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Patterns of African Development: Five Comparisons. by Herbert J.

Spiro
The Origins of Modern African Thought: Its Development in West Africa during the Nineteenth
and Twentieth Centuries. by Robert W. July
Africa: The Politics of Unity. An Analysis of a Contemporary Social Movement. by Immanuel
Wallerstein
Political Leadership in Africa: Post-Independence Generational Conflict in Upper Volta, Senegal,
Niger, Dahomey, and the Central African Republic. by Victor T. Le Vine
The New Africa. by Lucy Mair
Review by: John D. Hargreaves
Source: International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944-), Vol. 44, No. 3
(Jul., 1968), pp. 573-574
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Royal Institute of International Affairs
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2615091
Accessed: 27-08-2014 08:53 UTC

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MIDDLE EAST

573

United States Policy and the Partition of Turkey, 1914-1924. By Laurence Evans.
Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins Press; London: Oxford University
Press. 1967. 437 pp. Bibliog. Index (The Johns Hopkins University
Studies in Historical and Political Science, under the direction of the
Department of History, Political Economy and Political Science. Series
LXXXII (1964), No. 2.) 64s.

At the finalcollapse of the OttomanEmpireduringand immediately


afterthe
FirstWorldWar,the UnitedStatesbeganits firstattemptsto formulatea Middle
East policy.Mr. Evans' studyis a detailedexaminationof this early American
involvement
in world affairs,and covers the period includingthe outbreakof
war in Europe throughthe negotiationof treatiesand conventionssecuring
Americaninterestsin the Middle East.

AFRICA
Patternsof AfricanDevelopment:Five Comparisons.Ed. by HerbertJ.
Spiro. Englevood Cliffs,N.J.,London: Prentice-Hall.1967. 144 pp.
(A Spectrum
Book). $4.95. 40s.
The Originsof ModernAfricanThought:Its development
in WestAfrica
duringthe nineteenth
and twentieth
centuries. By RobertW. July.
London:Faber & Faber. 1968. 512 pp. Bibliog. Index. 70s.
Africa: The Politicsof Unity. An Analysisof a Contemporary
Social
Movement. By ImmanuelWallerstein.New York: Random House.
1967. 274 pp. Index. $4.95.
PoliticalLeadershipin Africa:Post-Independence
Generational
Conflictin
Upper Volta, Senegal, Niger, Dahomey, and the Central African
Republic. By VictorT. Le Vine. Stanford,Calif.:Hoover Institution
on War,Revolutionand Peace, StanfordUniversity.1967. 114 pp.
(HooverInstitution
Studies:18.) $3.50.
The New Africa: By Lucy Mair. London: Watts.1967. 226 pp. Bibliog.
Index. (The New Thinker'sLibrary.Gen. Ed.: RaymondWilliams.)
ISs.

books representfiveverydifferent
approachesto the formidable
task of understanding
the rapidlychangingfacesof contemporary
African
politics.ProfessorSpiroand fourcolleaguesapplycomparative
approaches
in attempts
to discoverhow fareventsin Africaare likelyto followlines
predictable
on the basis of experienceelsewhere.Fifteenyearsago it was
possibleto holdwhatnowseemnaiveexpectations
on thebasisof European
constitutional
experience;now thereis a tendencyto predictthatAfrican
stateswillfollowthecourseof developing
societieselsewhereand turninto
banana republics,or 'broken-back' states. Spiro
corruptdictatorships,
suspectsthatanalogisingof thissortmayproveequallynaive;he concludes
with a prophecy,if not of successfulinnovation,at least of increasing
Africanskillin thecraftof politics.As ProfessorAli Mazruiargues,'the
of vocabularybetweenAfricaand her formerrulersdisguises
similarity
differences
in modes of thought.Africais moreoriginalin its
important
ideas than the wordsshe uses may tend to suggest'(pp. 91-92). These
authorsthus remaincautiouslyuncertainbut guardedlyoptimistic
about
Africa'spoliticalfuture.
One of them,ProfessorAbu-Lughod,believesthatthe natureof conwould be illuminated
Africannationalism
temporary
by morestudyof its
before1945. So faras WestAfricais concerned,
development
manyof his
THESE

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574

INTERNATIONAL

AFFAIRS

questionsshouldbe answeredby Dr. July'sbig book. This reviewsattempts


made by West Africans,educatedwithinEuropean traditionsand using
largelyEuropean vocabularies,to discovertheir political and cultural
dominatedby Europe. Although
vocationswithinan Africaincreasingly
many
muchof the book retraverses
groundalreadyworkedby specialists,
readerswill be astonishedto discoverhow manyAfricanwritersdid deal
with such themes. Blyden,Horton,Casely Hayford,Blaise Diagne, are
well known,but Julydiscussesabout 30 other19thalreadymoderately
theparallel
century
Africanwriters,
at greateror less length.By indicating
Africans
lines along whichthe thoughtof anglophoneand francophone
a real
oftenran he showsthatthesemen can be regardedas constituting
if inchoateintellectualtradition.His material,if not readilyusable for
purposesof prediction,helps providethat deeper historicalperspective
whichAbu-Lughodcalls for.
is a politicalscientist
writing
contemporary
history.
Professor
Wallerstein
His focus is more immediatethan July's,but his sourcesmay be more
arbitrary.In fact the value of his lucidlypacked surveyof movements
of international
towardsthe formation
groupingsamongAfricanstatesin
is muchreducedby his failureto citeanysourcesat all.
theperiod1957--65
is clearlybased on eventswhichare matters
of public
Muchof his narrative
by materialgathered
record,but it is evidently
givenorderand proportion
in interviews
duringthreeacademicsafarisin the years 1963-65. Wallerbetweena 'core' of
stein'sdevelopmentof his theme-the interaction
Africanunityas the goal of a broad continental
Africanleadersregarding
and a 'periphery'who are
movementwithdeep ideologicalimplications
or regionalalliancesamongstates-usually
contentto workforcontinental
reads well and makessense. But it is not clear whetherit is intendedto
thanthe observations
of any other
carryany greaterintellectual
authority
tourist.
intelligent
should be encouragedto work like Professor
Still,politicalscientists
ratherthanlike ProfessorLe Vine. His methodwas to subject
Wallerstein
countriesto two lengthy
68 verybusymenin fivedifTerent
questionnaires,
on the basis of thesehe reachessome
and to rathersearchinginterviews;
attitudesto certain
not veryastonishingconclusionsabout the different
subjectsof older and youngermembersof the '6lite'. Duringhis visit,
the CentralAfricanRepublic began to adopt a much more restrictive
research-workers.
One can imaginewhy.
to foreign
attitude
and sensibleprimerby a
Dr. Mair's littlebook is a straightforward
seniorAfricanist.Its laterchapterscould providea good text
distinguished
in generalAfricanquestions,and
for an adult educationgroupinterested
in simplelanguageshe makessomeshrewdpointswhichmeritconsideration
by the moresophisticated.It is a pitythatDr. Mair regardsthe 'backgroundof History' as adequatelyprovidedby citingscatteredpieces of
not all of themtoo accurate.Substantive
inaccuracies
factualinformation,
appearon pp. 2, 5, 6, 24, 39, 41, 66-68,97, 156. Of any deep appreciation
have changedsinceherownAfricanapprenof how historians'
perspectives
thereis littlesign.
ticeship,
JOHN D.

HARGREAVES.

Le Maghreb entreles Mythes: L'IRconomienord-africainedepuis l'Independance. By Andre'Tiano. Paris: Presses Universitairesde France. 1967.
623 pp. Bibliog. 48F.

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