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

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  100 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Basil Davidson is among the most widely read and respected of Africa's historians, and is, as Roland Oliver, author of The Cambridge History of Africa, has observed, "the one best trusted in Black Africa itself." Now, in this often brilliant, unfailingly provocative work, he traces the roots of Africa's independence movement and puts the continent's present-day political i ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 1st 1992 by James Currey (first published 1992)
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Matthew Quest
An excellent study by the greatest popular historian of Africa. Davidson asks can the crisis of the nation-state in Africa be best understood comparatively with the crisis of the nation-state and ethnic conflict in Eastern Europe? This is an important contribution for two reasons. First, Africa is too often evaluated as "the dark cotninent" where there is perennial irrational forces from tribalism to civil war. Where European history can go through many atrocities and it is perceived these are e ...more
A good critique of post-colonial development in Africa, though liberal and not a radical analysis on the imperial relationships that some might argue were purposefully constructed between African nations and Europe and the U.S.
Still one of the best books on Africa I have ever read. If you like historical pairs, why not historical triplets, or quadruplets, or even sextuplets. His ability to put things into a historical timeline that crosses continents and literatures, brings old events into contemporary light. It's all about fractals. Funny how history is repreated.
I'm really enjoying this book so far, but I really, really, REALLY wish that they had scrapped the main title and just used the subtitle - go figure. Or at the very least, designed the cover differently - perhaps using a font for the main title that was so small it was invisible to the naked eye.
Jonathan Haley
The language is a little impenetrable at times but the big points stand out. Well worth the read to understand why nations are not the easiest way forward to development.
May 07, 2007 Alice rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those willing to toil through boring prose
Shelves: read-in-2007
Whatever the author had to offer from the book was lost on me. Fighting to stay awake through the dry, boring prose was an uphill and, ultimately, losing battle.
While the writing style in this book takes some time to get used to following, the author has a lot to say with some very valid points. It made me think.
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He is an acclaimed British historian, writer and Africanist, particularly knowledgeable on the subject of Portuguese Africa prior to the 1974 Carnation Revolution .

He has written several books on the current plight of Africa. Colonialism and the rise of African emancipation movements have been central themes of his work.

He is an Honorary Fellow of the London School of Oriental and African Studies
More about Basil Davidson...
Africa in History The Lost Cities of Africa The African Slave Trade Modern Africa: A Social and Political History West Africa before the Colonial Era: A History to 1850

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