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Designing West Africa

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Many African nations are now described as 'fourth world nations', ones which essentially have no future. How could this have happened? Through the scope of the 1960's, 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 - painting detailed portraits of them both as leaders and as people - Schwab looks at how Africa served as a ground to play out larger international conflicts, namely the Cold War. He does not fall back on blaming non-African involvement for the failure to build a visible leadership for the continent; rather he critiques the African leaders themselves for their individual failings.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: U.S., European, and West African Ideological Designs The Conservatives William V.S. Tubman: Liberia's Conservative Designer Felix Houphouet-Boigny: A French Client in the Ivory Coast Senegal and Leopold Sedar Senghor: Francophile Nation and Poet Nigeria: The State that Lost its Future The Radicals Kwame Nkrumah: Ghana's Nationalist Icon Sekou Toure: Guinea's Fidel Castro, and His Connection to the Political Thought of Mali's Modibo Keita Conclusion: The Appalling Aftermath

About the Author

Peter Schwab is Professor of Political Science at the State University of New York, USA, and the author most recently of Africa: A Continent Self-Destructs (Palgrave 2001).


Praise for Africa: A Continent Self-Destructs: "For anyone interested in the reality of Africa, this is the book to read." - Amos Sawyer, President of Liberia, 1990-1994 "Offers brief, invaluable descriptions of several countries circumstances...readers will gain much from this astute analysis." - Publishers Weekly

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