The Politics of Independence and Unity

Immanuel Wallerstein
With an introduction by the author

280 pages


December 2005


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About the Book

Africa: The Politics of Independence and Unity combines into one edition for the first time Africa: The Politics of Independence and Africa: The Politics of Unity. With a new introduction by the author, this edition provides some of the earliest and most valuable analysis of African politics during the period when the colonial system began to disintegrate.
The influential Africa: The Politics of Independence was written as Africa was just realizing independence and still reveling in the optimism it brought. Immanuel Wallerstein was one of the few scholars who had traveled throughout Africa during the collapse of colonial rule. As a result, his interpretive essay captures the dynamism of that period of transformation and adroitly analyzes Africa’s modern political developments during the nascent process of decolonization. Africa: The Politics of Unity, published six years later, examines the African unity movement that arose between 1957 and 1965 and its revolutionary core. It is often considered the first thorough analysis of the postindependence history of Africa.

Author Bio

Immanuel Wallerstein is a senior research scholar at Yale University and former president of the African Studies Association. He is the author of more than forty books, including The Decline of American Power: The U.S. in a Chaotic World and World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction.


“The treatment of political problems faced by the new nations of Africa is excellent. . . . The volume is highly recommended as an excellent introduction to a broad, difficult subject.”—American Sociological Review

“Wallerstein views the movement towards African unity in terms of the interaction and conflict. . . . It is an exciting story, which Wallerstein tells very well indeed.”—Journal of Modern African Studies

“A useful source for historians and political scientists looking to understand how Africa was interpreted in those early postcolonial years. . . . An important work that deserves to be reprinted and re-read.”—Michael Jennings, African History

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