Idi Amin The Story of Africa's Icon of Evil Mark Leopold

Format:
Paperback
Publication date:
27 Jul 2021
ISBN:
9780300260885
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
368 pages: 197 x 127mm
Illustrations:
1 map + 21 color illus.
Sales territories:
World

The first serious full-length biography of modern Africa’s most famous dictator

“Sharply written, forensically researched. . . . A meticulous re-examination of Amin’s life, producing a narrative packed with original evidence, and one that strives at all times to be scrupulously well balanced. ”—Paul Kenyon, The Sunday Times, London

Idi Amin began his career in the British army in colonial Uganda, and worked his way up the ranks before seizing power in a British-backed coup in 1971. He built a violent and unstable dictatorship, ruthlessly eliminating perceived enemies and expelling Uganda’s Asian population as the country plunged into social and economic chaos.

In this powerful and provocative new account, Mark Leopold places Amin’s military background and close relationship with the British state at the heart of the story. He traces the interwoven development of Amin’s career and his popular image as an almost supernaturally evil monster, demonstrating the impossibility of fully distinguishing the truth from the many myths surrounding the dictator. Using an innovative biographical approach, Leopold reveals how Amin was, from birth, deeply rooted in the history of British colonial rule, how his rise was a legacy of imperialism, and how his monstrous image was created.

Mark Leopold is Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Sussex.