The Challenges of History and Leadership in Africa: The Essays of Bethwell Allan Ogot
edited by Toyin Falola and Atieno Odhiambo
Spanning four decades of active scholarship by Professor Bethwell Allan Ogot, this volume reflects the range of his concerns as an academic and a public intellectual. Among these concerns are the methodology of African historiography, the myth of the outsider as the genius behind African achievements, radical African sloganeering in the production of history, and "postmodernism" as a trend. Other essays reveal Ogot’s concern with the interdisciplinary scholarship in the reconstruction of the African past, and his engagement with the present as his own people, the Kenyans, seek to construct a meaningful legacy out of the Mau Mau War. He also reflects on the buffeting forces of globalization and the challenges posed by the international financial institutions such as the World Bank in the formulation of Africa’s future policies. The role of the university looms large in this volume as well, both as a site of innovation and as the repository of Africa’s genius and autonomy. Ultimately, Ogot calls for building from indigenous traditions as Africa faces the challenges of the twenty-first century.