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About The Book

'Meredith has given a spectacularly clear view of the African political jungle' Spectator

'This book is hard to beat... Elegantly written as well as unerringly accurate'
Financial Times

The fortunes of Africa have changed dramatically since the independence era began in 1957. As Europe’s colonial powers withdrew, dozens of new states were born. Africa was a continent rich in mineral resources and its economic potential was immense. Yet, it soon struggled with corruption, violence and warfare, with few states managing to escape the downward spiral.

So what went wrong? In this riveting and authoritative account, Martin Meredith examines the myriad problems that Africa has faced, focusing upon key personalities, events and themes of the independence era. He brings his compelling analysis into the modern day, exploring Africa’s enduring struggles for democracy and the rising influence of China. It is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the continent’s plight and its hopes for a brighter future.

About The Author

Martin Meredith is a journalist, biographer and historian who has written extensively on Africa and its recent history. He is the author of many books about the continent, including The State of Africa: A History of the Continent Since Independence; Diamonds, Gold and War: The Making of South AfricaThe Fortunes of Africa: A 5000-Year History of Wealth, Greed and Endeavour;  and Mandela: A Biography. He lives near Oxford.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (June 2, 2021)
  • Length: 784 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781471196416

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Raves and Reviews

‘As a narrative of Africa’s political trajectory since independence, this book is hard to beat … Elegantly written as well as unerringly accurate’

– Financial Times

‘Meredith is a sure guide to this colossal, sad story’

– Sunday Times

'You cannot even begin to understand contemporary African politics if you have not read this fascinating book'

– Bob Geldof

'As a popular introduction to the subject it could hardly be bettered'

– Piers Brendon, Sunday Telegraph

'A highly readable digest of half a century of woes in the cradle of mankind'

– Economist

'A brilliant and vitally important work for all who wish to understand Africa and its beleaguered people'

– Booklist

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