Review: “South Africa’s Transkei: The Political Economy of an ‘Independent’ Bantustan’ – Roger Southall

Roger Southall’s “South Africa’s Transkei: The Political Economy of an ‘Independent’ Bantustan” (Monthly Review, 1983) is a technical book that examines the emergence of ‘independent’ bantustans in South Africa from the 1970s to the end of apartheid in 1994. Using Marxian political economy, Southall unravels the economic and material basis of the bantustans, focusing onContinue reading “Review: “South Africa’s Transkei: The Political Economy of an ‘Independent’ Bantustan’ – Roger Southall”

Review: “Ethnocultural Processes and National Problems in the Modern World” – ed. I. R. Grigulevich

“Ethnocultural Processes and National Problems in the Modern World” is a collection of essays by Soviet ethnologists edited by I. R. Grigulevich about ethnic, racial, and national issues in both the USSR and other countries. This is an impressively comprehensive book. Part 1 of the book examines ethnocultural processes in the USSR and is dividedContinue reading “Review: “Ethnocultural Processes and National Problems in the Modern World” – ed. I. R. Grigulevich”

Review: “Africa’s World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe” – Gérard Prunier

Gérard Prunier’s Africa’s World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe is a masterful study of the causes and consequences of the Rwandan Genocide (1994) and the First and Second Congo Wars (1996-1997, 1998-2003). The Rwandan Civil War (1990-1994) began when Paul Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) invaded Rwanda fromContinue reading “Review: “Africa’s World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe” – Gérard Prunier”

Review: “The History of Democracy: A Marxist Interpretation” – Brian S. Roper

What are the origins of ‘democracy’? Are countries like the US, Canada, Britain, etc., democratic? In “The History of Democracy: A Marxist Interpretation,” Brian S. Roper examines liberal assumptions about the origins and essence of democracy using Marxist historical materialism. Roper begins by examining the system of participatory democracy in Athens and Rome and itsContinue reading “Review: “The History of Democracy: A Marxist Interpretation” – Brian S. Roper”

Review: “Western Sahara: War, Nationalism, and Conflict Irresolution” – Stephen Zunes and Jacob Mundy

“Western Sahara: War, Nationalism, and Conflict Irresolution” by Stephen Zunes and Jacob Mundy is a masterpiece of history, international law, and the failure of UN conflict resolution. Zunes and Mundy identify and methodically examine the sources of the almost five-decade-long dispute and its intractability, including the Moroccan regime’s need for legitimacy leading to manifest destiny-likeContinue reading “Review: “Western Sahara: War, Nationalism, and Conflict Irresolution” – Stephen Zunes and Jacob Mundy”

Review: “Danger: NATO” – Anatoly Grishchenko, Vladimir Semenov, and Leonid Teplinsky

“Danger NATO” by Anatoly Grishchenko, Vladimir Semenov, and Leonid Teplinsky is a short Marxist-Leninist analysis of NATO published in the USSR. The book examines the history, establishment, and ideology of NATO, how the U.S. uses NATO to pressure Western European states to act as junior and subservient partners of U.S. imperialism against their own nationalContinue reading “Review: “Danger: NATO” – Anatoly Grishchenko, Vladimir Semenov, and Leonid Teplinsky”

Review: “The Indian Minority of Zambia, Rhodesia, and Malawi” – Floyd and Lillian Dotson

After reading “Blood on their Banner,” I couldn’t decide what I wanted to read next, when I looked at a book on my shelf and thought, “Hey, this looks like an obscure book, I shall read this one!” That book was “The Indian Minority of Zambia, Rhodesia, and Malawi” by Floyd and Lillian, which IContinue reading “Review: “The Indian Minority of Zambia, Rhodesia, and Malawi” – Floyd and Lillian Dotson”

Random Interesting Book from My Library: “The Geography of Hunger” – Josue de Castro

I discovered both “The Geography of Hunger” and its later revised edition “The Geopolitics of Hunger” at my favourite used bookstore in Manitoba, A La Page in Winnipeg’s St. Boniface. At first I was very skeptical about this book; the title of the book and the subject struck me as very bourgeois and neo-Malthusian. True,Continue reading “Random Interesting Book from My Library: “The Geography of Hunger” – Josue de Castro”

Random Interesting Book from My Library: “The Struggle for Secession, 1966-1970: A Personal Account of the Nigerian Civil War” – Ntieyong U. Akpan

I bought this book from Burton Lyseki Books in Winnipeg more than three years ago. It is one of two books I own (and the better of the two) specifically about the Biafra Conflict (1967-70). The Biafra War (also known as the Nigerian Civil War) was a complex and incredibly bloody conflict between the RepublicContinue reading “Random Interesting Book from My Library: “The Struggle for Secession, 1966-1970: A Personal Account of the Nigerian Civil War” – Ntieyong U. Akpan”

Review: “In The Grip of Terror” – Andrei Grachev

Andrei Grachev’s “In the Grip of Terror” is a brilliant indictment of U.S.-led Western imperialism. It is the best of Michael Parenti’s “The Terrorism Trap: September 11 and Beyond”, “ The Sword & The Dollar: Imperialism, Revolution & the Arms Race”, and “Against Empire”; William Blum’s “Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since WorldContinue reading “Review: “In The Grip of Terror” – Andrei Grachev”

Review: “A Political History of The Gambia, 1816-1994” – Arnold Hughes and David Perfect

THANK GOD THIS BOOK IS DONE! I expected “A Political History of The Gambia, 1816-1994” by Arnold Hughes and David Perfect to be a monotonous tome (at 549 pages!), but I thought I’d give it a go! And since there are so few books written about The Gambia, mainland Africa’s smallest state, I was determinedContinue reading “Review: “A Political History of The Gambia, 1816-1994” – Arnold Hughes and David Perfect”

Review: “Becoming Somaliland” – Mark Bradbury

Someone on Facebook recommended Mark Bradbury’s “Becoming Somaliland” to me because I study ethnic and separatist conflicts. I thought it would be interesting to read about Somaliland, a place I know little about besides that it declared independence from Somalia and has remained relatively peaceful while the rest of Somalia has been rife with violenceContinue reading “Review: “Becoming Somaliland” – Mark Bradbury”

Review: “France’s Wars in Chad: Military Intervention and Decolonization in Africa” – Nathaniel K. Powell

In “France’s Wars in Chad: Military Intervention and Decolonization in Africa,” Nathaniel K. Powell meticulously examines France’s multiple military interventions in Chad between Chadian independence in 1960 and Hissène Habré’s seizure of power in 1982. Powell argues that France’s military interventions in Chad, its support to competing armed factions and ruthless dictatorial regimes, not onlyContinue reading “Review: “France’s Wars in Chad: Military Intervention and Decolonization in Africa” – Nathaniel K. Powell”

Review: “Another America: The Story of Liberia and the Former Slaves Who Ruled It” – James Ciment

James Ciment’s “Another America: The Story of Liberia and the Former Slaves Who Ruled It” is, in my opinion, a much better history of Liberia than David Reese’s “Liberia: America’s African Stepchild”. In Ciment’s book the primary objective of his historical investigation is the politics of Liberia, not the people, although for obvious reasons theContinue reading “Review: “Another America: The Story of Liberia and the Former Slaves Who Ruled It” – James Ciment”

Review: “Liberia: America’s African Stepchild” – David Reese

David Reese’s “Liberia: America’s African Stepchild” is a rather unique history of an African nation. Each chapter is essentially a mini-biography of an important person in Liberia’s history, such as Paul Cuffe, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, Edward James Roye, Edwin Barclay, Edward Blyden, William Tubman, and Samuel Doe. It is through the stories of these andContinue reading “Review: “Liberia: America’s African Stepchild” – David Reese”

(OLDIE!) Review: “Sir George Goldie and the Making of Nigeria” – J. E. Flint

(This is an OLDIE – an old review from years ago! My views and opinions might have changed since then.) This book is a political biography of one of the most important and least known British colonialists, George Goldie. Born into a wealthy Manx family, Goldie “revived the chartered company as a method of acquiringContinue reading “(OLDIE!) Review: “Sir George Goldie and the Making of Nigeria” – J. E. Flint”

(OLDIE!) Review: “A History of Niger, 1850-1960” – Finn Fuglestad

(This is an OLDIE – an old review from years ago! My views and opinions might have changed since then.) A better title for Finn Fuglestad’s “A History of Niger: 1850-1960” would be “Niger: The French Weren’t That Bad,” since the Fuglestad’s seems intent on whitewashing French colonialism in Africa. An example of this pro-FrenchContinue reading “(OLDIE!) Review: “A History of Niger, 1850-1960” – Finn Fuglestad”

(OLDIE!) Review: “State of Rebellion: Violence and Intervention in the Central African Republic” – Louisa Lombard

(This is an OLDIE – an old review from years ago! My views and opinions might have changed since then.) Louisa Lombard’s “State of Rebellion: Violence and Intervention in the Central African Republic” is not like most other books written on African conflicts. The author examines conflicts in the Central African Republic (CAR) through anContinue reading “(OLDIE!) Review: “State of Rebellion: Violence and Intervention in the Central African Republic” – Louisa Lombard”

(OLDIE!) Review: “The Trial of Hissène Habré: How the People of Chad Brought a Tyrant to Justice” – Celeste Hicks

(This is an OLDIE – an old review from years ago! My views and opinions might have changed since then.) In 2016, the Extraordinary African Chambers (EAC) found Chad’s former warlord dictator, Hissene Habre, who seized power in 1982 with the support of the U.S. and France, guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity andContinue reading “(OLDIE!) Review: “The Trial of Hissène Habré: How the People of Chad Brought a Tyrant to Justice” – Celeste Hicks”

(OLDIE!) Review: “Politics in Sierra Leone, 1947-1967” -John R. Cartwright

(This is an OLDIE – an old review from years ago! My views and opinions might have changed since then.) John R. Cartwright, in “Politics in Sierra Leone, 1947-1967,” attempts to provide a thorough analysis of how Sierra Leone’s political system. I write that the author ‘attempts to provide’ because whether he is successful inContinue reading “(OLDIE!) Review: “Politics in Sierra Leone, 1947-1967” -John R. Cartwright”