In This Review

African Independence: The First Twenty-Five Years
African Independence: The First Twenty-Five Years
Edited by Gwendolen M. Carter and Patrick O'Meara
Indiana University Press, 1985, 364 pp

This ambitious overview of independent Africa's first two and a half decades fittingly marks a culminating point of African specialist Gwendolen Carter's impressive career as teacher and writer. A brilliant array of colleagues, including Richard Sklar, Donald McHenry, Robert Jackson and Carl Rosberg, Crawford Young, John Saul and Immanuel Wallerstein sum up predominant political, economic and intellectual trends. Despite their significant differences in approach and ideology, the prevailing tone is wariness: few grand theories of how Africa can, should or will develop have survived the last 25 years in credible form. This moment may provide a great opportunity: while Western intellectuals are baffled, perhaps Africans may pick up the ball and run for real self-reliance.