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Foreign Intervention in Africa
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Book description

Foreign Intervention in Africa chronicles the foreign political and military interventions in Africa from 1956 to 2010, during the periods of decolonisation and the Cold War, as well as during the periods of state collapse and the 'global war on terror'. In the first two periods, the most significant intervention was extra-continental. The USA, the Soviet Union, China, Cuba and the former colonial powers entangled themselves in countless African conflicts. During the period of state collapse, the most consequential interventions were intra-continental. African governments, sometimes assisted by powers outside the continent, supported warlords, dictators and dissident movements in neighbouring countries and fought for control of their neighbours' resources. The global war on terror, like the Cold War, increased foreign military presence on the African continent and generated external support for repressive governments. In each of these cases, external interests altered the dynamics of Africa's internal struggles, escalating local conflicts into larger conflagrations, with devastating effects on African peoples.

Reviews

‘This book is a meticulously researched study that brings together a vast body of literature in a clear and accessible way and is written by one of the leading scholars of her generation. Above all else it underscores how critical foreign intervention has been in shaping the arc of recent history throughout the continent.’

Allen Isaacman - Regents Professor, University of Minnesota

‘Foreign Intervention in Africa, Elizabeth Schmidt’s survey of external meddling in the internal affairs of African countries from the era of decolonization and the Cold War to the present period of the ‘war against terror’ is a masterpiece. It provides to both academics and the general public a comprehensive and very readable account of foreign interventions and their mostly negative consequences for the target nations. It also offers a new and fascinating analysis of intracontinental intervention by governments seeking to take advantage of state collapse in a neighboring country to loot its natural resources.’

Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

'Elizabeth Schmidt's welcome work both broadens our field of vision and deepens our historical engagement … The work is distinguished not only by its comprehensive approach but also by its accessibility, which derives both from the book's organizational clarity and from Schmidt's unencumbered prose … This book should become a staple in courses on African history, on global issues, or on social development … It is rare to find such complexity presented with such clarity.'

David Newbury Source: H-Diplo

'Readers will find the recommended readings provided for each chapter, the excellent index, and the author's judicious weighing of evidence in complex situations useful.'

C. E. Welch Source: Choice

'An excellent synthesis of the past seventy years of African history and politics. Her book is provocative, thoughtful and passionate. It is a superb book for students, general readers as well as scholars.'

Jim Lance Source: New Books in African Studies

'Charts the impact of foreign interventions across the African continent from the end of the Second World War until 2010 … All the chapters are clearly written and provide a good level of detail to introduce undergraduate students to the topic … a well-written book that will no doubt feature prominently on undergraduate reading lists for the foreseeable future.'

Andrew Cohen Source: African Affairs

'[The book's] case studies are fleshed out enough to support Schmidt’s central thesis but without getting bogged down in details that might turn away budding academics. The prose itself is clear and crisp and will not present a barrier to the layperson. … this book should be essential reading for all students of Africa, decolonization, or foreign military interventions. It is an invaluable introduction that will also hold new perspectives even for a veteran reader.'

Charlie Thomas Source: H-Net Reviews

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