A landmark modern history of the “dark continent,” its politics, and its peoples
The end of the Second World War heralded the rapid end of European African empires. In 1945, only four African countries were independent; by 1963, thirty African states created the Organization of African Unity. Despite numerous problems, the 1960s were a time of optimism as Africans enjoyed their new independence, witnessed increases in prosperity, and prepared to tackle their political and economic problems in their own way.
By the 1990s, however, the high hopes of the 1960s had been dashed. Dictatorships by strongmen, corruption, civil wars, genocide, widespread poverty, and the interventions and manipulations of the major world powers had all relegated Africa
to the position of a Third World “basket case,” the poorest and leastdeveloped continent on the planet.
In Africa: A Modern History,
Guy Arnold brings a lifetime of thought and experience to his examination of the continent during these momentous years. He argues that imperialism has cast a long shadow and differentiates between external pressures to control Africa
and the internal failures of its leadership. Additionally, he asks whether twenty-first-century Africa
can promote its own recovery and renaissance.
At one thousand pages, and with more than fifty maps and fifty illustrations, Africa: A Modern History
will become the definitive reference work on Africa
in the twentieth century.