TOM MBOYA by Alan Rake


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Alan Rake's monograph on Tom Mboya, Kenya's bright young black-politico-on-the make, is a crisp and clever cross between a journalistic survey of Pan Africanism and a party headquarters valentine. According to Rake, Tom Mboya arrived at the right moment in Kenya's history: born in 1930 he entered the post-Mau Mau legislative arena right after the arrest of fabled Kenyatta, travelled overseas to Oxford, attended labor confabs and dock strikes, supervised student airlifts to the U.S., met both Nixon and Kennedy. He's been accused of misusing funds, of spouting democratic slogans to foster dictatorial aims, of hiding Fabian Socialists or Kremlin commies under his bed; however, the only sure influence seems to be Ghana's Nkrumah and Tanganyika's Myerere. The Mboya Achille's heel: a supreme, almost savage self-confidence that makes it difficult for him to keep gifted colleagues close by for long. Other personalia: a comic penchant for quoting old Empire builder Kipling and a reputation as a sort of cold-blooded Casanova. As first ""cover story"" on one of the Dark Continent's flashiest beacons, Tom Mboya proves a sharp, spirited defense and a good introduction to the prime mover behind Kenya's most powerful political merger, the PCP with the KANU.

Publisher: Doubleday