The Fate of Africa by Martin Meredith is a comprehensive history of the African continent after it emerged from colonialism. The book covers the key personalities, events, and themes of the independence era, and explains the myriad problems that Africa has faced in the past half-century. The author takes the reader on a journey through the continent, from the bloody revolt in Algiers against the French to Zimbabwe’s civil war.
Meredith’s writing style is journalistic, and he focuses on telling stories and bringing the expansive personalities of African big men to the forefront. He is pessimistic about the future of Africa, considering problems with trade subsidies, dependence on foreign aid, and debt. The book ends with a focus on the “Big” issues that Africa faces, including corruption, poverty, and disease.
The main themes of the book include the rise and fall of African leaders, the impact of colonialism on the continent, and the challenges that Africa faces in the modern era. The book is often bleak and brutal, relying on statistics and personal accounts to chart the decline of the continent as a whole since independence.
What I Liked
This book seems to be the one book to really get a sense of Africa – a continent that will only become more important over time.
What I Did Not Like
Not a whole lot – solid book.