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Political History of Guinea since World War Two


Mohamed Saliou Camara

Political History of Guinea since World War Two provides an in-depth study of the political evolution of Guinea from World War Two to the present. Based on primary-source information, it examines with rare depth and breadth the eventful history of this nation-state, whose trajectory has impacted in no small ways Francophone Africa and the rest of the continent. Interviews with some of the most knowledgeable and most credible actors and/or witnesses of Guinea’s political history and archival research, including the papers of key individuals never opened to the public before, constitute the foundation of this work. The author’s personal and professional experience further strengthens the work. As a native Guinean, a historian, and a journalist imbued with the political ideology of the PDG regime, the author was also a close and alert witness of the political transformation of this country. Hence, the book offers an incisive analysis of domestic politics and policy making under the five successive regimes that have governed Guinea since independence in 1958. It also offers an equally incisive analysis of the country’s foreign relations within international frameworks such as the Organization of African Unity, the United Nations, the Nonalignment Movement, the Economic Community of West African States, the Mano River Union, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and so on. This ground-breaking work is perfectly suited for courses in areas such as history, political science, African studies, decolonization studies, Third World studies, and nationalism studies.
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My utmost gratitude goes to my wife, Cynthia, for being patient, understanding and supportive throughout the years it took me to research and write this book. The richness and originality of the work was made possible in many regards by the cooperation of numerous actors, witnesses, and analysts of the historical facts, events, and processes studied therein. For sharing with me their memories and analytical input and the contents of their jealously preserved personal papers I am deeply indebted and sincerely grateful to them. Although the sheer number makes it unpractical to name them here, the reader will encounter their names and input throughout the text. The contribution of those persons is all the more valuable because some of them had to defy or ignore risks of harassment and intimidation in order to grant me recorded interviews or even informal conversations on particularly sensitive matters, with the understanding that their accounts may appear on the pages of this book.

Indeed, harassment and intimidation have long become powerful weapons in the hands of both supporters and detractors of each of the successive regimes having ruled Guinea since 1958. Each side seems determined to impose its “historical truth” and, in the process, drag in the mud anyone who dares to offer an account that contradicts that “truth.” The methods to that end are today all the more perverse with the use and misuse of the Internet and its multimedia capabilities. I am certainly aware of this trend for...

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