We are delighted to announce the publication of Andrew Cohen’s latest book, The Politics and Economics of Decolonization in Africa: The Failed Experiment of the Central African Federation
This insightful and erudite intervention into the study of African decolonization sets the end of empire into its international context, using archival material from southern Africa, Europe and the United States.
Andrew is Lecturer in Imperial History at the University of Kent, teaching courses on the history of the United Nations and African resistance to colonial rule.
The slow collapse of the European colonial empires after 1945 provides one of the great turning points of twentieth century history. With the loss of India however, the British under Harold Macmillan attempted to enforce a ‘second’ colonial occupation – supporting the efforts of Sir Andrew Cohen of the Colonial Office to create a Central African Federation. Drawing on newly released archival material, The Politics and Economics of Decolonization offers a fresh examination of Britain’s central African territories in the late colonial period and provides a detailed assessment of how events in Britain, Africa and the UN shaped the process of decolonization. The author situates the Central African Federation – which consisted of modern day Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi – in its wider international context, shedding light on the Federation’s complex relationships with South Africa, with US Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy and with the expanding United Nations. The result is an important history of the last days of the British Empire and the beginnings of a more independent African continent.