First, general remarks about European colonialism, characterized as an irrational ""happening"" which promotes no discussion of World War I. The full and useful history of decolonizations and post-independence relations between Europe and Black Africa does emphasize economic ties. Next, a review of Russia's increasingly indicriminate collaboration with African leaders and a warning about long term potential for Chinese influence. Nielsen's examination of U.S. policy has weak spots (the Congo, for one). But his ""pragmatic and reactive"" (rather than doctrinaire and aggressive) label for past policy is sound. He recommends that the U.S. steer Europe away from present opportunistic, competitive, unco-ordinated behavior in Africa (one can guess their response); avoid military ventures; and try seriously to pre-empt Communist control of the inevitable explosions in Southern Africa. (The solid, viz. golden, obstacles to this course are bypassed.) The book challenges naive convictions that neo-imperialism is booming in Africa. Nielsen takes pains to show that aid has fallen and investment slacked for lack of infrastructure and immediate returns. Given the Council on Foreign Relations imprint, the book can be taken as a memo toward fitting Africa more safely and profitably into the ""Western"" sphere. At any rate, it make's a stout multipurpose reference work.