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The present book follows in the worthy footsteps of its predecessor, AFRICA: A CONTINENT SELF-DESTRUCTS, by shining light on a the formative post-colonial period of the 1960s - a time little known in America - and presenting a "fair and balanced" assessment of the six most significant West African political figures of the period - William V.S. Tubman (Liberia), Felix Houphouet-Boigny (Cote d'Ivoire), Leopold Sedar Senghor (Senegal), Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (Nigeria), Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana), and Sekou Toure (Guinea) - and their influence, for good and for ill, on subsequent history in the subregion. While rightly criticizing the great powers for their Cold War-era conduct, Professor Schwab also courageously critiques the African leaders themselves for their sins of omission and commission. This book is an excellent introduction to West African political history.
The consequences of the malaise whose birth Professor Schwab chronicles can be seen by reference to the more detailed case studies, such those by Professor Amos Sawyer (THE EMERGENCE OF AUTOCRACY IN LIBERIA), Professor Adekeye Adebajo (LIBERIA'S CIVIL WAR), and Professor John Peter Pham (LIBERIA: PORTRAIT OF A FAILED STATE). The first, incidentally, was a former student of Professor's Schwab's.Designing West Africa: Prelude to 21st Century Calamity OverviewMany African countries are now described as "Fourth World nations," ones which essentially have no future. How could this have happened? Through the scope of the 1960s, the first decade of African independence, Peter Schwab presents a compelling and provocative answer to this question. Designing West Africa tells the story of a pivotal decade in African history, when the fate of the continent was decided. Focusing on the six most visible leaders of the period--Sékou Touré, Kwame Nkrumah, and others--Schwab shows how Africa served as a grounds to play out larger international conflicts, namely the Cold War. He does not fall back solely on blaming non-African involvement for the failure to build a viable leadership for the continent; rather, he critiques the African leaders themselves for their individual failings.
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