Originally published in 1999, Kenya Cowboy has been updated and re-released with a new analytical postscript.
This is a stylish, first-hand account of Britain’s futile and often tragic struggle to retain its rich stake in East Africa in the face of the relentless Mau Mau uprising.
Previous to the social unrest that began in December 2007, which has blighted its apparent democracy, Kenya was hailed as a mature and stable post-colonial independent state.
However, after 40 years of rigged elections, underlying problems have finally manifested themselves with thousands of aggrieved citizens taking to the streets.
Unlike many of its neighbours during the period of transition from colony to independent state, Kenya did not collapse into a state of anarchy. But the Mau Mau uprising hangs like a dark cloud over this evolution. Their savage and brutal brand of terrorism was unknown to many - with the insurgents themselves hailed as heroes and celebrated with pride on Kenyatta Day every year since.
Here, Peter Hewitt, a former police officer at the time of the uprising, offers another side to the story. He gives a balanced assessment of the implications of Mau Mau as well as vivid and shocking reconstruction of events that took place. He seeks both to give a human perspective and to shed light on the darker areas of the time. It is a book that is filled with revelations, many damning.
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