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The Men Who Stole Africa


480 Pages, 5 x 7.75

Formats: Trade Paper, Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $16.95 (US $16.95) (CA $22.95)

Publication Date: June 2019

ISBN 9781784972141

Rights: US & CA

Head of Zeus (Jun 2019)

Price: $16.95


A heartbreaking portrait of the fates so many African countries suffered post-independence

One dictator grew so rich on his country's cocoa crop that he built a 35-story-high basilica in the jungles of the Ivory Coast. One austere, incorruptible leader shut Eritrea off from the world in a permanent state of war and conscripted every adult into the armed forces. The Libyan army officer who authored a new work of political philosophy, The Green Book, and lived with a harem of female soldiers, running his country like a mafia family business. And behind these stories of fantastic violence and excess lie the dark secrets of Western greed and complicity, the insatiable taste for chocolate, oil, diamonds, and gold that have encouraged dictators to rule with an iron hand, keeping their people in dire poverty.


"In this colorful and brutal history, British journalist Kenyon (I Am Justice: A Journey out of Africa) explores the stubborn hold on power of seven kleptocratic postcolonial African leaders. . . . His prose is so artfully descriptive that readers will feel like they are on the ground alongside him. For readers unfamiliar with the ins and outs of African politics, this will be illuminating." —Publishers Weekly

"Well written and sensibly structured. . . . Some of the most revealing passages are based on interviews with retired expatriate executives and diplomats who were witness to the excesses of the early post-colonial years." —Sunday Times

"A humane, timely, accessible and well-researched book that shines a light on urgent African issues . . . that, when we consider the state of our own societies, can no longer be dismissed as merely somewhere else's problem." —Irish Times

"A jaw-dropping tale of greed, corruption and brutality." —Daily Express

"It is [the] minute observations that make Mr Kenyon's book so hard to put down." —Economist

"Highly readable . . . A chapter on the rise of Félix Houphouët-Boigny is especially vivid." —Times

"A heart-breaking and stomach-churning history but also an utterly absorbing one ... Kenyon blends in gripping, authenticating first-hand testimonies from those who were behind the carnage and corruption ... This book shines a vital light on how Africa was robbed 'in broad daylight'." —UAE National

'The stories it tells of dictators such as Robert Mugabe and Muammer Gaddafi are grimly fascinating and leave the reader to ponder why so many of Africa's liberation heroes turned into villains." —Financial Times

Author Biography

Paul Kenyon is a BBC correspondent and BAFTA award-winning journalist and author.