Matthew Quest's Reviews > The Black Man's Burden: Africa and the Curse of the Nation-State

The Black Man's Burden by Basil Davidson
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's review
Oct 06, 2012

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 exceptions to a basic decency and civilization that has always been its halmark. Davidson, who was an intelligence officer in the British army during World War II and helped fight fascism in Yugoslavia, is an excellent person to examine these questions. With that background, he went into the forests with the freedom fighters in Angola and Guinea-Bissau and this is why he became an outstanding informative scholar and friend of African liberation. He is a concise writer, who always affirms African civilization and self-government.
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