“Based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork, archival research, and autobiographical analysis, Saidou Mohamed N’Daou offers
unique insights by his rich descriptions of the struggles over memories in Guinea, from the precolonial to the postcolonial,
socialist era. N’Daou convincingly shows that the elite and the rest of the population had competing nationalist agendas in
which both mobilized images of great Mande empires.”
—Jan Jansen, Leiden University, The Netherlands
“Mohamed N’Daou offers a unique and well-informed perspective on multiple aspects of the political and cultural history of
Guinea, focused on the time of Ahmed Sékou Touré, who led the nation into independence and later dictatorship. He combines
his autobiographical perspective, as a student inculcated with the ideology put forth by Ahmed Sékou Touré, with an analysis
of that ideology. His record of that historical development leads to a sort of intellectual autobiography, illustrating the
steps by which he cast off the indoctrination.
The book crosses generic lines: it is documentary, philosophical, autobiographical, and in places speculative. In this amalgam
lies its value.
One might here offer a disquisition on how the political history of African states has been ignored. Saidou Mohamed N’Daou’s
book is a corrective to that blindness.”
—Stephen Belcher has taught at the University of Nouakchott (Mauritania), The Pennsylvania State University, and The Julius
Nyerere University in Kankan (Guinea)