In This Review

Adventures in Zambian Politics: A Story in Black and White
Adventures in Zambian Politics: A Story in Black and White
By Guy Scott
Lynne Rienner, 2019, 259 pp

Born in what was then Northern Rhodesia to British parents, Scott renounced his British citizenship and chose to remain in Zambia after the country won its independence in 1964. He has been a government economist, a farmer, a leader of a farmers’ union, a democracy activist, one of the founders of the Patriotic Front (the party currently in power), and a vice president under the presidency of Michael Sata. Scott briefly became acting president, for three months, in late 2014, after Sata’s death. In this engaging and often witty memoir surveying his career, Scott revels in the fact that this last credential makes him the only white person to have served as president in an African electoral democracy. His memoir is particularly entertaining concerning recent Zambian politics, with its nasty personal rivalries and underhanded conspiracies. Scott recounts with great insight the rise of the Patriotic Front through two national elections. He is a modest narrator, and the real hero of his story is Sata, his political patron and mentor. Although observers of Zambia often criticize Sata as an unscrupulous populist whose election in 2011 began the current democratic backsliding, he emerges from this book as an eccentric but brilliant political entrepreneur who cared deeply about Zambia and its people.