Political Leaders Of Contemporary Africa South Of The Sahara

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This is the first biographical dictionary of major political leaders in sub-Saharan Africa since 1945, leaders who have made important and often determinative contributions to politics and government in their countries and in the region as a whole. Editor Harvey Glickman has brought together an international team of experts to profile fifty-three important heads of state, theorists, party leaders, and politicians from a representative group of African countries. An invaluable reference for libraries of all kinds, this dictionary will be useful to advanced scholars and neophytes alike in evaluating African leadership, national political systems, and contemporary world history in general.

Glickman's introduction explains the criteria used for selecting the figures profiled and then describes what is involved in being a political leader in Africa in the late colonial period, in early independence, and now in the fourth decade of independence as new forms of government and leadership appear in Africa. Glickman remarks on the lack of women in high ranks of African politics and explores reasons for their notable absence. Each profile examines the role of the leader in history, the personal events of birth, tribal affiliation, education, early career, and rise to political power. Figures chosen represent a variety of types including founding fathers, radical opposition party leaders, conservatives, socialists, oppressive dictators, and philosophical theorists. Each entry has a bibliography of works by and about the leader. A chronology lists events in sub-Saharan politics from 1892 to 1991. A list of important figures by country and a short bibliography of general works on political leadership and change in Africa complete the volume.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The 54 biographies in this volume offer an overview of African politics since the mid-1950s. The selection of African political leaders covers those who led their countries--and the continent--out of colonialism (such as Kwame Nkrumah, Kenneth Kaunda, and Felix Houphouet-Boigny), governed with varying degrees of success (such as Julius Nyerere, Luis de Alemeida Cabral, and Leopold Senghor), and in the post-independence era have tried--usually with little long-term success--to offer Africa new directions (such as Idi Amin). Overall, the selections are representative of much of Africa's political profile of the past four decades. Thus, nationalists and coup leaders make up over two-thirds of the entries. Actors in South Africa's long struggles are included. Not represented are women, activists within Africa's emerging grass-roots movements, or leaders of regional coalitions, but the editor does acknowledge these emerging sources of leadership. Glickman's excellent introduction reviews the local and global environment in which the diversity of African leaders have existed, asking critical questions of their experiences. The biographical essays, written by experts, provide details about an individual's life, motivations, and governing style. Although historical and national biographical dictionaries exist (for example, Mark Lipschutz and R. Kent Rasmussen's Dictionary of African Historical Biography , Univ. of California Pr., 1986. 2d rev. ed.), this volume is welcome as the first to feature Africa's recent major political leaders. Recommended for academic and public libraries with African collections.-- Bill Rau, Takoma Park, Md.
Zom Zoms
This work profiles 54 leaders from sub-Saharan Africa since 1945. Chosen for inclusion were individuals who shaped events in the emerging countries and/or governments of Africa. Among those covered are Idi Amin, Hastings Banda, Felix Houphouet-Boigny, Kenneth Kaunda, Julius Nyerere, and Desmond Mpilo Tutu All of the entries have been penned by social scientists who work in the field of African studies. The introduction discusses the lack of female participants in leadership roles on this continent. Profiles are arranged alphabetically and average six pages in length. Each begins with a tag that notes the offices held by the person (with dates) and concludes with a bibliography of works by and about him. The essays briefly cover childhood and education but stress the political careers of these men. Appendixes include a listing of subjects by country from Angola to Zimbabwe, a chronology of the twentieth century, bibliographic notes, and a detailed index that lists political parties as well as personal names "Who's Who in Africa" ["RBB" S 1 92] profiles only current African leaders; 25 of the people in "Political Leaders" are also found in "Who's Who". The 29 people in "Political Leaders" who are not in "Who's Who", such as Milton Obote and Jomo Kenyatta, are either no longer in power or deceased "Political Leaders in Contemporary Africa South of the Sahara" is a well-written resource that will be of value for reference service in academic, public, and secondary school libraries.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313267819
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/30/1992
  • Pages: 386
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

HARVEY GLICKMAN is Professor of Political Science at Haverford College and Coordinator of the Bryn Mawr-Haverford Peace Studies Program.

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Table of Contents


Political Leaders of Contemporary Africa South of the Sahara

Listing of Subjects by Country


Bibliographical Note


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