Mau Mau and Kenya widens the debate about the Mau Mau revolt and adds an African voice to the examination and interpretation of an important event in African history. Wunyabari Maloba traces this unique peasant revolt against British colonialism offering a fresh look at a movement that has been "reinvented" by ideologues on the Left and Right in postcolonial Kenya. Was Mau Mau a national effort or an ethnic outburst? What were its political aims? Maloba describes the Mau Mau legacy, concentrating on three issues: participants and their differing ideologies; relationships between the revolt and the conventional party politics of the Kenya African Union; and the impact of Mau Mau on decolonization in Kenya. Maloba argues that Mau Mau's various factions disagreed over aims and objectives, and that this lack of a cohesive revolutionary ideology influenced the shape and destiny of the revolt. He compares Mau Mau, as an anti-colonial peasant movement, to European and Third World revolutionary movements. In placing the Mau Mau rebellion within the framework of theoretical debates about social movements, Maloba demonstrates that its aim, like that of other peasant revolts, was the overthrow of colonial domination and the attainment of national independence. Mau Mau and Kenya makes a significant contribution to postwar Kenyan historiography.
"... an up-to-date, comprehensive, and accessible single-volume text to introduce the Mau Mau movement and its part in Kenya's nationalism and independence..."
WUNYABARI O. MALOBA is Associate Professor of History and Coordinator of the African Studies Program at the University of Delaware. He has published a number of articles on nationalism and decolonization.
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