shopping_cart

Thomas Sankara
An African Revolutionary

By Ernest Harsch

Thomas Sankara: An African Revolutionary will serve as an excellent introduction to Sankara and the revolution in Burkina Faso and explain why Sankara continues to be so widely admired throughout Africa and beyond.”

Christopher Wise, author of Derrida, Africa, and the Middle East

“…[A] fascinating read about a leader who not only led a revolution to free his people … but also lived a simple and humble life, uncorrupted by the power of the office he held.”

Africa Renewal

“Harsch’s book helps us understand why [Sankara's] ideas are still very much alive. It's a good read and well worth the price.”

The Bullet

Thomas Sankara, often called the African Che Guevara, was president of Burkina Faso, one of the poorest countries in Africa, until his assassination during the military coup that brought down his government. Although his tenure in office was relatively short, Sankara left an indelible mark on his country’s history and development. An avowed Marxist, he outspokenly asserted his country’s independence from France and other Western powers while at the same time seeking to build a genuine pan-African unity.

Ernest Harsch traces Sankara’s life from his student days to his recruitment into the military, early political awakening, and increasing dismay with his country’s extreme poverty and political corruption. As he rose to higher leadership positions, he used those offices to mobilize people for change and to counter the influence of the old, corrupt elites. Sankara and his colleagues initiated economic and social policies that shifted away from dependence on foreign aid and toward a greater use of the country’s own resources to build schools, health clinics, and public works. Although Sankara’s sweeping vision and practical reforms won him admirers both in Burkina Faso and across Africa, a combination of domestic opposition groups and factions within his own government and the army finally led to his assassination in 1987.

This is the first English-language book to tell the story of Sankara’s life and struggles, drawing on the author’s extensive firsthand research and reporting on Burkina Faso, including interviews with the late leader. Decades after his death, Sankara remains an inspiration to young people throughout Africa for his integrity, idealism, and dedication to independence and self-determination.

Ernest Harsch is a research scholar at the Institute of African Studies at Columbia University. He worked on African issues at the United Nations for more than twenty years and is the author of South Africa: White Rule, Black Revolt.

Order a print copy

Paperback · $11.96 ·
Add to Cart

Retail price: $14.95 · Save 20% ($11.96)

Buy from a local bookstore

IndieBound

US and Canada only

Download an electronic copy

Amazon Kindle Store Barnes & Noble NOOK Google Play iBooks Store

Availability and price vary according to vendor.

Cover of Thomas Sankara

Share    Facebook icon  Email icon

Requests

Desk Copy Examination Copy Review Copy

Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center

Links

Documents

Formats

Paperback
978-0-8214-2126-0
Retail price: $14.95, T.
Release date: November 2014
12 illus. · 160 pages · 4¼ × 7 in.
Rights: World except SADC

Electronic
978-0-8214-4507-5
Release date: November 2014
12 illus. · 160 pages
Rights: World except SADC

Related Titles

Cover of 'Patrice Lumumba'

Patrice Lumumba
By Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja

Patrice Lumumba was a leader of the independence struggle in what is today the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the country’s first democratically elected prime minister. After a meteoric rise in the colonial civil service and the African political elite, he became a major figure in the decolonization movement of the 1950s.

Biography, Heads of State · African History · African Studies · Democratic Republic of the Congo

Cover of 'Govan Mbeki'

Govan Mbeki
By Colin Bundy

Govan Mbeki (1910–2001) was a core leader of the African National Congress, the Communist Party, and the armed wing of the ANC during the struggle against apartheid. Known as a hard-liner, Mbeki was a prolific writer and combined in a rare way the attributes of intellectual and activist, political theorist and practitioner.

African History · African Studies · Apartheid · Biography, Activists · South Africa · Southern Africa · Africa · African National Congress

Cover of 'Emperor Haile Selassie'

Emperor Haile Selassie
By Bereket Habte Selassie

Emperor Haile Selassie was an iconic figure of the twentieth century, a progressive monarch who ruled Ethiopia from 1916 to 1974. This book, written by a former state official who served in a number of important positions in Selassie’s government, tells both the story of the emperor’s life and the story of modern Ethiopia. After a struggle for the throne in 1916, the young Selassie emerged first as regent and then as supreme leader of Ethiopia.

Biography, Heads of State · African History · Ethiopia · African Studies