Posts Tagged 'books'

Full AFRICOM Reading List

Maintaining up-to-date information and deep knowledge about Africa is critical to the team at the U.S. Africa Command. To that end, a reading list was compiled to provide suggestions. Thanks to the AFRICOM Research Library for providing us with this list. Look for an upcoming story on the library, new to Kelley Barracks.

Overview of Africa

“France’s Relationship with Sub-Saharan Africa,” Anton Andereggen

“Africana: The Encyclopedia of African and African American Experience,” Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates

“Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa,” Samuel Aryeetey-Attoh

"Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa"“Africa Works: Disorder as Political Instrument,” Patrick Chabal and Jean-Pascal Daloz

“The Black Man’s Burden: Africa and the Curse of the Nation-State,” Basil Davidson

“The Search for Africa: History. Culture, Politics,” Basil Davidson

“The Shackled Continent: Africa’s Past, Present and Future,” Robert Guest

‘The Africans,” David Lamb

“Beyond Humanitarianism: What You Need to Know about Africa,” Princeton N. Lyman and Patricia Dorff

“The Fate of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence,” Martin Meredith

“Cultural Atlas of Africa,” Jocelyn Murray (Out of Print)

“Africa Since 1800,” Roland Oliver and Anthony Atmore

“A Short History of Africa,” Roland Oliver and J.D. Fage (Out of Print)

“Bury the Chains,” Adam Hochschild

“The Scramble for Africa: White Man’s Conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876-1912,” Thomas Pakenham

“Africa: A Biography of the Continent,” John Reader

“Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa,” Keith B. Richburg

“Into Africa: Intercultural Insights,” Yale Richmond and Phyllis Gestrin (2nd ed. titled “Into Africa: A Guide to Sub-Saharan Culture and Diversity”)

“How Europe Underdeveloped Africa,” Walter Rodney

“United States Foreign Policy toward Africa: Incrementalism Crisis and Change,” Peter J. Schraeder

“Malaria Dreams: An African Adventure,” Stuart Stevens

“Government and Politics in Africa,” William Tordoff


“Africa in Chaos: A Comparative History,” George RN. Ayittey

“Jihad vs. McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism are Reshaping Our World,” Benjamin Barber

“African Guerrillas: Raging Against the Machine,” Morten Boas and Kevin Dunn

“Kalashnikov Culture: Small Arms Proliferation and Irregular Warfare,” Christopher Carr

“Politics and Society in Contemporary Africa,” Naomi Chazan, Peter Lewis, Robert Mortimer, and Donald Rothchild (Out of Print)

“Free at Last?: U.S. Policy Toward Africa and the End of the Cold War,” Michael Clough
"Wars, Guns, and Votes"

“Wars, Guns, and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places,” Paul Collier

“Disease and Empire: The Health of European Troops in the Conquest of Africa,” Philip D. Curtin

“Africa’s Armies: From Honor to Infamy,” Robert B. Edgerton

“Untapped: The Scramble for Africa’s Oil,” John Ghazvinian

“Clash of Civilizations,” Samuel Huntington

“Livingstone,” Tim Jeal

“The Coming Anarchy: Shattering Dreams of the Post Cold War,” Robert D. Kaplan

“More than Humanitarianism: A Strategic U.S. Approach toward Africa,” Anthony Lake and Christine Todd Whitman

“Victory on the Potomac: The Goldwater-Nichols Act Unifies the Pentagon,” James R.Locher III (Out of Print)

“The Policy Factor: Agricultural Performance in Kenya and Tanzania,” Michael Lofchie (Out of Print)

Development in Africa

“Africa Unchained: The Blueprint for Africa’s Future,” George B.N. Ayittey

“The Trouble with Africa: Why Foreign Aid Isn’t Working,” Robert Calderisi

“The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It,” Paul Collier

“The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much III and So Little Good,” William Easterly

"The End of Poverty"

“The Lords of Poverty: The Power, Prestige, and Corruption of the International Aid Business,” Graham Hancock

“The Road to Hell: The Ravaging Effects of Foreign Aid and International Charity,” Michael Maren

“The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time,” Jeffrey Sachs


“The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS,” Edward Hooper and Bill Hamilton


“Blood from Stones: The Secret Financial Network of Terror,” Douglas Farah

“The Red Sea Terror Triangle: Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Islamic Terror,” Shaul Shay

Northern Africa

“Morocco: The Islamist Awakening and Other Challenges,” Marvine Howe

“Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed,” John Phillips and Martin Evans

Central Africa

“The Graves Are Not Yet Full: Race, Tribe, and Power in the Heart of Africa,” Bill Berkeley

“Heart of Darkness,” Joseph Conrad

“Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda,” Romeo Dallaire

“Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda,” Alison Liebhafsky Des Forges and Alison Des Forges (Library has a pdf version)

“We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda,” Philip Gourevitch

“King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa,” Adam Hochschild

“Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest Explorer,” Tim Jeal

“Across the Red River,” Christian Jennings

“The Dynamics of Violence in Central Africa,” Rene Lemarchand

“All Things Must Fight to Live: Stories of War and Deliverance in Congo,” Bryan Mealer

“Sowing the Mustard Seed: The Struggle for Freedom and Democracy in Uganda,” Yoweri K. Museveni

“A Bend in the River,” V.S. Naipaul

“The Congo From Leopold to Kabila: A People’s History,” Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja

“The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide,” Gerard Prunier

“In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in Mobutu’s Congo,” Michela Wrong

East Africa / The Horn

“Against All Odds: A Chronicle of the Eritrean Revolution With a New Afterword on the Postwar Transition, Dan Connell

“The Zanzibar Chest, Aidan Hartley

“Abyssinian Chronicles: A Novel, Moses Isegawa

“Surrender or Starve: Travels in Ethiopia, Sudan. Somalia, and Eritrea, Robert D. Kaplan

“A History of Ethiopia Updated Edition, Harold G. Marcus

“Battle for the Bundu: The First World War in East Africa, Charles Miller (Out of Print)

“Ethiopia, The Unknown Land: A Cultural and Historical Guide, Stuart Munro-Hay

“Me Against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan, and Rwanda, Scott Peterson

“I Didn’t Do It for You: How the World Betrayed a Small African Nation, Michela Wrong


“The Lost Boys of Sudan: An American Story of the Refugee Experience,” Mark Bixler

“God Grew Tired of Us: A Memoir,” John Bul Dau

“They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan,” Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng, and Benjamin Ajak

“Khartoum 1885: General Gordon’s Last Stand, “Donald Featherstone

“Darfur: A New History of a Long War,” Julie Flint and Alex de Waal

“A Call for Democracy in Sudan,” John Garang

“A History of the Sudan: From the Coming of Islam to the Present Day,” P.M. Holt and M.W. Daly

“The Root Causes of Sudan’s Civil Wars,” Douglas Hamilton Johnson

“Inside Sudan: Political Islam, Conflict, and Catastrophe,” Donald Petterson

“Darfur: The Ambiguous Genocide,” Gerard Prunier

“Emma’s War,” Deborah Scroggins

“The Triumph of the Sun,” Wilbur Smith (Out of Print)

“A Strategic Assessment of Sudan,” The Sudan Research Group (Out of Print)

Southern Africa

“Selous Scouts: Top Secret War,” Ron R. Daly

“A Complicated War: The Harrowing of Mozambique,” William Finnegan

“Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa,” Peter Godwin

“Thabo Mbeki and the Battle for the Soul of the ANC,” William Gumede

“Bloodsong!: An Account of Executive Outcomes in Angola,” James Hooper

“Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela,” Nelson Mandela

“The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots from a Hidden War,” Greg Marinovich and Joao Silva

“Kaffir Boy: An Autobiography –The True Story of a Black Youth’s Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa,” Mark Mathabane

“Diamonds, Gold, and War: The British, the Boers, and the Making of South Africa,” Martin Meredith

“The Washing of the Spears: The Rise and Fall of the Zulu Nation,” Donald R. Morris

“Boer War,” Thomas Pakenham (Out of Print)

“Cry, the Beloved Country,” Alan Paton

“Mandela: The Authorized Biography,” Anthony Sampson

“The Mind of South Africa,” Allister Sparks (Out of Print)

“Dead Leaves: Two Years in the Rhodesian War,” Dan Wylie

West Africa

“Things Fall Apart,” Chinua Achebe

“A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier,” Ishmael Beah

“In the Land of Magic Soldiers: A Story of White and Black in West Africa,” Daniel Bergner

“French Lessons in Africa: Travels with My Briefcase through French Africa,” Peter Biddlecombe

“Blood Diamonds: Tracing the Deadlv Path of the World’s Most Precious Stones,” Greg Campbell

“West Africa before the Colonial Era: A History to 1850,” Basil Davidson

“The Fall of the Asante Empire: The Hundred-Year War for Africa’s Gold Coast,” Robert B. Edgerton

“The Mask of Anarchy: The Destruction of Liberia and the Religious Dimension of an African Civil War,” Stephen Ellis

“Travels in West Africa,” Mary Kingsley

“Sahara Unveiled: A Journey across the Desert,” William Langewiesche

“Designing West Africa: Prelude to 2151 Century Calamity,” Peter Schwab

“War Dog: Fighting Other People’s Wars – The Modem Mercenary in Combat,” Al Venter

“How De Body? One Man’s Terrifying Journey through an African War,” Teun Voeten

“Liberia: The Heart of Darkness,” Gabriel LH. Williams


“The Shadow of the Sun,” Ryszard Kapuscinski

“Facing the Congo: A Modem Day Journey into the Heart of Darkness,” Jeffrey Tayler

“Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town,” Paul Theroux

Middle East/Religion

“The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an,” English/Arabic Translation, Abdullah Yusef Ali

“African Islam and Islam in Africa: Encounters between Sufis and Islamists,” Eva Evers Rosander and David Westerlund (Out of Print)

“History of the Arab Peoples,” Albert Hourani

“History of Christianity in Africa: From Antiquity to the Present,” Elizabeth Isichei

“Reliance of the Traveller: The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law Umdat Al-Salik,” Ahmad ibn Lulu ibn Al-Naquib

“History of Islam in Africa,” Nehemia Levtzion and Randall L. Pouwels

“The Arabs in History,” Bernard Lewis

“The Future of Christianity,” Alister E. McGrath

“Milestones,” Sayid Qutb

“Islam and Muslim Politics in Africa,” Benjamin Soares and Rene Otayek

“A History of the Church in Africa,” Bengt Sundkler and Christopher Steed (Out of Print)

“History of Christianity in Africa in the Context of African History,” Fran J. Verstraelen

The Koran (translated into English)

(Don’t know where to begin? Check out the top picks.)

What books would you recommend?


Top Picks from AFRICOM Reading List

"Things Fall Apart" coverMaintaining up-to-date information and deep knowledge about Africa is critical to the team at the U.S. Africa Command. To that end, a reading list was compiled to provide suggestions. Here are some top picks. Check the blog next week for the full list.

Thanks to the AFRICOM Research Library for providing us with this list. Look for an upcoming story on the library, new to Kelley Barracks.

1.  “The Fate of Africa or The State of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence,” Martin Meredith (2005).  A narrative history of Africa over the last fifty years, with a focus on people and key events.  This is a great start point for those becoming acquainted with the African continent.

2. “Things Fall Apart,” Chinua Achebe (1958).  An African literary classic that captures the cultural intrusions represented by colonialism.  This book is one of the most well-known African novels, and as such should be required reading for individuals interacting in Africa.

3.  “The Road to Hell,” Michael Maren (1989).  An overview of the unintended consequences of U.S. humanitarian aid.  This book provides good insight into events that led to the violent end of U.S. involvement in Somalia.

"This Child Will Be Great" cover4.  “This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa’s First Woman President,” Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2009).  This is a compelling tale of the President of Liberia’s  early childhood, rise to power, and experiences with abuse, imprisonment, exile, and fight for democracy and social justice.

5.  “Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust,” Immaculée Ilibagiza (2006).  This is an inspiring story about a young Rwandan woman’s genocide survival.  Her story gives us hope in overcoming the divisions deliberately created by those with self-serving agendas and no thought for humanity.

6.  “Understanding Contemporary Africa,” April Gordon (2007).  An academic overview of the issues and challenges surrounding contemporary Africa.  Topics include African cultures, politics, religion, economies, gender relations, and literature.

"Long Walk to Freedom" cover7.  “Long Walk to Freedom,” Nelson Mandela (1995).  This book should be required reading if for no other reason than it recognizes and provides insight into one of Africa’s greatest Statesmen.

8.  “The State in Africa: Politics of the Belly,” Jean-Francois Bayart (1989).   A translation of the book: L’etat en Afrique: Politique du Ventre, the term “politics of the belly” is a metaphor for a nepotistic, corrupt African State in which government and business elite use their influence to enrich themselves, their families or ethnic kinsmen.  Similar in concept to neopatrimonialism, in which private sector support is bought by the state, this book addresses the form of governance that arose across much of Africa following independence.  Nigeria’s postcolonial experience is perhaps the most apt example of the “politics of the belly”.

9. “More Than Humanitarianism: A Strategic U.S. Approach Toward Africa,” Anthony Lake (2007).  This Council on Foreign Relations-sponsored Independent Task Force Report argues that Africa is becoming steadily more central to the United States and to the rest of the world in ways that transcend humanitarian interests.  Africa now plays an increasingly significant role in supplying energy, preventing the spread of terrorism, and halting the devastation of HIV/AIDS.  Africa’s growing importance is reflected in the intensifying competition with China and other countries for both access to African resources and influence in this region.  A more comprehensive U.S. policy toward Africa is needed, the report states, and it lays out recommendations for policymakers to craft that policy.

10. “World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe,”  Gerard Prunier (2009).  The Rwandan genocide sparked a horrific bloodbath that swept across sub-Saharan Africa, ultimately leading to the deaths of some four million people. This book offers a gripping account of how one grisly episode laid the groundwork for a sweeping and disastrous upheaval. The heart of the book documents how the whole core of the African continent became engulfed in an intractable and bloody conflict after 1998, a devastating war that only wound down following the assassination of Kabila in 2001.  The author indicts the international community for its lack of interest in what was then the largest conflict in the world.

"The African Union"11.  “The African Union: Challenges of Globalization, Security, and Governance,” Samuel Makinda (2007).  This book is a comprehensive examination of the work of the African Union (AU), with special emphasis on its capacity to meet the challenges of building and sustaining governance institutions and security mechanisms.  It articulates how Africa and, in particular, the AU can effectively address the challenges of building and sustaining governance institutions and security mechanisms only if they have strategic leadership.  Current debates on, and criticisms of, leadership in Africa are also analyzed as well as key options for overcoming the constraints that African leaders face.

12.  “African Security Governance,” Gavin Cawthra (2010).  A result of research carried out over several years by the Southern African Defence and Security Management Network (SADSEM), in co-operation with the Danish Institute for International Studies and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, this book covers many of Africa’s new and emerging security issu

es.  The broad focus is on security governance – the role of state and a wide range of social actors in the areas of both human and state security. It deals with a range of sectors, themes and national case studies and makes an important contribution to debates on security sector reform. The topics covered include policing transformation, intelligence governance, regulation of private security actors, challenges of nuclear proliferation, regional security, peace diplomacy and peace missions, the relationship between development and security, and new challenges in governance of the military.

Have you read one of these books? Let us know what you’d recommend in the comments below.

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