Disconsolate empires : French, British, and Belgian military involvement in post-colonial Sub-Saharan Africa /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Rouvez, Alain
Imprint:Lanham, Md. : University Press of America, c1994.
Description:xiv, 451 p. ; 22 cm.
Subject:Diplomatic relations.
International relations.
Africa, Sub-Saharan -- Foreign relations -- 1960-
Africa, Sub-Saharan -- History -- 1960-
Africa, Sub-Saharan -- Relations -- Europe.
Europe -- Foreign relations -- Africa, Sub-Saharan.
Africa, Sub-Saharan.
Format: Print Book
URL for this record:http://pi.lib.uchicago.edu/1001/cat/bib/1688152
Hidden Bibliographic Details
Other authors / contributors:Coco, Michael
Paddack, Jean-Paul
ISBN:0819196436 (cloth : alk. paper)
Notes:Includes bibliographical references and index.
Review by Choice Review

Rouvez has written a highly informative work on French, British, and Belgian involvement in sub-Saharan Africa since the early 1960s. He accurately portrays France as the most heavily involved with its former colonies, whether in backing monetary systems, or in keeping four permanent military bases, or in being willing to employ its forces often in African conflicts. France was clearly the dominant European power in Africa during this period and remains so today. Rouvez shows that three European metropoles maintained interest, in a quasi neocolonial fashion, in this region after independence in the 1960s. Militarily, Britain is a shadow of its former self. Given the very small role Britain has played in sub-Saharan Africa it is strange that the author spent 80-odd pages on this minor player. Surprisingly, Belgium has had significant influence in Africa, particularly in Rwanda and Zaire, with an elite paratroop unit specifically charged with African involvement. In the wake of the Rwanda debacle, however, Belgium's role is becoming more marginal. Some of the problems in this work include an almost encyclopedic and superficial approach to particular sub-Saharan crises, reliance on secondary and journalistic sources, lack of narrative flow, and turgid prose. Nonetheless, the book gives a good overall summary of French, Belgian, and British armed forces and their relative potential for power projection in Africa. General readers; upper-division undergraduates; graduate students. W. T. Dean III; Norwich University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review