Reviews of academic books feature on the blog on Fridays, we have compiled a list of the best read book reviews of 2015.
10. Women and the Informal Economy in Urban Africa – From the Margins to the Centre by Mary Njeri Kinyanyjui – Rochelle Burgess said that this book could be a landmark publication in changing perceptions of how development should be viewed.
9. The Mind of the African Strongman by Herman J Cohen – Harry C. Blaney III said that this work reveals the multiplicity of African political thought and influence.
8. Africa: Why Economists get it Wrong by Morten Jerven – Morten Jerven’s latest book is a “helpful reminder that policymakers should learn from economic trends, and not the trends of economists”, said LSE’s Mollie Gerver.
7. Africa’s World Trade: Informal Economies and Globalisation from Below by Margaret C Lee – This book explores informal actors’ interactions with global trade networks and it goes beyond much of what has been written on Sino-African relations, extending debates about informal economies into a global context, according to Jamie Hitchen.
6. Magnificent and Beggar Land: Angola since the Civil War by Ricardo Soares de Oliveira – Nick Branson praised Ricardo Soares de Oliveira’s publication as “perhaps the finest account of contemporary Angola available in English”.
5. Who Shall Enter Paradise: Christian Origins in Muslim Northern Nigeria, ca. 1890-1975 by Shobana Shankar – Ini Dele-Adedeji described Shobana Shankar’s book as a landmark work that will usher in new era of writing on northern Nigeria.
4. Death in the Congo: Murdering Patrice Lumumba, by Emmanuel Gerard and Bruce Kuklick – LSE’s Joanna Lewis reviewed this fresh look on the assassination of the nation’s first democratically elected leader.
3. Violent Intermediaries: African Soldiers, Conquest, and Everyday Colonialism in German East Africa by Michelle R Moyd – Joanna Lewis praises Michelle Moyd’s book as a fascinating exploration into the lives of the African soldiers who served under German colonisers in the late nineteenth century.
2. Democracy in Africa: Successes, Failures, and the Struggle for Political Reform by Dr Nic Cheeseman – Jamie Hitchen says that Nic Cheeseman has been so thorough in dealing with his subject matter that this book will be useful reading both for first-time students as well as those more familiar with the topic.
1.Illegality, Inc.: Clandestine Migration and the Business of Bordering Europe by Ruben Andersson – Employing an ethnographic approach to analyse the clandestine migration routes which connect the Sahelian nations of Senegal, Mauritania and Morocco to southern Europe, Ruben Andersson’s first book provides a comprehensive and eloquent depiction of the business of illegal migration, according to Jamie Hitchen.
The views expressed in this post are those of the author and in no way reflect those of the Africa at LSE blog or the London School of Economics and Political Science.