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Kenya: A History Since Independence

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Kenya: A History Since Independence.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Charles Hornsby(Author)

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Since independence from Great Britain in 1963, Kenya has survived five decades as a functioning nation-state, holding regular elections; its borders and political system intact and avoiding open war with its neighbours and military rule internally. It has been a favoured site for Western aid, trade, investment and tourism and has remained a close security partner for Western governments. However, Kenya's successive governments have failed to achieve adequate living conditions for most of its citizens; violence, corruption and tribalism have been ever-present, and its politics have failed to transcend its history. The decisions of the early years of independence and the acts of its leaders in the decades since have changed the country's path in unpredictable ways, but key themes of conflicts remain: over land, money, power, economic policy, national autonomy and the distribution of resources between classes and communities.While the country's political institutions have remained stable, the nation has changed, its population increasing nearly five-fold in five decades. But the economic and political elite's struggle for state resources and the exploitation of ethnicity for political purposes still threaten the country's existence. Today, Kenyans are arguing over many of the issues that divided them 50 years ago. The new constitution promulgated in 2010 provides an opportunity for national renewal, but it must confront a heavy legacy of history. This book reveals that history.

This is the first full history of Kenya's half-century of independence. And it is more than that. Hornsby roots independent Kenya's problems in its many colonial crises, particularly the brutally divisive Mau Mau war. Since then Kenya has experienced rapid change, not least its explosive population growth, and crises, often resolved, at least temporarily, by illegal government action. But the underlying continuities are extraordinary. Hornsby shows how Kenya's most recent tragedy, the killings and evictions that followed the 2007 general election, can be traced back to the political deals of decolonisation. To explain the ambiguities in the Kenyan nation and state is not easy. But with great thoroughness, edged with sometimes startling insight, Hornsby has done just that.John Lonsdale, Emeritus Professor of Modern African History, University of Cambridge. Charles Hornsby has followed Kenya intensely for decades and watched the twists and upsets of its dramatic politics. Now he has written a heavyweight and lucid history of this fascinating and important country. His account is a grand narrative full of sharp insights. Richard Dowden, Chairman Royal African SocietyThe definitive study of independent Kenya. Hornsby has an encyclopaedic knowledge of Kenyan politics and politicians. --David Throup, Senior Associate, Africa Progra, The Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Washington D.C.'monumental... through his formidable command of the material, Hornsby manages to convey the complexity of a society dogged by enervating institutions and their persistent abuse by venal government officials.' - --Survival (IISS Journal)'... an impressive tome which delves in detail into the last 50 years of Kenya s complex political history.' - --[Traveller Magazine]

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Book details

  • PDF | 736 pages
  • Charles Hornsby(Author)
  • I.B.Tauris (18 Dec. 2011)
  • English
  • 3
  • Society, Politics & Philosophy

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Review Text

  • By Shiru mwangi on 31 March 2012

    The book serves both as a reference and a Historic narrative that has been chronologically framed. Charles Hornsby articulates and links the political dynasties and Kenya's economic beneficiaries. It serves as a reminder that a tiny minority owns Kenya. A must read for all those Kenyans and friends of Kenya interested in equitable social and economic development. As Kenya turns 50 in 2013, the book questions the political path that Kenya has taken since independence and whether, if anything has changed as envisaged during the fight for Kenya's independence in 1963! 958 pages that include detailed graphs, statistics and photographs.

  • By dave on 25 July 2013

    Kenya: A History Since IndependenceThere's no doubt the Charles Hornsby's `Kenya: A History Since Independence' is a major work in more ways than one (not least because it is over 800 pages long). However, for those coming to Kenyan history for the first time, or wanting to learn about the country's history in any depth, Hornsby's book should be treated with a degree of caution. Despite its length and breadth, Kenya: A History is more by way of a popular account of Kenyan history based more on newspaper and magazine reports and articles rather than on primary sources and sometimes doesn't take into account publicly available information that runs counter the `same old' accepted stories.To take but just one example, Hornsby's section on the murder of Dr Robert Ouko (Kenya's Foreign Minister murdered in February 1990) regurgitates the popularized version of events which has been largely discredited over the years based on verifiable, primary source based, facts. Hornsby retells the story (which admittedly he admits are based on speculation and `theories advanced') that Dr Ouko might have been investigating alleged corruption over the rehabilitation of the Kisumu Molasses project and clashed with colleagues who wanted bribes (an allegation made by the `directors' of a Swiss-Italian firm called BAK), or that on a trip to Washington just before his death he might have been treated too favourably by the Bush administration and fallen foul of an angry President Moi and cabinet colleagues. Both these theories have proved to be utterly untenable.There has never been any evidence to support the `corruption report' over the Molasses Project theory - all the evidence proves otherwise. Of the BAK directors, one was proven to have been out on bail from a Milan court convicted of attempted fraud (a conviction upheld on appeal) the other was his `partner', and their company, which never traded, was only formerly incorporated as a commercial entity on the day that Dr Ouko was murdered, February 13, 1990. Likewise, the `Washington trip' theory as a motive for Ouko murder was also proven to be entirely without foundation. Ouko did not meet President Bush in Washington (multiple sources confirm this and in 2013 Kenya's Truth, Justice and Reconciliation accepted as fact that there was no Bush-Ouko meeting during the trip to Washington), he flew back with the delegation (again multiple sources and photographs prove this), was not `sacked', his passport was not removed (Mrs Ouko handed her husband's passport to Scotland Yard shortly after their investigation began), and his bodyguard and driver remained on duty with him and under orders up until his death.Nearly all of the information and (primary) source material that prove the `Molasses project' and `Washington trip' theories to be nonsense has been available since at least 2004 (Kenya: A History was published in 2012) and much of it in the public domain, for those that cared to look, since the Gicheru Commission inquiry in 1991 (and readily available via the internet since at least 2010) . Hornsby's sources for this section of the book are largely drawn from newspaper articles and reports in The Daily Nation, Sunday Standard, and Weekly Review, for example, secondary sources mostly from 1992/3.`Kenya: A History Since Independence' is a big book perhaps worth a read to someone who already has a good knowledge of modern Kenyan history but readers new to the subject should beware.

  • By Lulu on 25 December 2014

    Excellent

  • By Guest on 4 March 2016

    great


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