Kwame Nkrumah. Vision and Tragedy
394 Pages
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Kwame Nkrumah. Vision and Tragedy


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394 Pages


The year-long celebration of Ghana's Golden Jubilee provides a fitting context for the republication of the book Kwame Nkrumah: Vision and Tragedy. In the lead-up to the celebration and over the course of the year, the life and times of Kwame Nkrumah will receive unprecedented public attention, official and unofficial. Kwame Nkrumah's very wide name-recognition is, paradoxically, accompanied by sketchy, often oversimplified knowledge about the events and processes of his life and times. For most of those born after independence in 1957, such knowledge does not extend much beyond who Kwame Nkrumah was and vague notions about he won us Independence.
This book presents new material and new analysis, which helps to clarify aspects of the record, while advancing new perspectives. What comes across clearly throughout the book is the significant contribution of Nkrumah's vision and personality at a critical moment in the history of Africa and the Third World. He, perhaps more than any other, was able to identify, focus and catalyse the major factors and players driving the struggle for political independence in Ghana and liberation in other parts of Africa. In the process, he committed his life and work totally to a wide variety of activities and processes in Ghana, the continent and in the global Non-Aligned Movement.



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Published 15 November 2007
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EAN13 9789988647810
Language English
Document size 1 MB

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David Rooney
Sub-Saharan Publishers, Ghana
This edition first published in Ghana, 2007 by SUB-SAHARAN PUBLISHERS P.O. BOX LG 358, LEGON, ACCRA, GHANA
© David Rooney 1988
First Published asKwame Nkrumah: The Political Kingdom in the Third Worldby I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd
ISBN 978-9988-647-60-5
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be re-produced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers.
Layout by Anne Yayra Sakyi Cover design by Kwabena Agyepong
Map of Ghana in the 1960s Preface Introduction Foreword to the 2nd Edition 1 Early Life2 London Interlude 3 Secretary of the UGCC 4 Birth of the CPP 5 Leader of Government Business 6 Constitutional Changes 7 The Economy and the World Stage 8 Ashanti and the NLM 9 The 1956 Election – The Struggle Continues 10 Independence 11 Prime Minister 1957 - 60 12 The Volta River Project 13 Lurch to the Left 14 The Socialist State 15 Foreign Policy 16 Denouement 17 Retrospect Notes Bibliography Index
06 07 09 13 18 40 52 74 92 104 120 132 162 182 192 216 236 252 280 322 350 366 375 380
GHANA in the 1960s
DURING THE RESEARCH FOR THIS BOOKI have been very conscious of the debt I owe to people I have interviewed, to librarians and archivists, and to those authors and scholars upon whose work I have drawn. I wish to express my gratitude to everyone who has helped in these different ways, and, firstly, to Lady Arden-Clarke for her permission to use the Arden-Clarke Papers. I am grateful, too, to Dr. Janet Seeley and the staff of the African Studies Centre, Cambridge, and to the staff of Rhodes House and of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at Oxford. I should also like to thank the following distinguished people who either knew Nkrumah or were able to provide valuable information and comment: Professor Anthony Low and Dr. A.H.M. Kirk-Green for their help and encouragement: the Rev. Colin Russell, Erica Powell, Gorkeh Nkrumah (Kwame Nkrumah’s son), David Williams (formerly editor ofWest Africa), Dr Davidson Nicol, Sir Robert Jackson and Franklin Williams. In Ghana, the staff of the National Archives in Accra, Jimmy and Rachel Phillips and their family, Jimmy Moxon, Komla Gbedemah, Kojo Botsio, Sir William Ofori Atta, Joe Appiah, Jimmy Aggrey-Orleans, Professor Sam Sey, Alhaji Alhassan (Tamale), Dr. A. Seini and M. Mahama of NORRIP. In the United States, I had the privilege of working in the John F. Kennedy Library, Boston, Massachusetts and in the L.B. Johnson Library in Austin, Texas. I wish to express my appreciation of the
help provided by their staff. Also I express my sincere gratitude to William P. Mahoney and his family in Phoenix, Arizona for their hospitality and their helpful comments on the life and times of Kwame Nkrumah. I am particularly grateful to the Leverhulme Trust which awarded me a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to enable me to carry out research in Britain, in Ghana and in the USA, I owe a deep debt of gratitude to my wife Muriel not only for her unfailing support but also for her supreme effort in mastering the wretched word-processor. Kwame Nkrumah was a brilliant and highly controversial figure, who so nearly straddled the East-West divide, who dreamed in vain of a United Africa, and who, at the last, was loved and hated, worshipped and derided, misunderstood and distrusted. I have attempted to give a fair and balanced assessment of his life and achievement. In doing so, I have tried to follow the dictum of Nkrumah’s idol, John F. Kennedy, who said ‘The highest duty of the writer is to remain true to himself and let the chips fall where they may’.
David Rooney Clare Hall Cambridge 1988
AT THE TIME WHENKWAMENKRUMAHand the Convention People’s Party (CPP) secured Ghana’s independence, Ghana enjoyed the goodwill and support of countries all over the world. Nine years later, in February 1996, Nkrumah was ousted in a military coup, the CPP disintegrated overnight, and there followed a series of military regimes together with two ineffective civilian administrations. Throughout much of this time Nkrumah and his rule were ridiculed and derided. In the 1980s, however, the perspective is shifting. This book sets out to show how Nkrumah’s hopes and dreams for Ghana and for Africa are once again coming to be seen as relevant to Africa’s problem. The achievement of Ghana’s independence in 1957 gave hope to the leaders of independence movements all over Africa and inspiration to the civil rights leaders in the Untied States as illustrated by the enthusiastic reception Nkrumah received form black communities during his visits to America and by his correspondence with Martin Luther King until his assassination in 1968. In the decade after 1957, while many African countries moved towards their own independence, Kwame Nkrumah, almost alone among African leaders, saw the continent’s future in a global perspective. What he knew of Africa reinforced the Marxist analysis he had absorbed during his years at Lincoln University, Pennsylvania. He envisaged a united and self-sufficient Africa as the ultimate objective of all the independence struggles and to achieve this aim he shaped a new philosophy – Nkrumaism