My First Coup d'Etat: And Other True Stories from the Lost Decades of Africa

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Jul 3, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 336 pages
3 Reviews
MY FIRST COUP D'ETAT is a literary nonfiction account that charts the coming of age of John Dramani Mahama in Ghana during the dismal post-independence "lost decades" of Africa. He was seven years old when rumors of that first coup reached his boarding school in Accra. His father was suddenly missing. "It is sometimes incorrectly referred to in texts as a bloodless coup, yet it was anything but," Mahama writes. "They tried, as best they could, with smiles and toffee, to shield me from their rising anxiety but I could feel it bouncing off the quick sideways glances they shot one another and taking flight like some dark, winged creature." John's father, a Minister of State, was in prison for more than a year. MY FIRST COUP D'ETAT offers a look at the country that has long been considered Africa's success story--from its founding as the first sub-Saharan nation to gain independence, to its current status as the only nation on the continent to have, thus far, met the majority of targets on hunger, poverty, and education set by the U.N. But these stories work on many levels--as fables, as history, as cultural and political analysis, and of course as the memoir of a young man who, unbeknownst to him or anyone else, is destined to become a leader in his own land. These are stories that rise above their specific settings and transport the reader--much like the stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer and Nadine Gordimer--into a world all their own, one which straddles a time lost and explores the universal human emotions of love, fear, faith, despair, loss, longing, and hope despite all else.

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User Review  - sarbow - LibraryThing

My First Coup D'Etat is John Dramani Mahama's memoir his life in Ghana in the 30 years following independence from England. Its a moving and often relatable story about the culture and traditions of ... Read full review

MY FIRST COUP D'ETAT: And Other True Stories from the Lost Decades of Africa

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

From the vice president of Ghana, a series of sensitive, honest autobiographical essays on the "lost decades" in his homeland.Mahama employs the moving devices of fiction to convey these coming-of-age ... Read full review


The Lost Decades
The District Commissioners
Of Silence and Solidarity
Full Moon Dance
Got My Christian Name
Teenagers in Tamale
Frozen Fire
Union Government
Truth Stands
Ghana Must
Return of Hope Anaa?
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About the author (2012)

His Excellency John Dramani Mahama is a writer, historian, communications expert, former member of Parliament and Minister of State, and sitting President of the Republic of Ghana. He lives in Accra, Ghana.

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