Tom Stacey

A Continent’s Curse

The State of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence

By

Free Press 752pp £20 order from our bookshop

Africa: A Modern History

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Atlantic Books 1028pp £35 order from our bookshop

Two formidable books, in unwitting rivalry, present us with the chronicle of Africa’s politics, wars, disease, and political and tribal violence over the past half-century, during which forty-eight of its lands, islands and archipelagos were released into sovereign statehood from colonial rule or calved from greater neighbours (Namibia from South Africa and Eritrea from Ethiopia), a further four (Egypt, South Africa, Ethiopia and Liberia) being already independent. 

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