Popular Eastern Africa Books

14+ [Hand Picked] Popular Books On Eastern Africa

Discover the list of some best books written on Eastern Africa by popular award winning authors. These book on topic Eastern Africa highly popular among the readers worldwide.

4.9/5

Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya by Caroline Elkins

Britain fought in the Second World War to save the world from fascism. But just a few years after the defeat of Hitler came the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya - a mass armed rebellion by the Kikuyu people, demanding the return of their land and freedom. The draconian response of Britain's colonial government was to detain nearly the entire Kikuyu population of one-and-a half-mi Britain fought in the Second World War to save the world from fascism. But just a few years after the defeat of Hitler came the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya - a mass armed rebellion by the Kikuyu people, demanding the return of their land and freedom. The draconian response of Britain's colonial government was to detain nearly the entire Kikuyu population of one-and-a half-million - to hold them in camps or confine them in villages ringed with barbed wire - and to portray them as sub-human savages. From 1952 until the end of the war in 1960 tens of thousands of detainees - and possibly a hundred thousand or more - died from the combined effects of exhaustion, disease, starvation and systemic physical brutality. Until now these events have remained untold, largely because the British government in Kenya destroyed most of its files. For the last eight years Caroline Elkins has conducted exhaustive research to piece together the story, unearthing reams of documents and interviewing several hundred Kikuyu survivors. Britain's Gulag reveals what happened inside Kenya's detention camps, as well as the efforts to conceal the truth. Now, for the first time, we can understand the full savagery of the Mau Mau war and the ruthless determination with which Britain sought to control its empire.

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3/5

Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan , Brett Helquist (Illustrator)

"If you are among evil people, you must be like the lion, gathering strength and awaiting your time." Africa is the only home Rachel Sheridan has ever known. But when influenza strikes down her missionary parents, she is left vulnerable prey to her family's wicked neighbors. Surrounded by greed and lies, Rachel is entangled in a criminal scheme and sent to England, where sh "If you are among evil people, you must be like the lion, gathering strength and awaiting your time." Africa is the only home Rachel Sheridan has ever known. But when influenza strikes down her missionary parents, she is left vulnerable prey to her family's wicked neighbors. Surrounded by greed and lies, Rachel is entangled in a criminal scheme and sent to England, where she is forced into a life of deception. Like the lion, she must be patient and strong, awaiting the moment when she can take control of her own fate—and find her way home again at last.

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4.5/5

Histories of the Hanged: The Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire by David Anderson

In "a gripping narrative that is all but impossible to put down" (Joseph C. Miller), Histories of the Hanged exposes the long-hidden colonial crimes of the British in Kenya. This groundbreaking work tells how the brutal war between the colonial government and the insurrectionist Mau Mau between 1952 and 1960 dominated the final bloody decade of imperialism in East Africa. In "a gripping narrative that is all but impossible to put down" (Joseph C. Miller), Histories of the Hanged exposes the long-hidden colonial crimes of the British in Kenya. This groundbreaking work tells how the brutal war between the colonial government and the insurrectionist Mau Mau between 1952 and 1960 dominated the final bloody decade of imperialism in East Africa. Using extraordinary new evidence, David Anderson puts the colonial government on trial with eyewitness testimony from over 800 court cases and previously unseen archives. His research exonerates the Kikuyu rebels; hardly the terrorists they were thought to be; and reveals the British to be brutal aggressors in a "dirty war" that involved leaders at the highest ranks of the British government. This astonishing piece of scholarship portrays a teetering colonial empire in its final phase; employing whatever military and propaganda methods it could to preserve an order that could no longer hold.

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4.5/5

Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih , Denys Johnson-Davies (Translator) , الطيب صالح

After years of study in Europe, the young narrator of Season of Migration to the North returns to his village along the Nile in the Sudan. It is the 1960s, and he is eager to make a contribution to the new postcolonial life of his country. Back home, he discovers a stranger among the familiar faces of childhood—the enigmatic Mustafa Sa’eed. Mustafa takes the young man into After years of study in Europe, the young narrator of Season of Migration to the North returns to his village along the Nile in the Sudan. It is the 1960s, and he is eager to make a contribution to the new postcolonial life of his country. Back home, he discovers a stranger among the familiar faces of childhood—the enigmatic Mustafa Sa’eed. Mustafa takes the young man into his confidence, telling him the story of his own years in London, of his brilliant career as an economist, and of the series of fraught and deadly relationships with European women that led to a terrible public reckoning and his return to his native land. But what is the meaning of Mustafa’s shocking confession? Mustafa disappears without explanation, leaving the young man—whom he has asked to look after his wife—in an unsettled and violent no-man’s-land between Europe and Africa, tradition and innovation, holiness and defilement, and man and woman, from which no one will escape unaltered or unharmed. Season of Migration to the North is a rich and sensual work of deep honesty and incandescent lyricism. In 2001 it was selected by a panel of Arab writers and critics as the most important Arab novel of the twentieth century.

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4.7/5

Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town by Paul Theroux

In Dark Star Safari the wittily observant and endearingly irascible Paul Theroux takes readers the length of Africa by rattletrap bus, dugout canoe, cattle truck, armed convoy, ferry, and train. In the course of his epic and enlightening journey, he endures danger, delay, and dismaying circumstances. Gauging the state of affairs, he talks to Africans, aid workers, missionar In Dark Star Safari the wittily observant and endearingly irascible Paul Theroux takes readers the length of Africa by rattletrap bus, dugout canoe, cattle truck, armed convoy, ferry, and train. In the course of his epic and enlightening journey, he endures danger, delay, and dismaying circumstances. Gauging the state of affairs, he talks to Africans, aid workers, missionaries, and tourists. What results is an insightful mediation on the history, politics, and beauty of Africa and its people. In a new postscript, Theroux recounts the dramatic events of a return to Africa to visit Zimbabwe.

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3.5/5

Wizard of the Crow by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

From the exiled Kenyan novelist, playwright, poet, and literary critic--a magisterial comic novel that is certain to take its place as a landmark of postcolonial African literature. In exile now for more than twenty years, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o has become one of the most widely read African writers of our time, the power and scope of his work garnering him international attenti From the exiled Kenyan novelist, playwright, poet, and literary critic--a magisterial comic novel that is certain to take its place as a landmark of postcolonial African literature. In exile now for more than twenty years, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o has become one of the most widely read African writers of our time, the power and scope of his work garnering him international attention and praise. His aim in Wizard of the Crow is, in his own words,nothing less than “to sum up Africa of the twentieth century in the context of two thousand years of world history.” Commencing in “our times” and set in the “Free Republic of Aburĩria,” the novel dramatizes with corrosive humor and keenness of observation a battle for control of the souls of the Aburĩrian people. Among the contenders: His High Mighty Excellency; the eponymous Wizard, an avatar of folklore and wisdom; the corrupt Christian Ministry; and the nefarious Global Bank. Fashioning the stories of the powerful and the ordinary into a dazzling mosaic, Wizard of the Crow reveals humanity in all its endlessly surprising complexity. Informed by richly enigmatic traditional African storytelling, Wizard of the Crow is a masterpiece, the crowning achievement in Ngugl wa Thiong’o’s career thus far.

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4.7/5

The Life of My Choice by Wilfred Thesiger

Wilfred Thesiger is the last of the great British eccentric explorers, renowned for his travels through some of the most inaccessible places on earth. As a child in Abyssinia he watched the glorious armies of Ras Tafari returning from hand-to-hand battle, their prisoners in chains; at the age of 23 he made his first expedition into the country of the Danakil, a murderous r Wilfred Thesiger is the last of the great British eccentric explorers, renowned for his travels through some of the most inaccessible places on earth. As a child in Abyssinia he watched the glorious armies of Ras Tafari returning from hand-to-hand battle, their prisoners in chains; at the age of 23 he made his first expedition into the country of the Danakil, a murderous race among whom a man's status in the tribe depended on the number of men he had killed and castrated. His books, "Arabian Sands" and "The Marsh Arabs", tell of his two sojourns in the Empty Quarter and the Marshes of Southern Iraq. In this autobiography, Wilfred Thesiger highlights the people who most profoundly influenced him and the events which enabled him to lead the life of his choice.

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3.2/5

Defeating Mau Mau, Creating Kenya: Counterinsurgency, Civil War, and Decolonization by Daniel Branch

This book details the devastating Mau Mau civil war fought in Kenya during the 1950s and the legacies of that conflict for the post-colonial state. As many Kikuyu fought with the colonial government as loyalists joined the Mau Mau rebellion. Focusing on the role of those loyalists, the book examines the ways in which residents of the country s Central Highlands sought to n This book details the devastating Mau Mau civil war fought in Kenya during the 1950s and the legacies of that conflict for the post-colonial state. As many Kikuyu fought with the colonial government as loyalists joined the Mau Mau rebellion. Focusing on the role of those loyalists, the book examines the ways in which residents of the country s Central Highlands sought to navigate a path through the bloodshed and uncertainty of civil war. It explores the instrumental use of violence, changes to allegiances, and the ways in which cleavages created by the war informed local politics for decades after the conflict s conclusion. Moreover, the book moves toward a more nuanced understanding of the realities and effects of counterinsurgency warfare. Based on archival research in Kenya and the United Kingdom and insights from literature from across the social sciences, the book reconstructs the dilemmas facing members of society at war with itself and its colonial ruler."

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3.5/5

Facing Mount Kenya by Jomo Kenyatta , Bronisław Malinowski (Introduction)

With an Introduction by Bronislav Malinkowski, Facing Mount Kenya is a central document of the highest distinction in anthropological literature, an invaluable key to the structure of African society and the nature of the African mind. Facing Mount Kenya is not only a formal study of life and death, work and play, sex and the family in one of the greatest tribes of contemp With an Introduction by Bronislav Malinkowski, Facing Mount Kenya is a central document of the highest distinction in anthropological literature, an invaluable key to the structure of African society and the nature of the African mind. Facing Mount Kenya is not only a formal study of life and death, work and play, sex and the family in one of the greatest tribes of contemporary Africa, but a work of considerable literary merit. The very sight and sound of Kikuyu tribal life presented here are at once comprehensive and intimate, and as precise as they are compassionate.

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3.4/5

It's Our Turn to Eat by Michela Wrong

When Michela Wrong's Kenyan friend John Githongo appeared one morning on the doorstep of her London flat, it was clear something had gone very wrong in a country regarded until then as one of Africa's few budding success stories. John's tale is the story of how a brave man came to make a lonely decision with huge ramifications.

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4/5

Unbowed: A Memoir by Wangari Maathai

Hugely charismatic, humble, and possessed of preternatural luminosity of spirit, Wangari Maathai, the winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize and a single mother of three, recounts her extraordinary life as a political activist, feminist, and environmentalist in Kenya. Born in a rural village in 1940, Wangari Maathai was already an iconoclast as a child, determined to get an Hugely charismatic, humble, and possessed of preternatural luminosity of spirit, Wangari Maathai, the winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize and a single mother of three, recounts her extraordinary life as a political activist, feminist, and environmentalist in Kenya. Born in a rural village in 1940, Wangari Maathai was already an iconoclast as a child, determined to get an education even though most girls were uneducated. We see her studying with Catholic missionaries, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the United States, and becoming the first woman both to earn a PhD in East and Central Africa and to head a university department in Kenya. We witness her numerous run-ins with the brutal Moi government. She makes clear the political and personal reasons that compelled her, in 1977, to establish the Green Belt Movement, which spread from Kenya across Africa and which helps restore indigenous forests while assisting rural women by paying them to plant trees in their villages. We see how Maathai’s extraordinary courage and determination helped transform Kenya’s government into the democracy in which she now serves as assistant minister for the environment and as a member of Parliament. And we are with her as she accepts the Nobel Peace Prize, awarded in recognition of her “contribution to sustainable development, human rights, and peace.” In Unbowed, Wangari Maathai offers an inspiring message of hope and prosperity through self-sufficiency.

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5/5

Black Mamba Boy by Nadifa Mohamed

For fans of Half of a Yellow Sun, a stunning novel set in 1930s Somalia spanning a decade of war and upheaval, all seen through the eyes of a small boy alone in the world. Aden, Yemen, 1935; a city vibrant, alive, and full of hidden dangers. And home to Jama, a ten year-old boy. But then his mother dies unexpectedly and he finds himself alone in the world. Jama is forced hom For fans of Half of a Yellow Sun, a stunning novel set in 1930s Somalia spanning a decade of war and upheaval, all seen through the eyes of a small boy alone in the world. Aden, Yemen, 1935; a city vibrant, alive, and full of hidden dangers. And home to Jama, a ten year-old boy. But then his mother dies unexpectedly and he finds himself alone in the world. Jama is forced home to his native Somalia, the land of his nomadic ancestors. War is on the horizon and the fascist Italian forces who control parts of East Africa are preparing for battle. Yet Jama cannot rest until he discovers whether his father, who has been absent from his life since he was a baby, is alive somewhere. And so begins an epic journey which will take Jama north through Djibouti, war-torn Eritrea and Sudan, to Egypt. And from there, aboard a ship transporting Jewish refugees just released from German concentration camps, across the seas to Britain and freedom. This story of one boy's long walk to freedom is also the story of how the Second World War affected Africa and its people; a story of displacement and family.

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3.1/5

Kenya: Between Hope and Despair, 1963-2011 by Daniel Branch

On December 12, 1963, people across Kenya joyfully celebrated independence from British colonial rule, anticipating a bright future of prosperity and social justice. As the nation approaches the fiftieth anniversary of its independence, however, the people's dream remains elusive. During its first five decades Kenya has experienced assassinations, riots, coup attempts, eth On December 12, 1963, people across Kenya joyfully celebrated independence from British colonial rule, anticipating a bright future of prosperity and social justice. As the nation approaches the fiftieth anniversary of its independence, however, the people's dream remains elusive. During its first five decades Kenya has experienced assassinations, riots, coup attempts, ethnic violence, and political corruption. The ranks of the disaffected, the unemployed, and the poor have multiplied. In this authoritative and insightful account of Kenya's history from 1963 to the present day, Daniel Branch sheds new light on the nation's struggles and the complicated causes behind them. Branch describes how Kenya constructed itself as a state and how ethnicity has proved a powerful force in national politics from the start, as have disorder and violence. He explores such divisive political issues as the needs of the landless poor, international relations with Britain and with the Cold War superpowers, and the direction of economic development. Tracing an escalation of government corruption over time, the author brings his discussion to the present, paying particular attention to the rigged election of 2007, the subsequent compromise government, and Kenya's prospects as a still-evolving independent state.

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4.7/5

Ghosts of Empire: Britain's Legacies in the Modern World by Kwasi Kwarteng

The British Empire was the creation of a tremendous outpouring of energy and opportunism, when the British were at their most self-confident, and the wealth they gathered was prodigious. At its heart lay a sense of the rectitude of the British way of life, meted out to vast swathes of the rest of the world without let or hindrance. Yet, as this book shows, the empire was n The British Empire was the creation of a tremendous outpouring of energy and opportunism, when the British were at their most self-confident, and the wealth they gathered was prodigious. At its heart lay a sense of the rectitude of the British way of life, meted out to vast swathes of the rest of the world without let or hindrance. Yet, as this book shows, the empire was not formed by coherent policy, and its decline reflected this: its later years were characterised by a series of accidental oversights, decisions taken without due consideration for the consequences, and uncertain pragmatism. Many of the world's trouble spots are those left behind by the chaotic retreat of empire, and its ghosts continue to haunt today's international scene. The problems the empire encountered have still not been resolved and in Iraq, Kashmir, Burma, Sudan, Nigeria and Hong Kong new difficulties have arisen which continue to baffle politicians and diplomats. This powerful new book addresses the realities of the British Empire from its inception to its demise, questioning the nature of its glory and cataloguing both the inadequacies of its ideals and the short-termism of its actions.

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