African Interest

African Interest

  • Does Peacekeeping Work Shaping Belligerents Choices After Civil War by Virginia Page Fortna

    Does Peacekeeping Work Shaping Belligerents Choices After Civil War by Virginia Page Fortna

    Ksh 3999

    Brief Summary In the last fifteen years, the number, size, and scope of peacekeeping missions deployed in the aftermath of civil wars have increased exponentially. From Croatia and Cambodia, to Nicaragua and Namibia, international personnel have been sent to maintain peace around the world. But does peacekeeping work? And if so, how? In Does Peacekeeping Work? Virginia Page Fortna answers these questions through the systematic analysis of civil wars that have taken place since the end of the Cold War.  She compares peacekeeping and non-peacekeeping cases, and she investigates where peacekeepers go, showing that their missions are crucial to the most severe internal conflicts in countries and regions where peace is otherwise likely to falter. Fortna demonstrates that peacekeeping is an extremely effective policy tool, dramatically reducing the risk that war will resume. Moreover, she explains that relatively small and militarily weak consent-based peacekeeping operations are often just as effective as larger, more robust enforcement missions.  Fortna examines the causal mechanisms of peacekeeping, paying particular attention to the perspective of the peace kept--the belligerents themselves--on whose decisions the stability of peace depends.  Based on interviews with government and rebel leaders in Sierra Leone, Mozambique, and the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh, Does Peacekeeping Work? Demonstrates specific ways in which peacekeepers alter incentives, alleviate fear and mistrust, prevent accidental escalation to war, and shape political procedures to stabilize peace.  

  • Defeating Dictators Fighting Tyranny in Africa and Around the World

    Defeating Dictators Fighting Tyranny in Africa and Around the World

    Ksh 2399

    Brief Summary Despite billions of dollars of aid and the best efforts of the international community to improve economies and bolster democracy across Africa, violent dictatorships persist. As a result, millions have died, economies are in shambles, and whole states are on the brink of collapse.  Political observers and policymakers are starting to believe that economic aid is not the key to saving Africa. So what does the continent need to do to throw off the shackles of militant rule? African policy expert George Ayittey argues that before Africa can prosper, she must be free.  Taking a hard look at the fight against dictatorships around the world, from Ukraine's orange revolution in 2004 to Iran's Green Revolution last year, he examines what strategies worked in the struggle to establish democracy through revolution. Ayittey also offers strategies for the West to help Africa in her quest for freedom, including smarter sanctions and establishing fellowships for African students.  

  • Death and the Kings Horseman Play by Wole Soyinka

    Death and the Kings Horseman Play by Wole Soyinka

    Ksh 999

    Brief Summary Based on events that took place in Oyo, an ancient Yoruba city of Nigeria, in 1946, Wole Soyinka's powerful play concerns the intertwined lives of Elesin Oba, the king's chief horseman; his son, Olunde, now studying medicine in England; and Simon Pilkings, the colonial district officer.  The king has died and Elesin, his chief horseman, is expected by law and custom to commit suicide and accompany his ruler to heaven.  The stage is set for a dramatic climax when Pilkings learns of the ritual and decides to intervene and Elesin's son arrives home.  

  • After 430 by David G Maillu

    After 430 by David G Maillu

    Ksh 799

    Brief Summary After 4:30 rocketed the now reknown author, David G. Maillu, to become the most widely read, controversial and humorous writer in East Africa in the 1970s. Told in African traditional poetic or song-style, provocative and bluntly-critical, the book gives a refreshing and entertaining read.  It craftily unravels the problems of housewives, office secretaries, sex workers, with unusual frankness and remarkable clarity. Philosophically, Maillu penetrates beyond mere preoccupations with sex and reveals the pangs of moral purity in a culturally transitional African world governed by materialism. It is a must for champions of Women Liberation Movements. You are likely to find three copies of this book within one family for, when the husband is reading it, he doesn’t want his wife to know he is reading it. When the wife is reading it, she doesn’t want her husband to know she is reading it. And finally when the mature children are reading it, they don’t want the parents to know that they are reading it. Why? Find out.  

  • A Time for New Dreams by Ben Okri

    A Time for New Dreams by Ben Okri

    Ksh 1599

    Brief Summary Booker Prize-winning novelist, and one of Britain's foremost poets, Ben Okri is a passionate advocate of the written word. In A Time for New Dreams he breaks new ground in an unusual collection of linked essays, which address such diverse themes as childhood, self-censorship, the role of beauty, the importance of education and the real significance of the recent economic meltdown. Proving that 'true literature tears up the script' of how we see ourselves, A Time for New Dreams is provocative and thought-provoking. In an intriguing marriage of style and content, the concise but perfectly formed essays in this collection push the parameters of writing whilst asking profound questions about who we are and the future that awaits us.   

  • Black Klansman Race Hate and the Undercover Investigation of a Lifetime

    Black Klansman Race Hate and the Undercover Investigation of a Lifetime

    Ksh 1299

    Brief Summary The extraordinary true story of the black detective who goes undercover to investigate the KKK, the basis for the major motion picture written and directed by Spike Lee, and produced by Jordan Peele. When detective Ron Stallworth, the first black detective in the history of the Colorado Springs Police Department, comes across a classified ad in the local paper asking for all those interested in joining the Ku Klux Klan to contact a P.O. box, Detective Stallworth does his job and responds with interest, using his real name while posing as a white man. He figures he’ll receive a few brochures in the mail, maybe even a magazine, and learn more about a growing terrorist threat in his community. A few weeks later the office phone rings, and the caller asks Ron a question he thought he’d never have to answer, “Would you like to join our cause?” This is 1978, and the KKK is on the rise in the United States. Its Grand Wizard, David Duke, has made a name for himself, appearing on talk shows, and major magazine interviews preaching a “kinder” Klan that wants nothing more than to preserve a heritage, and to restore a nation to its former glory. Ron answers the caller’s question that night with a yes, launching what is surely one of the most audacious, and incredible undercover investigations in history. Ron recruits his partner Chuck to play the "white" Ron Stallworth, while Stallworth himself conducts all subsequent phone conversations. During the months-long investigation, Stallworth sabotages cross burnings, exposes white supremacists in the military, and even befriends David Duke himself. Black Klansman is an amazing true story that reads like a crime thriller, and a searing portrait of a divided America and the extraordinary heroes who dare to fight back.  

  • Somalia State Collapse and the Threat of Terrorism by Ken Menkhaus

    Somalia State Collapse and the Threat of Terrorism by Ken Menkhaus

    Ksh 2599

    Brief Summary This work explores Somalia's state collapse and the security threats posed by Somalia's prolonged crisis.  Communities are reduced to lawlessness, and the interests of commercial elites have shifted towards rule of law, but not a revived central state.  Terrorists have found Somalia inhospitable, using it mainly for short-term transshipment.   

  • Machete Season The Killers in Rwanda Speak by Jean Hatzfeld

    Machete Season The Killers in Rwanda Speak by Jean Hatzfeld

    Ksh 1599

    Brief Summary During the spring of 1994, in a tiny country called Rwanda, some 800,000 people were hacked to death, one by one, by their neighbors in a gruesome civil war. Several years later, journalist Jean Hatzfeld traveled to Rwanda to interview ten participants in the killings, eliciting extraordinary testimony from these men about the genocide they perpetrated.  As Susan Sontag wrote in the preface, Machete Season is a document that "everyone should read . . . [because making] the effort to understand what happened in Rwanda . . . is part of being a moral adult."  

  • Endgame in the Western Sahara What Future for Africas Last Colony by Toby Shelley

    Endgame in the Western Sahara What Future for Africas Last Colony by Toby Shelley

    Ksh 1899

    Brief Summary Why does this remote swathe of Sahara along the Atlantic seaboard concern the US and Europe? Why does Morocco maintain its occupation? Why has the UN Security Council prevaricated for three decades while the Sahrawis live under Moroccan rule or as refugees? In this revealing book, Financial Times journalist Toby Shelley examines the geopolitics involved. He brings out: • The little-known struggle of Sahrawis living under Moroccan rule to defend their identity. • US/European competition for influence in the Maghreb. • The natural resources at stake -- rich fishing grounds, phosphates, and the prospect of oil. • The reasons behind the UN failure to resolve what is now Africa's last decolonisation issue. • The evolution of the US-backed Baker Plan to settle the dispute. • How the Western Sahara's history and future is tangled up with Moroccan--Algerian rivalry. • The political development of Polisario, independence movement and state-in-waiting. Toby Shelley has talked to Polisario, Moroccan, Algerian and other diplomats. He has visited the territory and had access to opposition activists and Moroccan officials. In the refugee camps he interviewed the leadership of Polisario. What emerges is that the fate of the Western Sahara is being moulded by global and regional forces and that it is the Sahrawis under Moroccan rule who are best placed to influence that fate.     

  • The African Stakes of the Congo War by John F Clark

    The African Stakes of the Congo War by John F Clark

    Ksh 4199

    Brief Summary This is the only available book on the Congo war, the most important current conflict in Africa. Two chapters situate the war in its historical and theoretical context, while others survey the interests of the Congolese government, of the rebel groups, and of intervening states in the war.  These chapters reveal the underlying sources of the war and explain the strategies of the various combatants.  Other chapters examine the impact of the war on neighboring countries, individual citizens, refugees, and other non-state actors in the zone of conflict and beyond.  

  • Held Together by Pins Liberal Democracy under Siege in Africa by Tatah Mentan

    Held Together by Pins Liberal Democracy under Siege in Africa by Tatah Mentan

    Ksh 2899

    Brief Summary Once again, Africa is veering towards a precipice. The much-vaunted African renaissance, a three-way equation of a flowering of liberal democracy, culture, and economic growth appears to be in tatters. Instead, sagging economic performance, backsliding on liberal democracy and other human rights reforms, and increased national and regional tensions menace much of the continent. With globalization and the increased power of market forces to propel change, financial and commodity volatility have emerged as critical elements that African governments have had to factor into political calculations.  As political legitimacy began to be tied directly to economic success, the fallout from the continent s economic crisis appears to translate into political fragility. With sagging economic performance, political leaders are confronted by a force beyond their control, a power more radically unyielding than the domestic political opponents they had grown used to controlling by a combination of brute force, favoritism, or political manipulation rather than continue to pursue the uncertain path of liberal democracy.  Hence, liberal democracy is under siege in Africa. This book is a must read for scholars and students of democracy in underdeveloped societies rattled by political and economic earthquakes engendered by the rampaging forces of corporate capitalism. It would be particularly useful for its incisive deconstruction of government-sponsored alternative democratic frameworks and the political calculations at their heart.  

  • The Teeth May Smile But the Heart Does Not Forget by Andrew Rice

    The Teeth May Smile But the Heart Does Not Forget by Andrew Rice

    Ksh 1799

    Brief Summary The Teeth May Smile But the Heart Does Not Forget: Murder and Memory in Uganda. From a new star of American journalism, a riveting murder mystery that reveals the forces roiling today’s Africa From Rwanda to Sierra Leone, African countries recovering from tyranny and war are facing an impossible dilemma: to overlook past atrocities for the sake of peace or to seek catharsis through tribunals and truth commissions. Uganda chose the path of forgetting: after Idi Amin’s reign was overthrown, the new government opted for amnesty for his henchmen rather than prolonged conflict. Ugandans tried to bury their history, but reminders of the truth were never far from view. A stray clue to the 1972 disappearance of Eliphaz Laki led his son to a shallow grave—and then to three executioners, among them Amin’s chief of staff. Laki’s discovery resulted in a trial that gave voice to a nation’s past: as lawyers argued, tribes clashed, and Laki pressed for justice, the trial offered Ugandans a promise of the reckoning they had been so long denied. For four years, Andrew Rice followed the trial, crossing Uganda to investigate Amin’s legacy and the limits of reconciliation. At once a mystery, a historical accounting, and a portrait of modern Africa, The Teeth May Smile But the Heart Does Not Forget is above all an exploration of how—and whether—the past can be laid to rest.  

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