin Evans and John Phillips explore Algeria’s recent and very bloody history, demonstrating how the high hopes of independence turned into anger as young Algerians grew increasingly alienated. Unemployed, frustrated by the corrupt military regime, and excluded by the West, the post-independence generation needed new heroes, and some found them in Osama bin Laden and the rising Islamist movement.

“Evans and Phillips trace the complex roots of this alienation, arguing that Algeria’s predicament―political instability, pressing economic and social problems, bad governance, a disenfranchised youth―is emblematic of an arc of insecurity stretching from Morocco to Indonesia. Looking back at the pre-colonial and colonial periods, they place Algeria’s complex present into historical context, demonstrating how successive governments have manipulated the past for their own ends. The result is a fractured society with a complicated and bitter relationship with the Western powers―and an increasing tendency to export terrorism to France, America, and beyond.”

Phillips, John and Martin Evans. Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed. Yale University Press, 2008.

Boer War

Boer War

Thomas Pakenham, 1979 – Out of Print

Southern—South Africa

“Uses firsthand accounts to reconstruct Britain's last great imperial war which proved to be one of the costliest, deadliest, and most humiliating wars in British history.”

Pakenham, Thomas. Boer War. Random House, 1979.

Travels in West Africa

Travels in West Africa

Mary Kingsley, 1897

West—Colonialism

“Until 1893, Mary Kingsley lived the typical life of a single Victorian woman, tending to sick relatives and keeping house for her brother. However, on the death of her parents, she undertook an extraordinary decision: with no prior knowledge of the region, she set out alone to West Africa to pursue her anthropological interests and collect botanical specimens. Her subsequent book, published in 1897, is a testament to understatement and humour - few explorers made less of the hardships and dangers experienced while travelling (including unaccompanied treks through dangerous jungles and encounters with deadly animals). Travels in West Africa would challenge (as well as reinforce) contemporary Victorian prejudices about Africa, and also made invaluable contributions to the fields of botany and anthropology. Above all, however, it has stood the test of time as a gripping, classic travel narrative by a woman whose sense of adventure and fascination with Africa transformed her whole life.”

Kingsley, Mary. Travels in West Africa. National Geographic, 2002.

Politics and Economics

Property and Political Order in Africa

Property and Political Order in Africa: Land Rights and the Structure of Politics

Catherine Boone—2014

“In sub-Saharan Africa, property relationships around land and access to natural resources vary across localities, districts, and farming regions. These differences produce patterned variations in relationships between individuals, communities, and the state. This book captures these patterns in an analysis of structure and variation in rural land tenure regimes. In most farming areas, state authority is deeply embedded in land regimes, drawing farmers, ethnic insiders and outsiders, lineages, villages, and communities into direct and indirect relationships with political authorities at different levels of the state apparatus. The analysis shows how property institutions – institutions that define political authority and hierarchy around land – shape dynamics of great interest to scholars of politics, including the dynamics of land-related competition and conflict, territorial conflict, patron-client relations, electoral cleavage and mobilization, ethnic politics, rural rebellion, and the localization and “nationalization” of political competition.”

Boone, Catherine. Property and Political Order in Africa: Land Rights and the Structure of Politics. Cambridge University Press, 2014.

The International Criminal Court and Africa

The International Criminal Court and Africa

Evelyn A. Ankumah—2016

“More than ten years ago the International Criminal Court (ICC) was established as a universal court meant to achieve criminal justice worldwide. That goal still stands, but so far the Court has dedicated most of its time and resources to African conflicts in which international crimes have been committed. 

“While the ICC can be said to contribute to criminal justice in Africa, it cannot be denied that the relationship between the Court and the continent has been troublesome. The ICC has been accused of targeting Africa, and many African states do not seem willing to cooperate with the Court. Debates on Africa and international criminal justice are increasingly politicized.

“The authors of this volume all recognize the current problems and criticism. Yet they do not side with populist pessimists who, after just over a decade of ICC experiences, conclude that the Court and international criminal justice are doomed to fail. Rather, the contributors may be regarded as cautious optimists who believe there is a future for international criminal justice, including the ICC. The contributors use their unique specific knowledge, expertise and experiences as the basis for reflections on the current problems and possible paths for improvement, both when it comes to the ICC as such, and its specific relationship with Africa.”

Ankumah, Evelyn A. The International Criminal Court and Africa. Intersentia, 2016.

States and Power in Africa, 2nd ed.

States and Power in Africa, 2nd ed.

Jeffrey Herbst—2014, First published 2000—Africa

“Theories of international relations, assumed to be universally applicable, have failed to explain the creation of states in Africa. There, the interaction of power and space is dramatically different from what occurred in Europe. In States and Power in Africa, Jeffrey Herbst places the African state-building process in a truly comparative perspective. Herbst's bold contention—that the conditions now facing African state-builders existed long before European penetration of the continent—is sure to provoke controversy, for it runs counter to the prevailing assumption that colonialism changed everything.

“This revised edition includes a new preface in which the author links the enormous changes that have taken place in Africa over the past fifteen years to long-term state consolidation. The final chapter on policy prescriptions has also been revised to reflect the evolution of African and international responses to state failure.”

Herbst, Jeffrey. States and Power in Africa. Princeton University Press, 2000.

The Struggle Continues: 50 Years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe

The Struggle Continues: 50 Years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe

David Coltart—2016—Zimbabwe

The Struggle Continues is a “searing, heartfelt, brutally honest account of the turbulent modern history of Zimbabwe” (Douglas Rogers author of The Last Resort). This autobiographical political history since the 1950s deals with an era of great turbulence from the perspective a person who has been at the centre of the great Zimbabwean drama for over 30 years, David Coltart. It is set to be the most authoritative book to date of the last sixty years of Zimbabwe’s history, described by the doyenne of Southern African journalists, Peta Thornycroft, as “a masterpiece”: from the obstinate racism of Ian Smith that provoked Rhodesia’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Britain in 1965, to the civil war of the 1970s, the Gukurahundi genocide of the 1980s,  the land invasions of the 2000s, Robert Mugabe’s Murambatsvina war on poor urban dwellers in 2005, and the struggles waged by the MDC in confronting a brutal regime.”

Coltart, David. The Struggle Continues: 50 Years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe. Jacana Media, 2016.

Understanding Namibia

Understanding Namibia

Henning Melber—2014—Namibia

“Since independence in 1990, Namibia has witnessed only one generation with no memory of colonialism - the 'born frees', who voted in the 2009 elections. The anti-colonial liberation movement, SWAPO, dominates the political scene, effectively making Namibia a de facto one-party state dominated by the first 'struggle generation'.

“While those in power declare their support for a free, fair, and just society, the limits to liberation are such that emancipation from foreign rule has only been partially achieved. Despite its natural resources Namibia is among the world's most unequal societies and indicators of wellbeing have not markedly improved for many among the former colonized majority, despite a constitution enshrining human rights, social equality, and individual liberty.

“This book analyses the transformation of Namibian society since Independence. Melber explores the achievements and failures and contrasts the narrative of a post-colonial patriotic history with the socio-economic and political realities of the nation-building project. He also investigates whether, notwithstanding the relative stability prevailing to date, the negotiation of controlled change during Namibia's decolonization could have achieved more than simply a change of those in control.”

Melber, Henning. Understanding Namibia. Oxford University Press, 2014.

Famine Crimes: Politics and the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa

Famine Crimes: Politics and the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa

Alex de Waal, 1997

Africa—Aid

“Famine is conquerable, but in some countries in Africa human suffering seems to be getting more rather than less common. This study argues that humanitarian relief work is a certain kind of political action, and that technical solutions must be evaluated within a political context.”

De Waal, Alex. Famine Crimes: Politics and the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa. Indiana University Press, 1997.

Beyond Humanitarianism: What You Need to Know about Africa

Beyond Humanitarianism: What You Need to Know about Africa

Princeton N Lyman, Patricia Dorff, 2007

Africa–Aid

“Presents a citizen's guide to the complex issues and conflicts in Africa, addressing such underlying trends as the growth of democracy, the rising activity of China, and the political and economic prospects for the countries of Africa.”

Lyman, Princeton N. and Patricia Dorff. Beyond Humanitarianism: What You Need to Know about Africa. Council on Foreign Relations Press, 2007.

The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa

The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa

Deborah Brautigam, 2011

Africa–China

“This well-timed book, by one of the world's leading experts, provides the first comprehensive account of China's aid and economic cooperation overseas. Deborah Brautigam tackles the myths and realities, explaining what the Chinese are doing, how they do it, how much aid they give, and how it all fits into their "going global" strategy. Drawing on three decades of experience in China and Africa, and hundreds of interviews in Africa, China, Europe and the U.S., Brautigam shines new light on a topic of great interest.”

Deborah Brautigam. The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa. Oxford University Press, 2011.

Africa’s New Peace and Security Architecture

Africa’s New Peace and Security Architecture

Ulf Engel, João Gomes Porto, 2010

Africa—General

“This volume offers an informed and critical analysis of the operationalization and institutionalization of the peace and security architecture by the African Union and Africa's Regional Economic Communities (RECs). In creating this architecture, the African Union and the RECs tread new ground with potentially significant consequences to the lives and livelihoods of millions of Africans who are affected by war and armed conflict. In-depth, critical chapters inform, clarify and provide key points for reflection on the architecture as a whole as well as on each of the structures currently under implementation. The volume examines the institutions that will carry the mandate forward, raises pertinent research questions for the successful operationalization of the architecture and debates the medium and long-term challenges to implementation. Students and researchers of African approaches to peace building, conflict resolution and regional security will benefit from the deep and critical engagement of issues covered in this volume by world renowned scholars and practitioners.”

Engel, Ulf and João Gomes Porto. Africa’s New Peace and Security Architecture. Routledge, 2010.

Government and Politics in Africa

Government and Politics in Africa

William Tordoff, 1997

African—Government

“This updated edition on African government and politics provides comprehensive coverage of the contemporary politics of the continent set in a clear historical context. Each chapter has been thoroughly revised to take account of developments and research and a completely new chapter added on political liberalization and economic reform. This edition also gives extra coverage of North and South Africa and of such key issues as debt, the Aids epidemic, the position of women and the politics of patronage.”

Tordoff, William. Government and Politics in Africa. Macmillan, 1997.

 

Politics and Society in Contemporary Africa, 3rd ed.

Politics and Society in Contemporary Africa, 3rd ed.

Naomi Chazan, Peter Lewis, Robert Mortimer, Donald Rothchild, Stephen John Stedman 1999

Africa—Politics

“Recognized as the textbook on African politics, as well as an excellent resource for scholars, Politics and Society in Contemporary Africa analyzes the complexities and diversities of the African continent since independence.

“The authors provide a basic knowledge of political events; political structures, processes, problems, and trends; political economy; and international relations. Clearly organized charts offer easy access to current political, economic, and social data. This edition includes entirely new chapters on political economy and South Africa, as well as revised discussions of civil society, democratic transitions, decentralization, structural adjustment, and Africa in the world economy.

“Broadly encompassing and challenging, the book is a major contribution to our understanding of the multiple forces at work on the continent.”

Chazan, Naomi, Peter Lewis, Robert Mortimer, Donald Rothchild, and Stephen John Stedman. Politics and Society in Contemporary Africa, 3rd ed. Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1999.

Human Security

Human Security

Mary Kaldor, 2007

Africa—Politics

“There is a real security gap in the world today. Millions of people in regions like the Middle East or East and Central Africa or Central Asia where new wars are taking place live in daily fear of violence. Moreover new wars are increasingly intertwined with other global risks the spread of disease, vulnerability to natural disasters, poverty and homelessness. Yet our security conceptions, drawn from the dominant experience of World War II and based on the use of conventional military force, do not reduce that insecurity; rather they make it worse.

“This book is an exploration of this security gap. It makes the case for a new approach to security based on a global conversation- a public debate among civil society groups and individuals as well as states and international institutions. The chapters follow on from Kaldors path breaking analysis of the character of new wars in places like the Balkans or Africa during the 1990s.

“The first four chapters provide a context; they cover the experience of humanitarian intervention, the nature of American power, the new nationalist and religious movements that are associated with globalization, and how these various aspects of current security dilemmas have played out in the Balkans. The last three chapters are more normative, dealing with the evolution of the idea of global civil society, the relevance of just war theory in a global era, and the concept of human security and what it might mean to implement such a concept.

“This book will appeal to all those interested in issues of peace and conflict, in particular to students of politics and international relations.”

Kaldor, Mary. Human Security. Polity, 2007.

Peace and Conflict in America

Peace and Conflict in Africa

David J. Francis, 2008

Africa—Politics

“Nowhere in the world is the demand for peace more prominent and challenging than in Africa. From state collapse and anarchy in Somalia to protracted wars and rampant corruption in the Congo; from bloody civil wars and extreme poverty in Sierra Leone to humanitarian crisis and authoritarianism in Sudan, the continent is the focus of growing political and media attention.

This book presents the first comprehensive overview of conflict and peace across the continent. Bringing together a range of leading academics from Africa and beyond, Peace and Conflict in Africa is an ideal introduction to key themes of conflict resolution, peacebuilding, security and development. The book's stress on the importance of indigenous Africa approaches to creating peace makes it an innovative and exciting intervention in the field.”

Francis, David J. Peace and Conflict in Africa. Zed Books, 2008.

The Insecurity Dilemma: National Security of Third World States

The Insecurity Dilemma: National Security of Third World States

Brian L. Job, 1992

Africa—Politics

“Positing an "insecurity dilemma," in which national security, defined as regime security by state authorities, becomes pitted against the incompatible demands of ethnic, social, and religious forces, this book addresses the problems and prospects for security in the Third World in the 1990s.

“The authors advance four lines of argument: First, there is a need to rethink the traditional realist notions of states, national security, territorial threat, and war. Second, the security dilemmas of Third World regimes are bound up in the process of statebuilding and in the practical implications of political development. Third, the repressive strategies that many Third World regimes have adopted reflect an underlying logic associated with the regime holders' interest in their short-term survival prospects. And finally, radically altered relationships and conditions in the international system mean that the security interests of Third World regimes and peoples will be viewed differently in the future by both superpowers and middle powers; and the consequence may well be that traditional regional powers will attempt to (re)assert their security priorities and claims to dominance.”

Job, Brian L. The Insecurity Dilemma: National Security of Third World States. Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1992.

In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in Mobutu’s Congo

In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in Mobutu’s Congo

Michela Wrong, 2002

Central—Congo

“Known as "the Leopard," the president of Zaire for thirty-two years, Mobutu Sese Seko, showed all the cunning of his namesake -- seducing Western powers, buying up the opposition, and dominating his people with a devastating combination of brutality and charm. While the population was pauperized, he plundered the country's copper and diamond resources, downing pink champagne in his jungle palace like some modern-day reincarnation of Joseph Conrad's crazed station manager.

“Michela Wrong, a correspondent who witnessed Mobutu's last days, traces the rise and fall of the idealistic young journalist who became the stereotype of an African despot. Engrossing, highly readable, and as funny as it is tragic, In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz assesses the acts of the villains and the heroes in this fascinating story of the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

Wrong, Michela. In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in Mobutu’s Congo. HarperCollins, 2002.

The Horn of Africa: Politics and International Relations

The Horn of Africa: Politics and International Relations

Peter Woodward, 1996

Horn—International Relations

“Nowhere is the crumbling of state structures more self-evident than in Somalia, the Sudan and Ethiopia. Drawing on a wide range of little-known material, this book presents an overview of structural disintegration in the Horn of Africa from the dual perspectives of domestic and international political developments. The breakdown of these three major states is due, according to Woodward, to the ravages of civil war. He argues that, while all three conflicts arise from domestic issues, their scale has been magnified by international involvement which has also linked the three countries together, with Ethiopia as the crux. The Horn of Africa is a study of the national and international dimensions of these conflicts, examining not only the relations between the three countries, but also their relations with a variety of regional actors as well as with the superpowers.”

Woodward, Peter. The Horn of Africa: Politics and International Relations. IB Tauris, 1996.

Humanitarian and Aid

Mass Starvation: The History and Future of Famine

Mass Starvation: The History and Future of Famine

Alex De Waal—2017

“The world almost conquered famine. Until the 1980s, this scourge killed ten million people every decade, but by early 2000s mass starvation had all but disappeared. Today, famines are resurgent, driven by war, blockade, hostility to humanitarian principles and a volatile global economy. 

“In Mass Starvation, world-renowned expert on humanitarian crisis and response Alex de Waal provides an authoritative history of modern famines: their causes, dimensions and why they ended. He analyses starvation as a crime, and breaks new ground in examining forced starvation as an instrument of genocide and war. Refuting the enduring but erroneous view that attributes famine to overpopulation and natural disaster, he shows how political decision or political failing is an essential element in every famine, while the spread of democracy and human rights, and the ending of wars, were major factors in the near-ending of this devastating phenomenon. 

“Hard-hitting and deeply informed, Mass Starvation explains why man-made famine and the political decisions that could end it for good must once again become a top priority for the international community.”

De Waal, Alex. Mass Starvation: The History and Future of Famine. Polity, 2018.

Stories of AIDS in Africa

28: Stories of AIDS in Africa

Stephanie Nolen—Year

“From one of our most widely read, award-winning journalists – comes the powerful, unputdownable story of the very human cost of a global pandemic of staggering scope and scale. It is essential reading for our times.

“In 28, Stephanie Nolen, the Globe and Mail’s Africa Bureau Chief, puts a human face to the crisis created by HIV-AIDS in Africa. She has achieved, in this amazing book, something extraordinary: she writes with a power, understanding and simplicity that makes us listen, makes us understand and care. Through riveting anecdotal stories – one for each of the million people living with HIV-AIDS in Africa – Nolen explores the effects of an epidemic that well exceeds the Black Plague in magnitude. It is a calamity that is unfolding just a 747-flight away, and one that will take the lives of these 28 million without the help of massive, immediate intervention on an unprecedented scale. 28 is a timely, transformative, thoroughly accessible book that shows us definitively why we continue to ignore the growth of HIV-AIDS in Africa only at our peril and at an intolerable moral cost.

28’s stories are much more than a record of the suffering and loss in 28 emblematic lives. Here we meet women and men fighting vigorously on the frontlines of disease: Tigist Haile Michael, a smart, shy 14-year-old Ethiopian orphan fending for herself and her baby brother on the slum streets of Addis Ababa; Alice Kadzanja, an HIV-positive nurse in Malawi, where one in six adults has the virus, and where the average adult’s life expectancy is 36; and Zackie Achmat, the hero of South Africa’s politically fragmented battle against HIV-AIDS. 

28 also tells us how the virus works, spreads and, ultimately, kills. It explains the connection of HIV-AIDS to conflict, famine and the collapse of states; shows us how easily treatment works for those lucky enough to get it and details the struggles of those who fight to stay alive with little support. It makes vivid the strong, desperate people doing all they can, and maintaining courage, dignity and hope against insurmountable odds. It is – in its humanity, beauty and sorrow – a call to action for all who read it.”

Nolen, Stephanie. 28: Stories of AIDS in Africa. Walker Books, 2007.

Famine Crimes: Politics and the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa

Famine Crimes: Politics and the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa

Alex de Waal, 1997

Africa—Aid

“Famine is conquerable, but in some countries in Africa human suffering seems to be getting more rather than less common. This study argues that humanitarian relief work is a certain kind of political action, and that technical solutions must be evaluated within a political context.”

De Waal, Alex. Famine Crimes: Politics and the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa. Indiana University Press, 1997.

Beyond Humanitarianism: What You Need to Know about Africa

Beyond Humanitarianism: What You Need to Know about Africa

Princeton N Lyman, Patricia Dorff, 2007

Africa–Aid

“Presents a citizen's guide to the complex issues and conflicts in Africa, addressing such underlying trends as the growth of democracy, the rising activity of China, and the political and economic prospects for the countries of Africa.”

Lyman, Princeton N. and Patricia Dorff. Beyond Humanitarianism: What You Need to Know about Africa. Council on Foreign Relations Press, 2007.

The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa

The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa

Deborah Brautigam, 2011

Africa–China

“This well-timed book, by one of the world's leading experts, provides the first comprehensive account of China's aid and economic cooperation overseas. Deborah Brautigam tackles the myths and realities, explaining what the Chinese are doing, how they do it, how much aid they give, and how it all fits into their "going global" strategy. Drawing on three decades of experience in China and Africa, and hundreds of interviews in Africa, China, Europe and the U.S., Brautigam shines new light on a topic of great interest.”

Deborah Brautigam. The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa. Oxford University Press, 2011.

The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries ard Failing and What Can Be Done About It

The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It

Paul Collier, 2007

Africa—Development

“In the universally acclaimed and award-winning The Bottom Billion, Paul Collier reveals that fifty failed states--home to the poorest one billion people on Earth--pose the central challenge of the developing world in the twenty-first century. The book shines much-needed light on this group of small nations, largely unnoticed by the industrialized West, that are dropping further and further behind the majority of the world's people, often falling into an absolute decline in living standards. A struggle rages within each of these nations between reformers and corrupt leaders--and the corrupt are winning. Collier analyzes the causes of failure, pointing to a set of traps that ensnare these countries, including civil war, a dependence on the extraction and export of natural resources, and bad governance. Standard solutions do not work, he writes; aid is often ineffective, and globalization can actually make matters worse, driving development to more stable nations. What the bottom billion need, Collier argues, is a bold new plan supported by the Group of Eight industrialized nations. If failed states are ever to be helped, the G8 will have to adopt preferential trade policies, new laws against corruption, new international charters, and even conduct carefully calibrated military interventions. Collier has spent a lifetime working to end global poverty. In The Bottom Billion, he offers real hope for solving one of the great humanitarian crises facing the world today.”

Collier, Paul. The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It. Oxford University Press, 2007.

How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

Walter Rodney, 1972

Africa—Development

“Before a bomb ended his life in the summer of 1980, Walter Rodney had created a powerful legacy. This pivotal work, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, had already brought a new perspective to the question of underdevelopment in Africa. His Marxist analysis went far beyond the heretofore accepted approach in the study of Third World underdevelopment. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa is an excellent introductory study for the student who wishes to better understand the dynamics of Africa s contemporary relations with the West.”

Rodney, Walter. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Black Clssic Press, 2011.

Africa Unchained: The Blueprint for Africa’s Future

Africa Unchained: The Blueprint for Africa’s Future

George B. N. Ayittey, 2006

Africa—Development

“In Africa Unchained, George Ayittey takes a controversial look at Africa's future and makes a number of daring suggestions. Looking at how Africa can modernize, build, and improve their indigenous institutions which have been castigated by African leaders as 'backward and primitive', Ayittey argues that Africa should build and expand upon these traditions of free markets and free trade. Asking why the poorest Africans haven't been able to prosper in the Twenty-first-century, Ayittey makes the answer obvious: their economic freedom was snatched from them. War and conflict replaced peace and the infrastructure crumbled. In a book that will be pondered over and argued about as much as his previous volumes, Ayittey looks at the possibilities for indigenous structures to revive a troubled continent.”

Ayittey, George B.N. Africa Unchained: The Blueprint for Africa’s Future. Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

Free at Last? U.S. Policy Toward Africa and the End of the Cold War

Free at Last? U.S. Policy Toward Africa and the End of the Cold War

Michael Clough, 1992

Africa—Diplomacy

“In Free at Last?, Michael Clough provides a comprehensive overview of U.S.-Africa relations from World War II to the present: he surveys past American initiatives to illustrate how U.S. policy, intent on containing Soviet expansion, benefited African rulers at the expense of African civil society. He also discusses the declining importance of U.S. strategic and economic interests in Africa and how this is counterbalanced by the growing interest of American constituencies focused on such issues as humanitarian relief, human rights, and the environment.”

Clough, Michael. Free at Last? U.S. Policy Toward Africa and the End of the Cold War. Cambridge University Press, 1992.

The Lords of Poverty: The Power, Prestige, and Corruption of the International Aid Business

The Lords of Poverty: The Power, Prestige, and Corruption of the International Aid Business

Graham Hancock, 1992

Africa—Foreign Aid

Lords of Poverty is a case study in betrayals of a public trust. The shortcomings of aid are numerous, and serious enough to raise questions about the viability of the practice at its most fundamental levels. Hancock’s report is thorough, deeply shocking, and certain to cause critical reevaluation—of the government’s motives in giving foreign aid, and of the true needs of our intended beneficiaries.”

Hancock, Graham. The Lords of Poverty: The Power, Prestige, and Corruption of the International Aid Business. Atlantic Monthly Press, 1992.

The Trouble with Africa: Why Foreign Aid Isn’t Working

The Trouble with Africa: Why Foreign Aid Isn’t Working

Robert Calderisi, 2007

Africa—Foreign Aid

“Drawing on thirty years of first hand experience, The Trouble with Africa highlights issues which have been ignored by Africa's leaders but have worried ordinary Africans, diplomats, academics, business leaders, aid workers, volunteers, and missionaries for a long time. It ripples with stories which only someone who has talked directly to African farmers--and heads of state--could recount.”

Calderisi, Robert. The Trouble with Africa: Why Foreign Aid Isn’t Working. St. Martin’s Griffin, 2007.

The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good

The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good

William Easterly, 2007

Africa—Foreign Aid

“We are all aware of the extreme hunger and poverty that afflict the world's poor. We hear the facts, see the images on television, buy the T-shirt and are moved as individuals and governments to dig deep into our pockets. Yet what happens to all this aid? Why after 50 years and $2.3 trillion are there still children dying for lack of twelve cents medicine? Why are there so many people still living on less than $1 a day without clean water, food, sanitation, shelter, education or medicine?

In The White Man's Burden William Easterly, acclaimed author and former economist at the World Bank, addresses these twin tragedies head on. While recognising the energy and compassion behind the campaign to make poverty history he argues urgently and powerfully that grand plans and good intentions are a part of the problem not the solution. Giving aid is not enough, we must ensure that it reaches the people who need it most and the only way to make this happens is through accountability and by learning from past experiences.

Without claiming to have all the answers, William Easterly chastises the complacent and patronising attitude of the West that attempts to impose solutions from above. In this book, which is by turns angry, moving, irreverent but always rigorous, he calls on each and everyone of us to take responsibility, whether donors, aid workers or ordinary citizens, so that more aid reaches the people it is supposed to help, the mother who cannot feed her children, the little girl who has to collect firewood rather than go to school, the father who cannot work because he has been crippled by war.”

Easterly, William. The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good. Oxford University Press, 2007.

The Road to Hell: The Ravaging Effects of Foreign Aid and International Charity

The Road to Hell: The Ravaging Effects of Foreign Aid and International Charity

Michael Maren, 2009

Africa—Foreign Aid

“A former aid worker explains how misguided foreign aid, charity, development assistance, and food relief have propagated a culture of destructive dependency that damages the local economy and promotes corruption.”

Maren, Michael. The Road to Hell: The Ravaging Effects of Foreign Aid and International Charity. Free Press, 2009.

United States Foreign Policy Toward Africa: Incrementalism Crisis and Change

United States Foreign Policy Toward Africa: Incrementalism Crisis and Change

Peter J. Schraeder, 1994

Africa—Foreign Relations

“This book offers the first comprehensive theoretical analysis of US foreign policy toward Africa in the postwar era. Peter Schraeder argues that though we often assume that US policymakers "speak with one voice," Washington's foreign policy is derived from numerous centers of power, each of which has the ability to pull policy in different directions. Drawing on over 100 interviews, and detailed case studies in Zaire, Ethiopia-Somalia, and South Africa, this book provides a unique analysis of the historical evolution of US foreign policy in the region.”

Schraeder, Peter. United States Foreign Policy Toward Africa: Incrementalism Crisis and Change. Cambridge University Press, 1994.

More than Humanitarianism: A Strategic U.S. Approach toward Africa

More than Humanitarianism: A Strategic U.S. Approach toward Africa

Anthony Lake, Christine Todd Whitman, 2006

Africa—Strategy

“This Council-sponsored Independent Task Force Report argues that Africa is becoming steadily more central to the United States and to the rest of the world in ways that transcend humanitarian interests. Africa now plays an increasingly significant role in supplying energy, preventing the spread of terrorism, and halting the devastation of HIV/AIDS. Africa's growing importance is reflected in the intensifying competition with China and other countries for both access to African resources and influence in this region. A more comprehensive U.S. policy toward Africa is needed, the report states, and it lays out recommendations for policymakers to craft that policy.

“Ideally, readers will take away two enduring impressions from this report.

“First, Americans must pause and reflect on how Africa has become a region of growing vital importance to U.S. national interests. It is outdated and counterproductive to assume that Africa is simply the object of humanitarian concerns or a charity cause. The need for a broader approach exists even while the United States should and does stand ready to answer Africa's urgent humanitarian needs. Nevertheless, steadily in recent years, and with an accelerating pace post-9/11, other newly emergent U.S. stakes in Africa have become apparent: energy, terror, and HIV/AIDS. As these interests have grown in importance, Africa has become a more competitive environment, in particular with China's rapidly escalating engagement and quest for Africa's energy and other natural resources. These new realities challenge our thinking and our policies.

“Second, a more comprehensive policy is needed. Such a policy is essential for the United States to operate effectively in the increasingly competitive environment in Africa. A broader policy framework is needed to correct U.S. intelligence and diplomatic weaknesses. Such an approach would bind the diverse and promising recent U.S. initiatives—in counterterrorism, HIV/AIDS, and the reward of good governance and economic reform—that today operate in relative isolation of one another into a coherent, dynamic policy. It would recognize the growing capacity of African leaders and institutions working to improve economic performance and governance, to promote democracy, and to resolve conflicts.

“Finally, this more comprehensive approach will strengthen the U.S. response to Africa's humanitarian needs, not weaken it. The results will not end poverty in Africa, but they will raise hope within the bounds of realism.

“Once in place, the policies, the programs, and the organizational improvements this report recommends should together enhance our position in Africa, deepen the understanding of our intentions, and increase the hopes for Africa.”

Lake, Anthony and Christine Todd Whitman. More than Humanitarianism: A Strategic U.S. Approach toward Africa. Council on Foreign Relation Press, 2006.

The Lost Boys of Sudan: An American Story of the Refugee Experience

The Lost Boys of Sudan: An American Story of the Refugee Experience

Mark Bixler, 2006

North—Sudan

“In 2000 the United States began accepting 3,800 refugees from one of Africa’s longest civil wars. They were just some of the thousands of young men, known as “Lost Boys,” who had been orphaned or otherwise separated from their families in the chaos of a brutal conflict that has ravaged Sudan since 1983. The Lost Boys of Sudan focuses on four of these refugees. Theirs, however, is a typical story, one that repeated itself wherever the Lost Boys could be found across America.

“Jacob Magot, Peter Anyang, Daniel Khoch, and Marko Ayii were among 150 or so Lost Boys who were resettled in Atlanta. Like most of their fellow refugees, they had never before turned on a light switch, used a kitchen appliance, or ridden in a car or subway train―much less held a job or balanced a checkbook. We relive their early excitement and disorientation, their growing despondency over fruitless job searches, adjustments they faced upon finally entering the workforce, their experiences of post-9/11 xenophobia, and their undying dreams of acquiring an education.

“As we immerse ourselves in the Lost Boys’ daily lives, we also get to know the social services professionals and volunteers, celebrities, community leaders, and others who guided them―with occasional detours―toward self-sufficiency. Along the way author Mark Bixler looks closely at the ins and outs of U.S. refugee policy, the politics of international aid, the history of Sudan, and the radical Islamist underpinnings of its government. America is home to more foreign-born residents than ever before; the Lost Boys have repaid that gift in full through their example of unflagging resolve, hope, and faith.”

Bixler, Mark. The Lost Boys of Sudan: An American Story of the Refugee Experience. University of Georgia Press, 2006.

God Grew Tired of US: A Memoir

God Grew Tired of US: A Memoir

John Bul Dau, 2007

North—Sudan

“"Lost Boy" John Bul Dau’s harrowing experience surviving the brutal horrors of Sudanese civil war and his adjustment to life in modern America is chronicled in this inspiring memoir and featured in an award-winning documentary film of the same name. Movingly written, the book traces Dau’s journey through hunger, exhaustion, terror, and violence as he fled his homeland, dodging ambushes, massacres and attacks by wild animals. His tortuous, 14-year journey began in 1987, when he was just 13, and took him on a 1,000-mile walk, barefoot, to Ethiopia, back to Sudan, then to a refugee camp in Kenya, where he lived with thousands of other Lost Boys. In 2001, at the age of 27, he immigrated to the United States. With touching humor, Dau recounts the shock of his tribal culture colliding with life in America. He shares the joy of reuniting with his family and the challenges of making a new life for himself while never forgetting the other Lost Boys he left behind.”

Bul Dau, John. God Grew Tired of US: A Memoir. National Geographic, 2007.

History, Culture, & Geography

The Black Man’s Burden: Africa and the Curse of the Nation-State

The Black Man’s Burden: Africa and the Curse of the Nation-State

Basil Davidson, 1992

Africa—General

“Basil Davidson on the nation-state in Africa and its huge disappointments, its relationship to the colonial years and the parallels with events in Eastern Europe.”

Davidson, Basil. The Black Man’s Burden: Africa and the Curse of the Nation-State. James Currey Publisher, 1992.

The Search for Africa: History, Culture, Politics

The Search for Africa: History, Culture, Politics

Basil Davidson, 1994

Africa—General

“Following the success of his highly acclaimed The Black Man's Burden, Davidson offers a timely collection of essays which are essential to the understanding of the passionate spirit of modern African studies.”

Davidson, Basil. The Search for Africa: History, Culture, Politics. Crown, 1994.

Africa: A Biography of the Continent

Africa: A Biography of the Continent

John Reader, 1997

Africa—General

“In 1978, paleontologists in East Africa discovered the earliest evidence of our divergence from the apes: three pre-human footprints, striding away from a volcano, were preserved in the petrified surface of a mudpan over three million years ago. Out of Africa, the world's most ancient and stable landmass, Homo sapiens dispersed across the globe.  And yet the continent that gave birth to human history has long been woefully misunderstood and mistreated by the rest of the world.

“In a book as splendid in its wealth of information as it is breathtaking in scope, British writer and photojournalist John Reader brings to light Africa's geology and evolution, the majestic array of its landforms and environments, the rich diversity of its peoples and their ways of life, the devastating legacies of slavery and colonialism as well as recent political troubles and triumphs. Written in simple, elegant prose and illustrated with Reader's own photographs, Africa: A Biography of the Continent is an unforgettable book that will delight the general reader and expert alike.”

Reader, John. Africa: A Biography of the Continent. Vintage, 1997.

Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa

Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa

Keith B. Richburg, 1997

Africa—General

“Nothing in Keith Richburg’s long and respected journalistic career at the Washington Postprepared him for what he would encounter as the paper’s correspondent in Africa. He found a continent where brutal murder had become routine, where dictators and warlords silenced dissent with machine guns and machetes, and where starvation had become depressingly common. With a great deal of personal anguish, Richburg faced a difficult question: If this is Africa, what does it mean to be an African American?

“In this provocative and unvarnished account of his three years on the continent of his ancestors, Richburg takes us on a extraordinary journey that sweeps from Somalia to South Africa, showing how he confronted the divide between his African racial heritage and his American cultural identity.”

Richburg, Keith B. Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa. Basic Books, 1997.

Africa in Chaos: A Comparative History

Africa in Chaos: A Comparative History

George R. N. Ayittey, 1999

Africa—General

“In a follow-up to his ground-breaking Africa Betrayed , George Ayittey takes up the plight of Africa at the end of the twentieth century. As he sees countries like Nigeria go over the edge of economic and social disaster, Ayittey uses his formidable powers of analysis to look at the political economy of Africa, the incursion of foreign powers and the relationship of Africa to the world market. He contrasts the indigenous systems of government that existed in Africa before the arrival of Europeans with the colonial and postcolonial systems that were forced on the country and the effect these systems have had on Africa's inability to move forward. Ayittey's view is dark and, as always, his stinging conclusions will infuriate some and invigorate others. Certain to create controversy, Africa in Chaos is a must-read for fans of Ayittey's earlier work as well as anyone interested in the world economic scene today.”

Ayittey, George B.N. Africa in Chaos: A Comparative History. Palgrave Macmillan, 1999.

The Shadow of the Sun

The Shadow of the Sun

Ryszard Kapuscinski, 2001

Africa—General

“In 1957, Ryszard Kapuscinski arrived in Africa to witness the beginning of the end of colonial rule as the first African correspondent of Poland's state newspaper. From the early days of independence in Ghana to the ongoing ethnic genocide in Rwanda, Kapuscinski has crisscrossed vast distances pursuing the swift, and often violent, events that followed liberation. Kapuscinski hitchhikes with caravans, wanders the Sahara with nomads, and lives in the poverty-stricken slums of Nigeria. He wrestles a king cobra to the death and suffers through a bout of malaria. What emerges is an extraordinary depiction of Africa--not as a group of nations or geographic locations--but as a vibrant and frequently joyous montage of peoples, cultures, and encounters. Kapuscinski's trenchant observations, wry analysis and overwhelming humanity paint a remarkable portrait of the continent and its people. His unorthodox approach and profound respect for the people he meets challenge conventional understandings of the modern problems faced by Africa at the dawn of the twenty-first century.”

Kapuscinski, Ryszard. The Shadow of the Sun. Vintage, 2001.

Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town

Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town

Paul Theroux, 2002

Africa—General

“In Dark Star Safari the wittily observant and endearingly irascible Paul Theroux takes readers the length of Africa by rattletrap bus, dugout canoe, cattle truck, armed convoy, ferry, and train. In the course of his epic and enlightening journey, he endures danger, delay, and dismaying circumstances.

“Gauging the state of affairs, he talks to Africans, aid workers, missionaries, and tourists. What results is an insightful meditation on the history, politics, and beauty of Africa and its people, and "a vivid portrayal of the secret sweetness, the hidden vitality, and the long-patient hope that lies just beneath the surface" (Rocky Mountain News). In a new postscript, Theroux recounts the dramatic events of a return to Africa to visit Zimbabwe.”

Theroux, Paul. Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town. Mariner Books, 2002.

Africa Since 180, 5th ed.

Africa Since 180, 5th ed.

Roland Oliver, Anthony Atmore, first published I, 5th ed. published in 2005

Africa—General

“This book, the Fifth Revised Edition of a well-known introductory textbook, has remained in steady demand for the past forty years. The new edition covers events up to the middle of 2003, and takes account of the fresh perspectives brought about by the end of the Cold War and the new global situation following the events of September 11, 2001. It is also concerned with the demographic trends which are at the heart of so many African problems today, the ravages of diseases such as AIDS and malaria, and the conflicts waged by warlords fighting for control of scarce resources.”

Oliver, Roland and Anthony Atmore. Africa Since 1800, 5th ed. Cambridge University Press, 2005.

The Fate of Africa: A History of the Continent Since Independence.

The Fate of Africa: A History of the Continent Since Independence

Martin Mereditch, 2011

Africa—General

“First published in 2005, The Fate of Africa was hailed by reviewers as "A masterpiece....The nonfiction book of the year" (The New York Post); "a magnificent achievement" (Weekly Standard); "a joy," (Wall Street Journal) and "one of the decade's most important works on Africa" (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

“Now Martin Meredith has revised this classic history to incorporate important recent developments, including the Darfur crisis in Sudan, Robert Mugabe's continued destructive rule in Zimbabwe, controversies over Western aid and exploitation of Africa's resources, the growing importance and influence of China, and the democratic movement roiling the North African countries of Tunisia, Egypt, and Jordan.”

Mereditch, Martin. The Fate of Africa: A History of the Continent Since Independence. PublicAffairs Books, 2011.

History of Christianity in Africa: From Antiquity to the Present

History of Christianity in Africa: From Antiquity to the Present

Elizabeth Isichei, 1995

Africa—Religion; Christianity

“This unprecedented work is the first one-volume study of the history of Christianity in Africa. Written by Elizabeth Isichei, a leading scholar in this field, A History of Christianity in Africa examines the origins and development of Christianity in Africa from the early story of Egyptian Christianity to the spectacular growth, vitality, and diversity of the churches in Africa today.

“Isichei opens with the brilliance of Christianity in Africa in antiquity and shows how Christian Egypt and North Africa produced some of the most influential intellects of the time. She then discusses the churches founded in the wake of early contacts with Europe, from the late fifteenth century on, and the unbroken Christian witness of Coptic Egypt and of Ethiopia. Isichei also examines the different types of Christianity in modern Africa and shows how social factors have influenced its development and expression.

“With the explosive growth of Christianity now taking place in Africa and the increasingly recognized significance of African Christianity, this much-needed book fills the void in scholarly works on that continent's Christian past, also foreshadowing Christian Africa's influential future.”

Isichei, Elizabeth. History of Christianity in Africa: From Antiquity to the Present. Eerdmans, 1995.

History of Christianity in Africa in the Context of African History

History of Christianity in Africa in the Context of African History

Fran J. Verstraelen, 2002

Africa—Religion; Christianity

“This book presents an outline of recent developments and approaches in Christian historiography. It reviews and assesses four important contributions by non-African historians to the field of study, Baur, Isichei, Hastings and Sundkler. The author, former head of Religious Studies at the University of Zimbabwe, argues that African historians/Christians are bringing fresh perspectives to the study of African Christianity and Christian history, and that the future of historiography of Christianity in Africa lies in an open and critical dialogue between African and non-African perspectives.”

Verstraelen, Fran J. History of Christianity in Africa in the Context of African History. African Books Collective, 2002.

History of Islam in Africa

History of Islam in Africa

Nehemia Levtzion, Randall L. Pouwels, 2000

Africa—Religion; Islam

“The history of the Islamic faith on the continent of Africa spans fourteen centuries. For the first time in a single volume, The History of Islam in Africa presents a detailed historic mapping of the cultural, political, geographic, and religious past of this significant presence on a continent-wide scale. Bringing together two dozen leading scholars, this comprehensive work treats the historical development of the religion in each major region and examines its effects.

“Without assuming prior knowledge of the subject on the part of its readers, The History of Islam in Africa is broken down into discrete areas, each devoted to a particular place or theme and each written by experts in that particular arena. The introductory chapters examine the principal “gateways” from abroad through which Islam traditionally has influenced Africans. The following two parts present overviews of Islamic history in West Africa and the Sudanic zone, and in subequatorial Africa. In the final section, the authors discuss important themes that have had an impact on Muslim communities in Africa.”

Levtzion, Nehemia and Randall L. Pouwels. History of Islam in Africa. Ohio State University Press, 2000.

Islam and Muslim Politics in Africa

Islam and Muslim Politics in Africa

Benjamin Soares, Rene Otayek, 2007

Africa—Religion; Islam

“Political liberalization and economic reform, the weakening of the state, and increased global interconnections have all had profound effects on Muslim societies and the practice of Islam in Africa. The contributors to this volume investigate and illuminate the changes that have occurred in Africa, through detailed case studies.”

Soares, Benjamin and Rene Otayek. Islam and Muslim Politics in Africa. Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

 

Sahara Unveiled: A Journey Across the Desert

Sahara Unveiled: A Journey Across the Desert

William Langewiesche, 1997

Africa—Sahara

“It is as vast as the United States and so arid that most bacteria cannot survive there. Its loneliness is so extreme it is said that migratory birds will land beside travelers, just for the company. William Langewiesche came to the Sahara to see it as its inhabitants do, riding its public transport, braving its natural and human dangers, depending on its sparse sustenance and suspect hospitality. From his journey, which took him across the desert’s hyperarid core from Algiers to Dakar, he has crafted a contemporary classic of travel writing. 
 
“In a narrative studded with gemlike discourses on subjects that range from the physics of sand dunes to the history of the Tuareg nomads, Langewiesche introduces us to the Sahara’s merchants, smugglers, fixers, and expatriates. Eloquent and precise, Sahara Unveiled blends history and reportage, anthropology and anecdote, into an unforgettable portrait of the world’s most romanticized yet most forbidding desert.”

Langewiesche, William. Sahara Unveiled: A Journey Across the Desert. Vintage, 1997.

Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness

Joseph Conrad, 1899

Central—Congo

Heart of Darkness (1899) is a short novel by Polish novelist Joseph Conrad, written as a frame narrative, about Charles Marlow's experience as an ivory transporter down the Congo River in Central Africa. The river is "a mighty big river, that you could see on the map, resembling an immense snake uncoiled, with its head in the sea, its body at rest curving afar over a vast country, and its tail lost in the depths of the land". In the course of his travel in central Africa, Marlow becomes obsessed with Mr. Kurtz. The story is a complex exploration of the attitudes people hold on what constitutes a barbarian versus a civilized society and the attitudes on colonialism and racism that were part and parcel of European imperialism. Originally published as a three-part serial story, in Blackwood's Magazine, the novella Heart of Darkness has been variously published and translated into many languages. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Heart of Darkness as the sixty-seventh of the hundred best novels in English of the twentieth century.”

Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017.

A Bend in the River

A Bend in the River

V. S. Naipaul, 1979

Central—Congo

“In the "brilliant novel" (The New York Times) V.S. Naipaul takes us deeply into the life of one manâan Indian who, uprooted by the bloody tides of Third World history, has come to live in an isolated town at the bend of a great river in a newly independent African nation. Naipaul gives us the most convincing and disturbing vision yet of what happens in a place caught between the dangerously alluring modern world and its own tenacious past and traditions.”

Naipaul, V.S. A Bend in the River. Vintage, 1979.

King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa

King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa

Adam Hochschild, 1998

Central—Congo

“In the 1880s, as the European powers were carving up Africa, King Leopold II of Belgium seized for himself the vast and mostly unexplored territory surrounding the Congo River. Carrying out a genocidal plundering of the Congo, he looted its rubber, brutalized its people, and ultimately slashed its population by ten million—all the while shrewdly cultivating his reputation as a great humanitarian. Heroic efforts to expose these crimes eventually led to the first great human rights movement of the twentieth century, in which everyone from Mark Twain to the Archbishop of Canterbury participated. King Leopold's Ghost is the haunting account of a megalomaniac of monstrous proportions, a man as cunning, charming, and cruel as any of the great Shakespearean villains. It is also the deeply moving portrait of those who fought Leopold: a brave handful of missionaries, travelers, and young idealists who went to Africa for work or adventure and unexpectedly found themselves witnesses to a holocaust. Adam Hochschild brings this largely untold story alive with the wit and skill of a Barbara Tuchman. Like her, he knows that history often provides a far richer cast of characters than any novelist could invent. Chief among them is Edmund Morel, a young British shipping agent who went on to lead the international crusade against Leopold. Another hero of this tale, the Irish patriot Roger Casement, ended his life on a London gallows. Two courageous black Americans, George Washington Williams and William Sheppard, risked much to bring evidence of the Congo atrocities to the outside world. Sailing into the middle of the story was a young Congo River steamboat officer named Joseph Conrad. And looming above them all, the duplicitous billionaire King Leopold II. With great power and compassion, King Leopold's Ghost will brand the tragedy of the Congo—too long forgotten—onto the conscience of the West.”

Hochschild, Adam. King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa. Houghton Mifflin, 1998.

Facing the Congo: A Modern Day Journey into the Heart of Darkness

Facing the Congo: A Modern Day Journey into the Heart of Darkness

Jeffrey Tayker, 2001

Central—Congo

“Faced with an identity crisis in his work and his life, seasoned traveler and journalist Jeffrey Tayler made a bold decision. He would leave behind his mundane existence in Moscow to re-create the legendary British explorer Henry Stanley’s trip down the Congo in a dugout canoe, stocked with food, medicine, and even a gun-toting guide. But once his tiny boat pushed off the banks of this mysterious river, Tayler realized he was in a place where maps and supplies would have no bearing on his survival. As Tayler navigates this immense waterway, he encounters a land of smothering heat and intense rains, wary villagers, corrupt officials and dead-eyed soldiers demanding bribes, jungle animals, mosquitoes, and, surprisingly, breathtaking natural beauty. 

“Filled with honesty and rich description, Facing the Congo is a sophisticated depiction of today’s Democratic Republic of the Congo, a country brought to its knees by a succession of despotic leaders. But most important, Tayler’s stunning narrative is a deeply satisfying personal journey of fear and awakening, with a message that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt compelled, whether in life or in fantasy, to truly explore and experience our world.”

Tayler, Jeffrey. Facing the Congo: A Modern Day Journey into the Heart of Darkness. Broadway Books, 2001.

The Congo from Leopold to Kabila: A People’s History

The Congo from Leopold to Kabila: A people’s History

Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja, 2002

Central—Congo

“The people of the Congo have suffered from a particularly brutal colonial rule, American interference after independence, decades of robbery at the hands of the dictator Mobutu and periodic warfare which continues even now in the East of the country. But, as this insightful political history makes clear, the Congolese people have not taken these multiple oppressions lying down and have fought over many years to establish democratic institutions at home and free themselves from foreign exploitation; indeed these are two aspects of a single project.

“Professor Nzongola-Ntalaja is one of his country's leading intellectuals and his panoramic understanding of the personalities and events, as well as class, ethnic and other factors, make his book a lucid, radical and utterly unromanticized account of his countrymen's struggle. His people's defeat and the state's post-colonial crisis are seen as resulting from a post-independence collapse of the anti-colonial alliance between the masses and the national leadership.

“This book is essential reading for understanding what is happening in the Congo and the Great Lakes region under the rule of the late President Kabila, and now his son. It will also stand as a milestone in how to write the modern political history of Africa.”

Nzongola-Ntalaja, Georges. The Congo from Leopold to Kabila: A People’s History. Zed Books, 2002.

Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest Explorer

Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest Explorer

Tim Jeal, 2013

Central—Congo

“Henry Morton Stanley, so the tale goes, was a cruel imperialist who connived with King Leopold II of Belgium in horrific crimes against the people of the Congo. He also conducted the most legendary celebrity interview in history, opening with, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"

“But these perceptions are not quite true, Tim Jeal shows in this grand and colorful biography. With unprecedented access to previously closed Stanley family archives, Jeal reveals the amazing extent to which Stanley’s public career and intimate life have been misunderstood and undervalued. Jeal recovers the reality of Stanley’s life―a life of almost impossible extremes―in this moving story of tragedy, adventure, disappointment, and success.

“Few have started life as disadvantaged as Stanley. Rejected by both parents and consigned to a Welsh workhouse, he emigrated to America as a penniless eighteen-year-old. Jeal vividly re-creates Stanley’s rise to success, his friendships and romantic relationships, and his life-changing decision to assume an American identity. Stanley’s epic but unfairly forgotten African journeys are thrillingly described, establishing  the explorer as the greatest to set foot on the continent. Few biographies can claim so thoroughly to reappraise a reputation; few portray a more extraordinary historical figure.”

Jeal, Tim. Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest Explorer. Yale University Press, 2013.

Livingstone

Livingstone

Tim Jeal, 2013

Central—Congo

“David Livingstone (1813–1873) is revered as one of history’s greatest explorers and missionaries, the first European to cross Africa, and the first to find Victoria Falls and the source of the Congo River. In this exciting new edition, Jeal draws on fresh sources and archival discoveries to provide the most fully rounded portrait of this complicated man—dogged by failure throughout his life despite his full share of success.

“Using Livingstone’s original field notebooks, Jeal finds that the explorer’s problems with his African followers were far graver than previously understood. From recently discovered letters he elaborates on the explorer’s decision to send his wife Mary back home to England. He also uncovers fascinating information about Livingstone’s importance to the British Empire and about his relationship with the journalist-adventurer Henry Morton Stanley. In addition Jeal here evokes the full pathos of the explorer’s final journey. This masterful, updated biography also features an excellent selection of new maps and illustrations.”

Jeal, Tim. Livingstone. Yale University Press, 2013.

Battle for the Bundu: The First World War in East Africa

Battle for the Bundu: The First World War in East Africa

Charles Miller, 1974 – Out of Print

East—World War I

"The Battle for the Bundu puts the reader on the front lines in one of the more obscure yet most fascinating theaters of the First World War. The book's narrative is clear and the story it tells of fascinating personalities, human virtues and foibles, and of the the always fascinating and often harrowing face of war is more than compelling. I recommend this book without reservation for military history enthusiasts and for those who wish to gain insights into the worlds of the late colonial and of the post-colonial eras of sub-Saharan Africa."

Miller, Charles. Battle for the Bundu: The First World War in East Africa. Westland Sundries, 1976.

Layers of Time: History of Ethiopia.

Layers of Time: History of Ethiopia

Paul B. Henze, 2000

Horn—Ethiopia

“Ethiopia is one of the oldest countries in the world. As the Aksumite Empire, it became a world power, its Emperor Ezana converting to Christianity in 330 AD. Alone in sub-Saharan Africa, Ethiopians developed coinage and writing systems. This volume traces the country’s expansion southward during medieval times, its resistance to Muslim invasion and, under energetic leaders, its defence of its independence during the European scramble for Africa. Paul Henze’s History of Ethiopia is not only concerned with kings, princes and politicians but includes insights into daily life, art, architecture, religion, culture, customs and the observations of travellers, and is enlivened by the personal reminiscences of Ethiopians.”

Henze, Paul B. Layers of Time: History of Ethiopia. Hurst Publishers, 2000.

A History of Ethiopia, Updated Edition

A History of Ethiopia, Updated Edition

Harold G. Marcus, 2002

Horn—Ethiopia

“In this eminently readable, concise history of Ethiopia, Harold Marcus surveys the evolution of the oldest African nation from prehistory to the present. For the updated edition, Marcus has written a new preface, two new chapters, and an epilogue, detailing the development and implications of Ethiopia as a Federal state and the war with Eritrea.”

Marcus, Herald G. A History of Ethiopia, Updated Edition. University of California Press, 2002.

Ethiopia, The Unknown Land: A Cultural and Historical Guide

Ethiopia, The Unknown Land: A Cultural and Historical Guide

Stuart Munro-Hay, 2002

Horn—Ethiopia

“Ethiopia, legendary home of the Queen of Sheba who travelled to Jerusalem to meet Solomon, resting-place of the Ark of the Covenant and battleground of the great emperors from Ezana in the 4th century AD to Haile Selassie in modern times, has inspired many travellers and writers since time immemorial. Recently few have journeyed there or, indeed, have any conception of the extraordinary cultural treasures that await visitors. Stuart Munro-Hay knows Ethiopia intimately, having lived and researched there over many years. He has produced the first truly comprehensive guide to the monuments of this beautiful, culture-steeped country, as well as offering a literary companion. Here is a guide to Ethiopia's architecture, geography, peoples, art and history, embracing all the major sites of the land over the ages. It will become the classic reference guide.”

Munro-Hay, Stuart. Ethiopia, The Unknown Land: A Cultural and Historical Guide. I.B. Tauris, 2002.

Islamism and Its Enemies in the Horn of Africa

Islamism and Its Enemies in the Horn of Africa

Alex Waal, 2004

Horn—Religion; Islam

“Militant Islam is a powerful force in the Horn of Africa, and the U.S. war on terrorism has thrown the region and its politics into the international spotlight. Since the 1990s, when a failed U.S. military mission was called in to maintain order, Islamist organizations, with heavy sponsorship from Saudi Arabia, have multiplied and established much-needed health and education services in the region. However, despite the good that they are clearly providing, these organizations are labeled "terrorist" by the U.S. Islamist extremists have been found to be responsible for the deadly embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania and the attack on an Israeli jet in Mombasa. Since September 11, 2001, global effort has been concentrated on bringing these groups to their knees. Focusing on how Islamist movements have been viewed post-9/11 and how the U.S. agenda is being translated into local struggles in the region, this book is an important step toward understanding the complex dynamics that enfold the region.”

De Waal, Alex. Islamism and Its Enemies in the Horn of Africa. Indiana University Press, 2004.

A Modern History of the Somali: Nation and State in the Horn of Africa

A Modern History of the Somali: Nation and State in the Horn of Africa

I. M. Lewis, 2003

Horn—Somalia

“This latest edition of A Modern History of the Somali brings I. M. Lewis's definitive history up to date and shows the amazing continuity of Somali forms of social organization. Lewis's history portrays the ingeniousness with which the Somali way of life has been adapted to all forms of modernity.”

Lewis, I.M. A Modern History of the Somali: Nation and State in the Horn of Africa. Ohio University Press, 2003.

The Root Causes of Sudan’s Civil Wars (African Issues) Updated to the Peace Agreement ed.

The Root Causes of Sudan’s Civil Wars (African Issues) Updated to the Peace Agreement ed.

Douglas Hamilton Johnson, 2003

North—Sudan

“Sudan's post-independence history has been dominated by political and civil strife. Most commentators have attributed the country's recurring civil war either to an age-old racial divide between Arabs and Africans, or to recent colonially constructed inequalities. This book attempts a more complex analysis, briefly examining the historical, political, economic and social factors which have contributed to periodic outbreaks of violence between the state and its peripheries. In tracing historical continuities, it outlines the essential differences between the modern Sudan's first civil war in the 1960s and today, including an analysis of the escalation of the Darfur war, implementation of the 2005 peace agreement and implications of the Southern referendum in 2011 and the new war in Sudan's new south and South Sudan. The author also looks at the series of minor civil wars generated by, and contained within, the major conflict, as well as the regional and international factors - including humanitarian aid - which have exacerbated civil violence. This introduction is aimed at students of North-East Africa, and of conflict and ethnicity. It will be essential reading for those in aid and international organizations who need a straightforward analytical survey which will help them assess the prospects for a lasting peace in Sudan.”

Johnson, Douglas Hamilton. The Root Causes of Sudan’s Civil Wars, Updated Edition. The International Africa Institute and Indiana University Press, 2003.

Cry, the Beloved Country

Cry, the Beloved Country

Alan Paton, 1948

Southern—South Africa

Cry, the Beloved Country is the deeply moving story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son, Absalom, set against the background of a land and a people riven by racial injustice. Remarkable for its lyricism, unforgettable for character and incident, Cry, the Beloved Country is a classic work of love and hope, courage and endurance, born of the dignity of man.”

Paton, Alan. Cry, the Beloved Country. Simon & Schuster, 1948.

The Mind of South Africa

The Mind of South Africa

Allister Sparks, 1990 – Out of Print

Southern—South Africa

“A historical overview of racial conflict in South Africa traces the history of the Black African tribes, the colonial invasion of the Dutch and English, the impact of the discovery of gold and diamonds, and the evaluation of apartheid.”

Sparks, Allister. The Mind of South Africa. Ballantine Books, 1990.

Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, 1994

Southern—South Africa

“Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. Since his triumphant release in 1990 from more than a quarter-century of imprisonment, Mandela has been at the center of the most compelling and inspiring political drama in the world. As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africa's antiapartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial government and majority rule. He is revered everywhere as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality.

“Long Walk to Freedom is his moving and exhilarating autobiography, destined to take its place among the finest memoirs of history's greatest figures. Here for the first time, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela tells the extraordinary story of his life--an epic of struggle, setback, renewed hope, and ultimate triumph.”

Mandela, Nelson. Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela. Back Bay Books, 1994.

The Washing of the Spears: The Rise and Fall of the Zulu Nation

The Washing of the Spears: The Rise and Fall of the Zulu Nation

Donald R. Morris, first published 1965, republished 1998

Southern—South Africa

“Filled with colorful characters, dramatic battles like Isandhlwana and Rorke's Drift, and an inexorable narrative momentum, this unsurpassed history details the sixty-year existence of the world's mightiest African empire—from its brutal formation and zenith under the military genius Shaka (1787–1828), through its inevitable collision with white expansionism, to its dissolution under Cetshwayo in the Zulu War of 1879.”

Morris, Donald. The Washing of the Spears: The Rise and Fall of the Zulu Nation. Da Capo Press, 1998.

Mandela: The Authorized Biography

Mandela: The Authorized Biography

Anthony Sampson, 1999

Southern—South Africa

“Long after his presidency of South Africa, Nelson Mandela remained an inspirational figure to millions – both in his homeland and far beyond. He has been, without doubt, one of the most important figures in global history. His death, on 5 December 2013 at the age of 95, resonated around the world.

“Mandela's opposition to apartheid and his 27 year incarceration at the hands of South Africa's all-white regime are familiar to most. In this utterly compelling book, eminent biographer Anthony Sampson draws on a fifty year-long relationship to reveal the man who rocked a continent – and changed its future.

“With unprecedented access to the former South African president – the letters he wrote in prison, his unpublished jail autobiography, extensive conversations, and interviews with hundreds of colleagues, friends, and family – Sampson depicts the realities of Mandela's private and public life, and the tragic tension between them. Updated after Sampson's death with a new afterword by distinguished South African journalist John Battersby, this is the ultimate biography of one of the twentieth century's greatest statesmen.”

Sampson, Anthony. Mandela: The Authorized Biography. HarperCollins, 1999.

The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots from a Hidden War

The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots from a Hidden War

Greg Marinovich, Joao Silva, 2001

Southern—South Africa

“The Bang-Bang Club was a group of four young war photographers, friends and colleagues: Ken Oosterbroek, Kevin Carter, Greg Marinovich and Joao Silva, war correspondants during the last years of apartheid, who took many of the photographs that encapsulate the final violent years of racist white South Africa. Two of them won Pulitzer Prizes for individual photos. Ken, the oldest and a mentor to the others, died, accidentally shot while working; Kevin, the most troubled of the four, committed suicide weeks after winning his Pulitzer for a photograph of a starving baby in the Sudanese famine. Written by Greg and Joao, The Bang-Bang Club tells their uniquely powerful war stories. It tells the story of four remarkable young men, the stresses, tensions and moral dilemmas of working in situations of extreme violence, pain and suffering, the relationships between the four and the story of the end of apartheid. An immensely powerful, riveting and harrowing book, and an invakuable contribution to the literary genre of war photography. An eye-opening book for readers of Susan Sontag.”

Marinovich, Greg and Joao Silva. The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots from a Hidden War. Penguin, 2001.

Diamonds, Gold, and War: The British, the Boers, and the Making of South Africa

Diamonds, Gold, and War: The British, the Boers, and the Making of South Africa

Martin Meredith, 2007

Southern—South Africa

“Southern Africa was once regarded as a worthless jumble of British colonies, Boer republics, and African chiefdoms, a troublesome region of little interest to the outside world. But then prospectors chanced upon the world’s richest deposits of diamonds and gold, setting off a titanic struggle between the British and the Boers for control of the land. The result was the costliest, bloodiest, and most humiliating war that Britain had waged in nearly a century, and the devastation of the Boer republics. The New Yorker calls this magisterial account of those years [an] astute history. Meredith expertly shows how the exigencies of the diamond (and then gold) rush laid the foundation for apartheid.”

Mereditch, Martin. Diamonds, Gold, and War: The British, the Boers, and the Making of South Africa. PublicAffairs Books, 2007.

Military History of Modern South Africa

Military History of Modern South Africa

Ian Van der Waag, 2015

Southern—South Africa

“The 20th Century has been one of enduring, rapid and fundamental social and political change. In Southern Africa, innumerable wars, rebellions, uprisings and protests have marked the integration, disintegration and then reintegration of both society and subcontinent during this period. The century started with a brief but total war. Less than ten years later victorious Britain brought the conquered Boer republics, and the Cape and Natal colonies, together into the Union of South Africa. And the military of this early creation served not only in all of the major wars of the twentieth century, but also in a number of regional struggles: rebellion on the part of Afrikaner nationalists, industrial unrest fanned by syndicalists, and uprisings conducted chiefly but not exclusively by disenfranchised black South Africans. The century ended as it started, with a war. But this was a limited war, a flashpoint of the Cold War, which embraced more than just the subcontinent and lasted a long, twenty-three years. The first of its kind, A Military History of Modern South Africa provides an overview of South African military history from 1899 to 2000. Focusing on the campaigns and battles, it also brings discussion on the evolving military policy and the development of the South African military as an institution into a single volume.”

Van der Waag, Ian. Military History of Modern South Africa. Jonathan Ball Publishers, 2015.

Selous Scouts: Top Secret War

Selous Scouts: Top Secret War

Ron R. Daly, 1982

Southern—Zimbabwe

"The Selous Scouts were the toughest and most efficient killing machine anywhere in Africa, and its members consisted of the finest guerrilla fighting men in the Western world. Unconventional in many ways, disregardful of parade ground discipline, unorthodox in their dress, yet a force so tightly knit in the face of danger that those who knew anything about them could only marvel."

Daly, Ron R. Selous Scouts: Top Secret War. Galago Publishing, 1982.

Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa

Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa

Peter Godwin, 1996

Southern—Zimbabwe

Mukiwa opens with Peter Godwin, six years old, describing the murder of his neighbor by African guerillas, in 1964, pre-war Rhodesia. Godwin's parents are liberal whites, his mother a government-employed doctor, his father an engineer. Through his innocent, young eyes, the story of the beginning of the end of white rule in Africa unfolds. The memoir follows Godwin's personal journey from the eve of war in Rhodesia to his experience fighting in the civil war that he detests to his adventures as a journalist in the new state of Zimbabwe, covering the bloody return to Black rule. With each transition Godwin's voice develops, from that of a boy to a young man to an adult returning to his homeland. This tale of the savage struggle between blacks and whites as the British Colonial period comes to an end is set against the vividly painted background of the myserious world of South Africa.”

Godwin, Peter. Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa. Gove Press, 2004.

The Africans

The Africans

David Lamb, 1982

Sub-Sahara—General

“During the four years he spent in black Africa as the bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, David Lamb traveled through almost every country south of the Sahara, logging more than 300,000 miles. He talked to presidents and guerrilla leaders, university professors and witch doctors. He bounced from wars to coups oceans apart, catching midnight flights to little-known countries where supposedly decent people were doing unspeakable things to one another. In the tradition of John Gunther's Inside Africa, The Africans is an extraordinary combination of analysis and adventure. Part travelogue, part contemporary history, it is a portrait of a continent that sometimes seems hell-bent on destroying itself, and of people who are as courageous as they are long-suffering.”

Lamb, David. The Africans. Vintage, 1982.

Into Africa: A Guide to Sub-Saharan Culture and Diversity, 2nd ed.

Into Africa: A Guide to Sub-Saharan Culture and Diversity, 2nd ed.

Yale Richmond, Phyllis Gestrin, 2009

Sub-Sahara—Culture

“Across the globe, Africa is seen as the final frontier for economic development and has experienced renewed attention from both Western and Eastern nations, particularly in the last decade. The U.S., India, China and parts of Europe have all increased foreign direct investment in Africa, and yet the complexity and diversity of this vast continent pose risks and challenges for those investments.

“For more than a decade, Into Africa has provided valuable advice to those who are interested in traveling to, living in or working in sub-Saharan Africa-businesspeople, human rights and development workers, diplomats, academics and trainers-and anyone else who seeks a better understanding of the cultural characteristics of this dynamic part of the world.

“With depth and sensitivity, Into Africa examines the effects of community, ethnicity and language on doing business and establishing professional and personal relationships in African countries. The book explores regional differences, offers detailed guidelines for conducting training programs in Africa and examines issues that reflect the complex relationships involved. This new and expanded edition of Into Africa brings a fresh view on sub-Saharan Africa, showing how the nations of Africa have adapted to Western ways while retaining their cultural traditions and diversity.“

Richmond, Yale and Phyllis Gestrin. Into Africa: A Guide to Sub-Saharan Culture and Diversity. 2nd ed. Nicholas Brealey Publishers, 2010.

Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa

Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa

Samuel Aryeetey-Attoh, 1997

Sub-Sahara—Geography

“This text provides a systematic, thematic approach to the multi-faceted aspects of the physical and human geography of Sub-Saharan Africa. Designed to expose the student to a variety of contemporary ideas, theories, and concepts in African geography and their applicability in “real world” situations, each chapter is written by an expert in the field. Key definitions and basic geographic principles are specified in each chapter, giving students a more comprehensive view of the themes presented and enabling instructors to tailor their curriculum. A complete revision of the text affords space for recent developments and data that are important to understanding the geography of the region.”

Aryeetey-Attoh, Samuel. Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa. 3rd ed. Pearson, 2009.

Travels in West Africa

Travels in West Africa

Mary Kingsley, 1897

West—Colonialism

“Until 1893, Mary Kingsley lived the typical life of a single Victorian woman, tending to sick relatives and keeping house for her brother. However, on the death of her parents, she undertook an extraordinary decision: with no prior knowledge of the region, she set out alone to West Africa to pursue her anthropological interests and collect botanical specimens. Her subsequent book, published in 1897, is a testament to understatement and humour - few explorers made less of the hardships and dangers experienced while travelling (including unaccompanied treks through dangerous jungles and encounters with deadly animals). Travels in West Africa would challenge (as well as reinforce) contemporary Victorian prejudices about Africa, and also made invaluable contributions to the fields of botany and anthropology. Above all, however, it has stood the test of time as a gripping, classic travel narrative by a woman whose sense of adventure and fascination with Africa transformed her whole life.”

Kingsley, Mary. Travels in West Africa. National Geographic, 2002.

The Fall of the Asante Empire: The Hundred-Year War for Africa’s Gold Coast

The Fall of the Asante Empire: The Hundred-Year War for Africa’s Gold Coast

Robert B. Edgerton, 1995

West—Ghana

“Telling the Asantes' story of their hundred-year war with the British Empire--from 1807 to 1900--a saga of massive resistance against overwhelming odds reveals a wealthy, sophisticated culture and balances our view of native African societies.”

Edgerton, Robert B. The Fall of the Asante Empire: The Hundred-Year War for Africa’s Gold Coast. Free Press, 1995.

West Africa Before the Colonial Era: A History to 1850

West Africa Before the Colonial Era: A History to 1850

Basil Davidson, 1998

West—History

“This is a survey of pre-colonial West Africa, written by the internationally respected author and journalist, Basil Davidson. He takes as his starting point his successful text A History of West Africa 1000-1800, but he has reworked his new text specially for a wider international readership. In the process he offers a fascinating introduction to the rich societies and cultures of Africa before the coming of the Europeans.”

Davidson, Basil. West Africa Before the Colonial Era: A History to 1850. Routledge, 1998.

The Mask of Anarchy: The Destruction of Liberia and the Religious Dimension of an African Civil War

The Mask of Anarchy: The Destruction of Liberia and the Religious Dimension of an African Civil War

Stephen Ellis, 2001

West—Liberia

“The Liberian civil war generated some of the most frightening news images of the recent past: camera crews and photographers recorded striking pictures of teenage boys, high on drugs, firing machine guns while dressed in masks or women's clothes. Men of the infamous "Butt Naked Brigade" fought street battles without the benefit of clothing. There were so many cases of gunmen eating their victims' hearts and other body parts that the Catholic Church had to issue a formal denunciation of the practice. The Mask of Anarchy tells the story of the war, and explains why it unfolded in such dramatic fashion. The keys to understanding the fighters' behavior are to be found among the religious and cultural repertoires that once formed the core of rural Liberian life but which became deformed and abused in over a century of foreign settlement.”

Ellis, Stephen. The Mask of Anarchy: The Destruction of Liberia and the Religious Dimension of an African Civil War. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2001.

Blood Diamonds: Tracing the Deadly Path of the World’s Most Precious Stones

Blood Diamonds: Tracing the Deadly Path of the World’s Most Precious Stones

Greg Campbell, 2002

West—Sierra Leone

“First discovered in 1930, the diamonds of Sierra Leone have funded one of the most savage rebel campaigns in modern history. These "blood diamonds" are smuggled out of West Africa and sold to legitimate diamond merchants in London, Antwerp, and New York, often with the complicity of the international diamond industry. Eventually, these very diamonds find their way into the rings and necklaces of brides and spouses the world over. Blood Diamonds is the gripping tale of how the diamond smuggling works, how the rebel war has effectively destroyed Sierra Leone and its people, and how the policies of the diamond industry - institutionalized in the 1880s by the De Beers cartel - have allowed it to happen. Award-winning journalist Greg Campbell traces the deadly trail of these diamonds, many of which are brought to the world market by fanatical enemies. These repercussions of diamond smuggling are felt far beyond the borders of the poor and war-ridden country of Sierra Leone, and the consequences of overlooking this African tragedy are both shockingly deadly and unquestionably global. Updated with a new epilogue.”

Campbell, Greg. Blood Diamonds: Tracing the Deadly Path of the World’s Most Precious Stones. Basic Books, 2002.

How De Body? One Man’s Terrifying Journey through an African War

How De Body? One Man’s Terrifying Journey through an African War

Teun Voeten, 2002

West—Sierra Leone

“Most in the calamities that have captured the headlines in recent months is the civil war that has raged in the tiny Western African nation of Sierra Leone for nearly a decade. In 1998, acclaimed photojournalist Teun Voeten headed to Sierra Leone for what he thought would be a standard assignment on the child soldiers there -- many of whom are only seven years old. No sooner had Voeten arrived, the cease-fire ended, and the battle between peacekeeping forces and the military junta erupted in full force. Taking refuge in the bush from rebels intent on killing him, Voeten was convinced his life was about to end.

How de Body? is Voeten's amazing story of survival and escape in a nation engulfed by civil war and features his award-winning, and heartbreaking, black-and-white photographs -- many of which have appeared in Vanity Fair -- from his multiple trips to this conflicted area.”

Voeten, Teun. How De Body? One Man’s Terrifying Journey through an African War. Thomas Dunne Books, 2002.

The First World War in Africa

The First World War in Africa

Hew Strachan—2004—Africa in WWI

“To Arms is Hew Strachan's most complete and definitive study of the opening of the First World War. Now, key sections from this magisterial work are published as individual paperbacks, each complete in itself, and with a new introduction by the author. The First World War was not just fought in the trenches of the western front. It embraced all of Africa. Embracing the perspectives of all the nations who fought there, this is the first ever full account of the Great War in Africa.”

Strachan, Hew. The First World War in Africa. Oxford University Press, 2004

Africa Works: Disorder as Political Instrument

Africa Works: Disorder as Political Instrument

Patrick Chabal, Jean-Pascal Daloz, 1999

Africa—Culture

“How do political systems in Africa work? Is the "real" business of politics taking place outside the scope of standard political analysis, in an "informal" or more personalized setting? How are the prospects for reform and renewal in African societies affected by the emerging elites? Is "modernisation" in Africa different? Are there within African countries social, political and cultural factors which aspire to the continuation of patrimony and conspire against economic development?

“Relations of power between rulers and the ruled continue to inform the role of the state and the expectations of the newly emphasized civil society. The question of identity, the resurgence of ethnicity and its attendant "tribal" politics, the growing importance of African religions and the increasing resort to extreme and often ritualised violence in situations of civil disorder, point to a process of "re-traditionalising" in African societies.”

Chabal, Patrick and Jean-Pascal Daloz. Africa Works: Disorder as Political Instrument. Indiana University Press, 1999.

Africana: The Encyclopedia of African and African American Experience

Africana: The Encyclopedia of African and African American Experience

Kwame Anthony Appiah, Henry Louis Gates, 1999

Africa—General

“Ninety years after W.E.B. Du Bois first articulated the need for "the equivalent of a black Encyclopedia Britannica," Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates Jr., realized his vision by publishing Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience in 1999.

“This new, greatly expanded edition of the original work broadens the foundation provided by Africana. Including more than one million new words, Africana has been completely updated and revised. New entries on African kingdoms have been added, bibliographies now accompany most articles, and the encyclopedia's coverage of the African diaspora in Latin America and the Caribbean has been expanded, transforming the set into the most authoritative research and scholarly reference set on the African experience ever created.

“More than 4,000 articles cover prominent individuals, events, trends, places, political movements, art forms, business and trade, religion, ethnic groups, organizations and countries on both sides of the Atlantic. African American history and culture in the present-day United States receive a strong emphasis, but African American history and culture throughout the rest of the Americas and their origins in African itself have an equally strong presence. The articles that make up Africana cover subjects ranging from affirmative action to zydeco and span over four million years from the earliest known hominids, to Sean "Diddy" Combs. With entries ranging from the African ethnic groups to members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Africana, Second Edition, conveys the history and scope of cultural expression of people of African descent with unprecedented depth.”

Appiah, Kwame Anthony and Henry Louis Gates. Africana: The Encyclopedia of African and African American Experience. Oxford University Press, 1999.

Surrender or Starve: Travels in Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea

Surrender or Starve: Travels in Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea

Robert D. Kaplan, 1988

Horn—Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea

“Robert D. Kaplan is one of our leading international journalists, someone who can explain the most complicated and volatile regions and show why they’re relevant to our world. In Surrender or Starve, Kaplan illuminates the fault lines in the Horn of Africa, which is emerging as a crucial region for America’s ongoing war on terrorism.

“Reporting from Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Eritrea, Kaplan examines the factors behind the famine that ravaged the region in the 1980s, exploring the ethnic, religious, and class conflicts that are crucial for understanding the region today. He offers a new foreword and afterword that show how the nations have developed since the famine, and why this region will only grow more important to the United States. Wielding his trademark ability to blend on-the-ground reporting and cogent analysis, Robert D. Kaplan introduces us to a fascinating part of the world, one that it would behoove all of us to know more about.”

Kaplan, Robert. Surrender or Starve: Travels in Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea. Vintage, 1988.

South from Barbary: Along the Slave Routes of the Libyan Sahara

South from Barbary: Along the Slave Routes of the Libyan Sahara

Justin Marozzi, 2001

North—Libya

South from Barbary – as 19th-century Europeans knew North Africa – is the compelling account of Justin Marozzi's 1,500-mile journey by camel along the slave-trade routes of the Libyan Sahara.

“Marozzi and his travelling companion Ned had never travelled in the desert, nor had they ridden camels before embarking on this expedition. Encouraged by a series of idiosyncratic Tuareg and Tubbu guides, they learnt the full range of desert survival skills, including how to master their five faithful camels.

“The caravan of two explorers, five camels with distinctive personalities and their guides undertook a gruelling journey across some of the most inhospitable territory on earth. Despite threats from Libyan officialdom and the ancient, natural hardships of the desert, Marozzi and Ned found themselves growing ever closer to the land and its people.

“More than a travelogue, South from Barbary is a fascinating history of Saharan exploration and efforts by early British explorers to suppress the African slave trade. It evokes the poetry and solitude of the desert, the companionship of man and beast, the plight of a benighted nation, and the humour and generosity of its resilient people.

“Written with infectious wit and insight, and a terrific historical grasp, this is a superbly readable travel book about a rarely visited but enthralling and immensely beautiful region of the world.”

Marozzi, Justin. South from Barbary: Along the Slave Routes of the Libyan Sahara. HarperCollins, 2001.

Morocco: The Islamist Awakening and Other Challenges

Morocco: The Islamist Awakening and Other Challenges

Marvine Howe, 2005

North—Morocco

“In Morocco, Marvine Howe, a former correspondent for The New York Times, presents an incisive and comprehensive review of the Moroccan kingdom and its people, past and present. She provides a vivid and frank portrait of late King Hassan, whom she knew personally and credits with laying the foundations of a modern, pro-Western state and analyzes the pressures his successor, King Mohammed VI has come under to transform the autocratic monarchy into a full-fledged democracy. Howe addresses emerging issues and problems--equal rights for women, elimination of corruption and correction of glaring economic and social disparities--and asks the fundamental question: can this ancient Muslim kingdom embrace western democracy in an era of deepening divisions between the Islamic world and the West?”

Howe, Marvine. Morocco: The Islamist Awakening and Other Challenges. Oxford University Press, 2005.

Piracy and Terrorism

The Horn of Africa: Politics and International Relations

The Horn of Africa: Politics and International Relations

Peter Woodward, 1996

Horn—International Relations

“Nowhere is the crumbling of state structures more self-evident than in Somalia, the Sudan and Ethiopia. Drawing on a wide range of little-known material, this book presents an overview of structural disintegration in the Horn of Africa from the dual perspectives of domestic and international political developments. The breakdown of these three major states is due, according to Woodward, to the ravages of civil war. He argues that, while all three conflicts arise from domestic issues, their scale has been magnified by international involvement which has also linked the three countries together, with Ethiopia as the crux. The Horn of Africa is a study of the national and international dimensions of these conflicts, examining not only the relations between the three countries, but also their relations with a variety of regional actors as well as with the superpowers.”

Woodward, Peter. The Horn of Africa: Politics and International Relations. IB Tauris, 1996.

Islamism and Its Enemies in the Horn of Africa

Islamism and Its Enemies in the Horn of Africa

Alex Waal, 2004

Horn—Religion; Islam

“Militant Islam is a powerful force in the Horn of Africa, and the U.S. war on terrorism has thrown the region and its politics into the international spotlight. Since the 1990s, when a failed U.S. military mission was called in to maintain order, Islamist organizations, with heavy sponsorship from Saudi Arabia, have multiplied and established much-needed health and education services in the region. However, despite the good that they are clearly providing, these organizations are labeled "terrorist" by the U.S. Islamist extremists have been found to be responsible for the deadly embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania and the attack on an Israeli jet in Mombasa. Since September 11, 2001, global effort has been concentrated on bringing these groups to their knees. Focusing on how Islamist movements have been viewed post-9/11 and how the U.S. agenda is being translated into local struggles in the region, this book is an important step toward understanding the complex dynamics that enfold the region.”

De Waal, Alex. Islamism and Its Enemies in the Horn of Africa. Indiana University Press, 2004.

A Modern History of the Somali: Nation and State in the Horn of Africa

A Modern History of the Somali: Nation and State in the Horn of Africa

I. M. Lewis, 2003

Horn—Somalia

“This latest edition of A Modern History of the Somali brings I. M. Lewis's definitive history up to date and shows the amazing continuity of Somali forms of social organization. Lewis's history portrays the ingeniousness with which the Somali way of life has been adapted to all forms of modernity.”

Lewis, I.M. A Modern History of the Somali: Nation and State in the Horn of Africa. Ohio University Press, 2003.

The Pirates of Somalia: Inside Their Hidden World

The Pirates of Somalia: Inside Their Hidden World

Jay Bahadur, 2011

Horn—Somalia

“The first close-up look at the hidden world of Somali pirates by a young journalist who dared to make his way into their remote havens and spent a year infiltrating their lives.

“For centuries, stories of pirates have captured imaginations around the world. The recent ragtag bands of pirates off the coast of Somalia, hijacking multimillion-dollar tankers owned by international shipping conglomerates, have brought the scourge of piracy into the modern era. Jay Bahadur’s riveting narrative exposé—the first of its kind—looks at who these men are, how they live, the forces that created piracy in Somalia, how the pirates spend the ransom money, how they deal with their hostages, among much, much more. It is a revelation of a dangerous world at the epicenter of political and natural disaster.”

Bahadur, Jay. The Pirates of Somalia: Inside Their Hidden World. Vintage, 2011.

Pirate Alley Commanding Task Force 151 Off Somalia

Pirate Alley Commanding Task Force 151 Off Somalia

Terry McKnight, Michael Hirsh, 201

Horn—Somalia

“Rear Admiral Terry McKnight, USN (Ret.) served as Commander, Counter-Piracy Task Force-Gulf of Aden. He wrote the first draft of the Navy’s handbook on fighting piracy while serving as the initial commander of Combined Task Force 151, an international effort to deploy naval vessels from several nations in a manner designed to prevent piracy in the Gulf of Aden and farther out into the Indian Ocean. McKnight personally commanded operations that disrupted several hijackings in progress, and resulted in the capture of sixteen Somali pirates. That’s when he ran head-on into the bizarre U.S. policy of catch-and-release, and realized that there’s a lot more to fighting piracy than just catching some skinny youngsters armed with AK-47s and RPGs.

“After his tour in the waters off the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, he retired from the Navy and began seriously researching the subject. As a result, he and his co-author, journalist Michael Hirsh, have put together a very readable book that serves as a comprehensive introductory course on the subject. Pirate Alley includes a behind-the-scenes look at the SEAL Team 6 takedown of the pirates who had kidnapped Captain Richard Phillips of the Maersk Alabama. It also reveals what a young Ph.D. candidate from Duke University found during three months on the ground in Somali pirate villages.

Pirate Alley explores every aspect of Somali piracy, from how the pirates operate to how the actions of a relative handful of youthful criminals and their bosses have impacted the world economy. The book examines various answers to the question “How do you solve a problem like Somalia?” It explores the debate over the recently adopted practice of putting armed guards aboard merchant ships, and focuses on the best management practices that are changing the ways that ships are outfitted for travel through what’s known as the High Risk Area. Readers will learn that the consequence of protecting high quality targets such as container ships and crude oil carriers may be that pirates turn to crime on land, such as the kidnapping of foreigners.

Pirate Alley also focuses on the worldwide economic impact of piracy, noting that despite claims that piracy is costing as much as $13 billion a year, one of the largest commercial shipping companies argues that over-reaching national and international shipping regulations have a significantly greater negative effect on the world’s economy than does piracy.

“In the book’s conclusion, McKnight contends that, in the interest of justice, nations need to beef up their ability to prosecute and imprison captured pirates. And that the United States has no choice but to continue to hew to a policy that was first stated in Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution: The Congress shall have Power…to define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations.”

McKnight, Terry and Michael Hirsh. Pirate Alley Commanding Task Force 151 Off Somalia. U.S. Naval Institute, 2011.

Me Against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan, and Rwanda

Me Against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan, and Rwanda

Scott Peterson, 2000

Horn—Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda

“As a foreign correspondent, Scott Peterson witnessed firsthand Somalia's descent into war and its battle against US troops, the spiritual degeneration of Sudan's Holy War, and one of the most horrific events of the last half century: the genocide in Rwanda.  In Me Against My Brother, he brings these events together for the first time to record a collapse that has had an impact far beyond African borders. In Somalia, Peterson tells of harrowing experiences of clan conflict, guns and starvation.  He met with warlords, observed death intimately and nearly lost his own life to a Somali mob. From ground level, he documents how the US-UN relief mission devolved into all out war - one that for America has proven to be the most formative post-Cold War debacle.  In Sudan, he journeys where few correspondents have ever been, on both sides of that religious front line, to find that outside "relief" has only prolonged war.  In Rwanda, his first-person experience of the genocide and well-documented analysis provide rare insight into this human tragedy. Filled with the dust, sweat and powerful detail of real-life, Me Against My Brother graphically illustrates how preventive action and a better understanding of Africa - especially by the US - could have averted much suffering. Also includes a 16-page color insert.”

Peterson, Scott. Me Against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan, and Rwanda. Routledge, 2000.

Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed

Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed

John Phillips, Martin Evans, 2008

North—Algeria

“After liberating itself from French colonial rule in one of the twentieth century’s most brutal wars of independence, Algeria became a standard-bearer for the non-aligned movement. By the 1990s, however, its revolutionary political model had collapsed, degenerating into a savage conflict between the military and Islamist guerillas that killed some 200,000 citizens.

“In this lucid and gripping account, Martin Evans and John Phillips explore Algeria’s recent and very bloody history, demonstrating how the high hopes of independence turned into anger as young Algerians grew increasingly alienated. Unemployed, frustrated by the corrupt military regime, and excluded by the West, the post-independence generation needed new heroes, and some found them in Osama bin Laden and the rising Islamist movement.

“Evans and Phillips trace the complex roots of this alienation, arguing that Algeria’s predicament―political instability, pressing economic and social problems, bad governance, a disenfranchised youth―is emblematic of an arc of insecurity stretching from Morocco to Indonesia. Looking back at the pre-colonial and colonial periods, they place Algeria’s complex present into historical context, demonstrating how successive governments have manipulated the past for their own ends. The result is a fractured society with a complicated and bitter relationship with the Western powers―and an increasing tendency to export terrorism to France, America, and beyond.”

Phillips, John and Martin Evans. Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed. Yale University Press, 2008.

 

Miscellaneous

Disease and Empire: The Health of European Troops in the Conquest of Africa

Disease and Empire: The Health of European Troops in the Conquest of Africa

Philip D. Curtin, 1998

Africa—Disease

“From 1815 to 1914, death rates of European soldiers, serving both at home and abroad, dropped by nearly ninety percent. But this drop applied mainly to soldiers in barracks. Soldiers on campaign, especially in the tropics, continued to die from disease at rates as high as ever. This book examines the practice of military medicine during the conquest of Africa, especially in the 1880s and 1890s. Curtin examines what was done, what was not done, and the impact of doctors' successes and failures on the willingness of Europeans to embark on imperial adventures.”

Curtin, Philip D. Disease and Empire: The Health of European Troops in the Conquest of Africa. Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Untapped: The Scramble for Africa’s Oil

Untapped: The Scramble for Africa’s Oil

John Ghazvinian, 2007

Africa—Energy

“Although Africa has long been known to be rich in oil, extracting it hadn’t seemed worth the effort and risk until recently. But with the price of Middle Eastern crude oil skyrocketing and advancing technology making reserves easier to tap, the region has become the scene of a competition between major powers that recalls the nineteenth-century scramble for colonization there. But what does this giddy new oil boom mean—for America, for the world, for Africans themselves? John Ghazvinian traveled through twelve African countries—from Sudan to Congo to Angola—talking to warlords, industry executives, bandits, activists, priests, missionaries, oil-rig workers, scientists, and ordinary people whose lives have been transformed—not necessarily for the better—by the riches beneath their feet. The result is a high-octane narrative that reveals the challenges, obstacles, reasons for despair, and reasons for hope emerging from one of the world’s energy hot spots.”

Ghazvinian, John. Untapped: The Scramble for Africa’s Oil. Mariner Books, 2007.

The Shadow of the Sun

The Shadow of the Sun

Ryszard Kapuscinski, 2001

Africa—General

“In 1957, Ryszard Kapuscinski arrived in Africa to witness the beginning of the end of colonial rule as the first African correspondent of Poland's state newspaper. From the early days of independence in Ghana to the ongoing ethnic genocide in Rwanda, Kapuscinski has crisscrossed vast distances pursuing the swift, and often violent, events that followed liberation. Kapuscinski hitchhikes with caravans, wanders the Sahara with nomads, and lives in the poverty-stricken slums of Nigeria. He wrestles a king cobra to the death and suffers through a bout of malaria. What emerges is an extraordinary depiction of Africa--not as a group of nations or geographic locations--but as a vibrant and frequently joyous montage of peoples, cultures, and encounters. Kapuscinski's trenchant observations, wry analysis and overwhelming humanity paint a remarkable portrait of the continent and its people. His unorthodox approach and profound respect for the people he meets challenge conventional understandings of the modern problems faced by Africa at the dawn of the twenty-first century.”

Kapuscinski, Ryszard. The Shadow of the Sun. Vintage, 2001.

The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS

The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS

Edward Hooper, Bill Hailton, 1999

African—HIV/AIDS

“Examines the possible source of HIV, analyzing a number of theories concerning its origins and investigating current scientific inquiries into HIV, AIDS, and the search for a cure.”

Hooper, Edward and Bill Hailton. The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS. Little, Brown and Company, 1999.

The Policy Factor: Agricultural Performance in Kenya and Tanzania

The Policy Factor: Agricultural Performance in Kenya and Tanzania

Michael Lofchie, 1989

East—Agriculture

Lofchie, Michael. The Policy Factor: Agricultural Performance in Kenya and Tanzania. Lynne Rienner Publishing, 1989.

Kaffir Boy: An Autobiography—The True Story of a Black Youth’s Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa

Kaffir Boy: An Autobiography—The True Story of a Black Youth’s Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa

Mark Mathabane, 1986

Southern—South Africa

“Mark Mathabane was weaned on devastating poverty and schooled in the cruel streets of South Africa's most desperate ghetto, where bloody gang wars and midnight police raids were his rites of passage. Like every other child born in the hopelessness of apartheid, he learned to measure his life in days, not years. Yet Mark Mathabane, armed only with the courage of his family and a hard-won education, raised himself up from the squalor and humiliation to win a scholarship to an American university.

“This extraordinary memoir of life under apartheid is a triumph of the human spirit over hatred and unspeakable degradation. For Mark Mathabane did what no physically and psychologically battered "Kaffir" from the rat-infested alleys of Alexandra was supposed to do -- he escaped to tell about it.”

Marthabane, Mark. Kaffir Boy: An Autobiography—The True Story of a Black Youth’s Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa. Free Press, 1986.

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