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A State of Blood: The Inside Story of Idi Amin
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A State of Blood: The Inside Story of Idi Amin

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  98 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Written in exile, under tight security, here is Henry Kyemba's inside story of Idi Amin.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published (first published January 1st 1977)
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As I read this unbelievable memoir, I have a hard time understanding why Kyemba stayed as long as he did. I mean, even after Amin had his brother murdered he still came back to work for the tyrant thug. Reading these accounts of murder after murder after murder it starts to become unreal. I went to Kampala over Xmas time, however and I was shocked to learn that the people of Uganda do not hate Amin. In fact they credit him with producing some of the city's important architectural buildings, etc. ...more
I remember when Idi Amin was in the news regularly, in the seventies, as a really bad guy, but I did not know how evil he really was. I am doing a study, for my own education, on Uganda, and this book is a real eye-opening place to start. Horrible. The author spares no gory detail, and one can feel his anguish, not only at having to play a part in a corrupt and cruelly violent evil government, but also in having to witness the economic destruction of his home country. Sadly, the portrayal of Idi ...more
Andrew Ssempala
Wow! This true story will blow your head off for surprises. I was aware of how murderous Gen. Idi Amin was but I wasn't prepared for some of the bloodier incidences and the sense of danger that loomed over every public figure in Uganda at that time. The list of prominent people killed at the beginning of the book moreover gives a hint of how much the ordinary people must have suffered without the notice and attention of the international press.
Ashabaheebwa Timothy
The book seems to give an account of what happened during the time of Amin more so from someone in the inner circle. However the writer should have told us how the late Idi Amin managed to maintain his grip on power for so long with all the limitations he had.

I read A State of Blood shortly after returning from Uganda, maybe to gain a sense of perspective on the history of this country.

It was a compelling read, if a gruesome one. Henry Kyemba gives us his own insights into Idi Amin's regime: what it meant to be living in Uganda at that time but also what led to the regime and how he thought it would evolve (at the time of writing). Although it shouldn't be taken as a stand-alone document on Uganda under Idi Amin, it is an important testimony that de

When I purchased this book, I hoped to get a picture of Idi Amin's personality, and an inside story on how he maintained power. Instead I got a disconnected - though interesting - hodgepodge of anecdotes. The author states that he was a confidant of Amin's with whom he "could talk to at any time of the day or night," but he fails to explore Amin's character or tell us how he managed to maintain his hold on the government while Ugandan society fell apart.

I couldn't help but feeling that the autho
Couldn't put it down, it just seemed too horrible to be true that Idi Amin got away with as much as he did for so long. It is also unbelievable how long Kyemba stayed before defecting, but I guess better late than never. This book was published awhile ago but the world continues to allow the worst dictators to literally get away with mass murder, which is incomprehensible in this day and age.
Kalpana Behara
Doing a deep dive into understanding east Africa and this was a good start. Having visited Uganda and specifically the places mentioned in the book recently, this started feeling a bit personal as the narrative unfolded. A bit too detailed in parts but a very good perspective and a personal account of life in Uganda in the 70s. One perspective is never enough though.
Extremely interesting book. For a more recent piece by Kyemba, check out
Good thought the movie was grim, read the first-hand account by a former official and "friend" of Amin.
The real story of the Last King of Scotland.
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