THE ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY by A. F. Adonna

THE ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Not unfairly, Mr. Adonna notes that the chief accomplishment of the OAU, established in 1962 as a regional UN and a common voice, has been to survive; attributes survival in large part to outside pressures (like the persistence of white-minority governments) creating a ""negative bond""; identifies a few specific instances of the OAU reducing interstate tensions and many areas--not merely geographic but historical and doctrinaire--where tensions remain. This--plus the outline of the organization's structure--is the useful content of the book; weighing against it is insistent and (especially for a non- African) inappropriate partisanship: Nkrumah is constantly excoriated, and with him the Casablanca ""radicals"" who favored political union; the Congo crisis is presented in similarly unshaded terms which don't accord with more discerning accounts (or with the facts: Lumumba was ""killed while attempting to escape,"" as per a Katanga government release unquestioned here); Biafra is viewed in the least favorable light possible, not only as an internal problem and a groundless revolt but also as an opportunistic play for world sympathy at the expense of its own people. The text is repetitive, over-detailed re occurrences and overgeneralized re causes and effects, traits which particularly mar the section on Pan-Africanism and the struggle for independence; that on Moslem and European colonization is undiscriminating (e.g. the European slave trade is equated with the African and Moslem) and, in some key areas, altogether silent (as to how Europeans gained control of Africa, for example). Indeed, every topic other than the OAU is better treated elsewhere, and the OAU takes up only a small portion of the book; moreover, some of what is poorly done verges on the pernicious.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1969
Publisher: World