A Revolutionary in Cold War Africa
Published by: Indiana University Press
350 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 x 0.00 mm, 8 b&w illus., 1 map
- ISBN: 9780253053763
- Published: March 2021
Thomas Sankara: A Revolutionary in Cold War Africa offers the first complete biography in English of the dynamic revolutionary leader from Burkina Faso, Thomas Sankara. Coming to power in 1983, Sankara set his sights on combating social injustice, poverty, and corruption in his country, fighting for women's rights, direct forms of democracy, economic sovereignty, and environmental justice.
Drawing on government archival sources and over a hundred interviews with Sankara's family members, friends, and closest revolutionary colleagues, Brian J. Peterson details Sankara's political career and rise to power, as well as his assassination at age 37 in 1987, in a plot led by his close friend Blaise Compaoré.
Thomas Sankara: A Revolutionary in Cold War Africa offers a unique, critical appraisal of Sankara and explores why he generated such enthusiasm and hope in Burkina Faso and beyond, why he was such a polarizing figure, how his rivals seized power from him, and why T-shirts sporting his image still appear on the streets today.
List of Abbreviations
1. Coming of Age in the Shadow of Colonialism, 1949-1966
2. Education of a Revolutionary, 1966-1973
3. A Rising Star: Soldiers and the Political Left, 1973-1982
4. From Political Prisoner to Populist Prime Minister, 1982-1983
5. The "Revolution of August 4" and the People's President
6. "This Man Who Unsettles": Confronting the Neocolonial Order, 1983-1984
7. The Struggle for Unity, 1983-1984
8. "Daring to Invent the Future": Nation-Building and the Promise of Revolutionary Change, 1984-85
9. Politics is War and War is Politics: Sankara in the International Arena, 1984-1985
10. Revolutionary Duties and Perils, 1986-1987
11. No Turning Back: The Road to October 15, 1987
Thomas Sankara: A Revolutionary in Cold War Africa is one of the most fully realized biographies of a modern African politicalgure in recent years, and a striking portrayal not just of this fascinating and ultimately tragic states-man but of an entire political era on the continent.~New York Review of Books