The strong ties between France and its former African colonies are a matter of common knowledge, but this book provides a thorough review of their origins, history, and ongoing nature. It traces the construction of policies in the late 1950s that enabled President Charles de Gaulle to confer formal political independence on France's African territories without jeopardizing fundamental French economic interests. Such was the appeal and stability of the ensuing neocolonial pattern that even François Mitterrand, after a short break in the early 1980s, quickly reverted to the traditional relationship. The author speculates that time and generational change will erode the personalized style of French-African relations. Useful chapters consider French cultural influences in Francophone Africa and the attitudes toward Africa and Africans in France.
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