Kenya: From Colonization to Independence, 1888-1970
This book relates a series of events leading from Kenya's colonization through its emergence as an independent country. Beginning with the advent of Europeans in the late 1800s, it presents Kenya as a land of contrasts--in geography as well as people. Home to Arabs, Indians and Europeans as well as various African tribes, Kenya experienced strife throughout its colonial history. Gatheru discusses the viewpoint of the Kenyan people, enumerating the events and attitudes that led to the eruption of violence. Covered in particular are the economic, political and social policies Britain established toward its colonials. The role of Kenyan reform leaders such as Harry Thuku and Jomo Kenyatta in the country's struggle for independence is also examined.
Although Gatheru is quick to establish that Britain's original intentions were admirable, he reveals how the Mau Mau rebellion, which began in 1952, was the ultimate culmination of sixty years of increasingly destructive British policies. The closing chapters of the book deal with the granting of Kenyan independence in 1963, the aftermath of independence, and the plans of Kenya's newborn government for dealing with the issues of labor, agriculture and land ownership.
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