Designing West Africa Prelude to 21st Century Calamity

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2004-05-07
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

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Many 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.

Author Biography

Peter Schwab is Professor of Political Science at Purchase College, SUNY, and the author most recently of Africa: A Continent Self-Destructs (Palgrave Macmillan, 2001).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Map of West Africa x
Preface xi
INTRODUCTION U.S., European, and West African Ideological Designs 1(22)
PART I The Conservatives
ONE William V. S. Tubman: Liberia's Conservative Designer
TWO Félix Houphouët-Boigny: A French Client in the Ivory Coast
THREE Senegal and Léopold Sédar Senghor: Francophile Nation and Poet
FOUR Nigeria: The State that Lost Its Future
PART II The Radicals
FIVE Kwame Nkrumah: Ghana's Nationalist Icon
SIX Sékou Touré: Guinea's Fidel Castro, and His Connection to the Political Thought of Mali's Modibo Keita
CONCLUSION The Appalling Aftermath 135(14)
Notes 149(14)
Bibliography 163(6)
Index 169

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