The end of the Second World War signalled the rapid end of the European African empires. In 1945, only four African countries were independent; by 1963, thirty African states created the Organization of African Unity. Despite formidable 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. Dictatorship by strongmen, corruption, civil wars and genocide, widespread poverty and the interventions and manipulations of the major powers had all relegated Africa to the position of an aid 'basket case', the world's poorest and least-developed continent. By exploring developments over the last fifteen years, including the impact of China, new IT technology and the Arab Spring, the rise of Nigeria as Africa's leading country and the recent refugee crisis, Guy Arnold brings his landmark history of modern Africa up to date and provides a fresh and insightful perspective on this troubled and misunderstood continent.
It is difficult to imagine a better source for reading up on Africa's history. -- Gordon Brewer * Scotland on Sunday * Vast and brilliant... orderly but still managing to nip down a fascinating byway when necessary... a groundbreaking book. -- Giles Foden * Guardian *
Guy Arnold has specialized in African and Third World Affairs for the last fifty years and is the author of a number of books on these themes. His first interest has been in Africa where his involvement began when he created a National Youth Service for Zambia on the eve of Independence. He has been a deeply sympathetic observer of African developments ever since. He lectures on international affairs and has worked as a consultant for agencies involved in developing countries.