Africa's Armies: From Honor To Infamy

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9780813342771: Africa's Armies: From Honor To Infamy

Africa's Armies traces the military history of sub-Saharan Africa from the pre-colonial era to the present. Robert Edgerton begins this sweeping chronicle by describing the role of African armies in pre-colonial times, when armed forces or militias were essential to the maintenance and prosperity of their societies. During the colonial era, African soldiers fought with death-defying courage, earning such respect as warriors that they were often recruited into the colonial armies not simply to enforce colonial rule in Africa, but to fight for the European homelands as well. After independence swept through Africa, African military men seized political power in country after country, ruling dictatorially for their own benefit and for that of their kinsmen and cronies. The author describes the post-colonial civil wars that have devastated much of sub-Saharan Africa – catastrophes marked by genocide, famine, disease, economic collapse, and steadily declining life expectancy. He closes by describing the role that Africa's military forces can and must play if the future is to bring better times to the continent's many peoples.

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About the Author:

Robert B. Edgerton is the author of more than twenty other books on a variety of sociological, anthropological, and historical topics, most recently Hidden Heroism (Westview 2001). He also teaches anthropology at the UCLA School of Medicine.

From Publishers Weekly:

This is a deeply disturbing book, precisely because of its author's broad knowledge of, and deep sympathy for, sub-Saharan Africa. Edgerton (The Fall of the Asante Empire) romanticizes both the pre-colonial experience and the pre-independence insurgencies to a degree, but makes the point that African armies have fought in most cases with honor, sparing noncombatants even under the stresses of revolution. He is correspondingly at a loss to explain the behavior he describes in his next three chapters. What began in a context of corrupt and inefficient governance as a pattern of military coups and assassinations (totaling over 100 since decolonization), has increasingly degenerated into virtually random mass slaughters, for which Edgerton provides a compendium, from Liberia to the Sudan and back to Sierra Leone. By the time he finishes, the atrocities blur into each other and one account of torture or cannibalism seems just inexplicably horrific as the next. The common thread, however, is that these events have virtually nothing to do with armies or warfare. The perpetrators are not soldiers, whatever they may call themselves-and often, indeed, no longer even bother with such trappings as uniforms and chains of command. The most extensive and the one Edgerton describes in greatest detail, the mutual Hutu-Tutsi genocides of the 1990s, involved populations butchering each other; armed forces were vestigial. Edgerton is better at describing the phenomenon than explaining it. While sharply and legitimately critical of European failures to build infrastructures that sustain modern states, he eschews vulgar West-bashing. At the same time he is reluctant to accept the arguments of those African intellectuals who interpret African culture as structurally maladaptive. In the end he issues a generalized call for African armies to redevelop a professional ethic and rediscover their historic social roles.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Descripción INGRAM PUBLISHER SERVICES US, United States, 2004. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Africa s Armies traces the military history of sub-Saharan Africa from the pre-colonial era to the present. Robert Edgerton begins this sweeping chronicle by describing the role of African armies in pre-colonial times, when armed forces or militias were essential to the maintenance and prosperity of their societies. During the colonial era, African soldiers fought with death-defying courage, earning such respect as warriors that they were often recruited into the colonial armies not simply to enforce colonial rule in Africa, but to fight for the European homelands as well. After independence swept through Africa, African military men seized political power in country after country, ruling dictatorially for their own benefit and for that of their kinsmen and cronies. The author describes the post-colonial civil wars that have devastated much of sub-Saharan Africa - catastrophes marked by genocide, famine, disease, economic collapse, and steadily declining life expectancy. He closes by describing the role that Africa s military forces can and must play if the future is to bring better times to the continent s many peoples. Nº de ref. de la librería APC9780813342771

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Descripción INGRAM PUBLISHER SERVICES US, United States, 2004. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Africa s Armies traces the military history of sub-Saharan Africa from the pre-colonial era to the present. Robert Edgerton begins this sweeping chronicle by describing the role of African armies in pre-colonial times, when armed forces or militias were essential to the maintenance and prosperity of their societies. During the colonial era, African soldiers fought with death-defying courage, earning such respect as warriors that they were often recruited into the colonial armies not simply to enforce colonial rule in Africa, but to fight for the European homelands as well. After independence swept through Africa, African military men seized political power in country after country, ruling dictatorially for their own benefit and for that of their kinsmen and cronies. The author describes the post-colonial civil wars that have devastated much of sub-Saharan Africa - catastrophes marked by genocide, famine, disease, economic collapse, and steadily declining life expectancy. He closes by describing the role that Africa s military forces can and must play if the future is to bring better times to the continent s many peoples. Nº de ref. de la librería APC9780813342771

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Descripción Basic Books (AZ). Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. This item is printed on demand. Paperback. 336 pages. Africas Armies traces the military history of sub-Saharan Africa from the pre-colonial era to the present. Robert Edgerton begins this sweeping chronicle by describing the role of African armies in pre-colonial times, when armed forces or militias were essential to the maintenance and prosperity of their societies. During the colonial era, African soldiers fought with death-defying courage, earning such respect as warriors that they were often recruited into the colonial armies not simply to enforce colonial rule in Africa, but to fight for the European homelands as well. After independence swept through Africa, African military men seized political power in country after country, ruling dictatorially for their own benefit and for that of their kinsmen and cronies. The author describes the post-colonial civil wars that have devastated much of sub-Saharan Africa catastrophes marked by genocide, famine, disease, economic collapse, and steadily declining life expectancy. He closes by describing the role that Africas military forces can and must play if the future is to bring better times to the continents many peoples. This item ships from La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780813342771

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Descripción The Perseus Books Group, 2004. PAP. Estado de conservación: New. New Book. Delivered from our UK warehouse in 3 to 5 business days. THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Nº de ref. de la librería IQ-9780813342771

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