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

ISBN: 0812922107

ISBN13: 9780812922103

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

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Book Overview

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. North America: Times/Random House This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Basil Davidson digs the ugly root of contemporary African politics

This book really struck me as well-presented and fairly neutral. It pans over the cause-effect relationships and fallacies surrounding the African continent, delving into the problems of certain regions with meticulous insight and attention to the the status quo of Africa in light of its torn, wonderful, scattered, awe-ful past. Excellent read for anyone interested in Africa, though you may want to equip yourself with basic knowledge of the continent and it's peoples beforehand, for better understanding of some of the more intermediate topics presented.

Very important book

This book is one of my favorite histories of Africa because of the sensitivity and knowledge with which the author devotes himself to the topic of the post-colonial nation state in the world's most maligned continent. This is a good book for non-specialists, which explains with good writing and apt analogies to other troubled nation-projects (namely in Eastern Europe) how Africa did in fact have many indigenous nationalisms prior to colonial rule, which were thwarted and distorted by the imposed shackle of the national boundaries drawn by outsiders who knew nothing of Africa's own traditions, people, or nations. Many I've spoken to who do not have even the most rudimentary knowledge of Africa (most people that is!) are shocked when I tell them that the boundaries of all modern African nations were drawn at a conference in 1884 in Berlin with no Africans present, based on the geo-strategic concerns of the imperial powers, NOT on any linguistic/cultural unity in the territories created. But this basic fact, so crucial to understanding the fundamental problems facing 20th and 21st century Africa, deserves repeating, and nowhere have I seen any author treat it with as much concern and care as Davidson. Davidson's contribution to African history cannot be overstated; he has over the years earned the affection and trust of many Africans, who trust him perhaps more than they do any other European to write their history. More than most Europeans, Davidson emphatically and repeatedly asserts that Africa has the history and tools to build successful political entities based on their own values, not those imposed on them from outside. They did so prior to colonial rule, and they can in the future. Davidson is a treasure and this book is as well.

The most respect

Truly,one of the greatest historians in living memory.This is an analogy of where the african continent has been and is going.

Great to understand Africa's road to salvation

Maybe like the Israelites of old who had to wander for forty years before entering the promised land to shake off the servitude to Pharaoh mentality, African's will need many years after "independence" to shake off the colonized minds. Great book and should be read along with Franzt Fanons "The wretched of the Earth" to get a better understanding. As Albayruni said "The colonized trys to immitate the colonizer". Dashed hopes, disappointing "leaders" and continued interference has been the fate of Africa and Davidson gets to the very root of the crisis. It is one of confidence and will, resulting in Africans reviving the colonial state in indeginous garb.

Summation of a career?

Is this Basil Davidson's summation of his career? If it is, he can be proud that he brought to life aspects of history that, for generations, was left either buried, or unsaid. This book is an excellent analysis of post colonial Africa that is accessable to the main stream reader and to the person who is also already versed in aspects of African history.
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