MauMau in Harlem? The U.S. and the Liberation of Kenya is a well-documented study, in which Gerald Horne examines the role that individual Americans, African American organizations, British government and trade unions, and the United States government played in the liberation of Kenya. It is a
The term 'recent' or 'new' covers novels and some short fiction published between 1980 and 1995, a period characterized by growing pessimism about the state of affairs in both East and West Africa. The section on South Africa deals more narrowly with the 1985-95 watershed marking the end of official apartheid and the beginning of reconstruction. The three sections aim at giving a coherent picture of the main directions in production, highlighting three main centres of interest, Nigeria, Kenya, and the Republic of South Africa, although some novelists from neighbouring countries are also considered (such as Kofi Awoonor from Ghana, Nuruddin Farah from Somalia, and M.G. Vassanji and Abdulrazak Gurnah from Tanzania).
The evaluations conducted in the three sections lead to the emergence of a number of common themes, in particular the writers' predilection for topicality, the role of the past, and the controversy over the idea of the nation. Central themes also include the role of women in fending for themselves, both in rural and in urban environments. A further major theme is the role of the past (the Nigerian civil war; the Mau Mau period in Kenya; the revisiting of slavery; the refurbishing of myth; the questioning of historical reconstructions). The preoccupation of the West, East, and South African novel with the idea and ideal of the 'nation' is explored, particularly in the context of migrancy, hybridity, and transculturalism characterizing the anglophone diaspora.
The volume is aimed at literary scholars and students and, more generally, readers of fiction seeking an introduction to contemporary literary developments in various parts of sub-Saharan anglophone Africa. No categorical distinction is drawn between 'popular' and 'high' literature. Though still selective and not intended as an exhaustive catalogue, the present survey covers a large number of titles. Rather than resorting to broad and ultimately somewhat abstract thematic categories, the contributors endeavour to keep control over this mass of material by applying a 'micro-thematic' taxonomy. This approach, well-tested in the tradition of literary studies within France, groups works analytically and evaluatively in terms of such categories as actional motifs, plot-frames, and sociologically relevant locations or topics, thereby enabling a clearer focus on the dynamics of preoccupation and tendency that form networks of affinity across the fiction produced in the period surveyed.
generalizations. Each area and situation has its own dynamics and potentialities. It is best to resort to a major example of the problems raised here. There is little doubt that adaptational issues were partly involved in the often misunderstood MauMau Emergency in Kenya during the 1950's. The official report2
, religion, and supposedly superior style of life. This is not to say that Kenyans did not resist the imposition of colonial rule. After all, this is what the MauMau war was all about. But the Land and Freedom Army only got organized after World War II, after Africans came back from serving as British
MauMau rebellion. Ngũgĩ’s proposed solution to the ills of colonialism has included a completely socialised economy, collectively owned and controlled by the people. 3
Referring to the difference between novel-writing and essay-writing, Ngũgĩ has characterised the former as immersing the writer in
available information indicates that similar systems of "justice" against collaborators were utilized by other underground groups under similar conditions. Hence, this type of system was utilized by the French resistance during World War II (the Maquis) and by the Kenyan Kikuyu MauMau. One con- servative
Railway reach Kampala in 1901 but in 1924 (from Port Bell) and in 1931 (from Jinj a) . A great deal of space is devoted to MauMau (somehow linked to an un- documented change from matrilineal to a patrilineal system), to missions and slavery. Nearly 20 pages are taken up with an aimless rambling on
the kind of exoge- nous crisis that historical institutionalists would say gives rise to institutional change (North 1990:83-91; Krasner 1984; and Thelen and Steinmo 1992). A decade after the MauMau rebellion and Kenyan independence, we would, therefore, not expect Kenyan leaders to still be pursuing
come down in the camp of liberal-conservative scholarship. For example, military coups are regarded as a technique of conscious "revolutionary" change. There are dozens of places where one could challenge the interpretation of facts, or the "facts" themselves. The MauMau revolt hardly qualifies as an
–28. Kairys, David (ed.) 1998, The Politics of Law, A Progressive Critique , Third Edition, New York: Basic Books. Kanogo, Tabitha 1987, Squatters and the Roots of MauMau 1905–1963 , London: Currey. Kant, Immanuel 1996, ‘The Metaphysics of Morals’, in Practical Philosophy , edited by Mary J. Gregor