"... useful, timely, and important... a good and informative book on the Lusophone countries, Portuguese colonialism, and postcolonial influences." -Phyllis Martin, Indiana University
"This book, produced by the obvious-and distinguished-corps of country specialists... fills a real gap in both state-level and 'regional' (broadly defined) studies of contemporary Africa." -Norrie MacQueen, University of Dundee
Although the five Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa that gained independence in 1974/75-Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, and São Tomé e Príncipe-differ from each other in many ways, they share a history of Portuguese rule going back to the 15th century, which has left a mark to this day. Patrick Chabal and his co-authors assess the nature of the Portuguese legacy, using a twofold approach. In Part I, three analytical, thematic chapters by Chabal examine what the five countries have in common and how they differ from the rest of Africa. In Part II, individual chapters by leading specialists, each devoted to a specific country, survey the histories of those countries since independence. The book places the postcolonial experience of the Lusophone countries within the context of their precolonial and colonial past and compares and contrasts their experience with that of non-Lusophone African states. The result is a comprehensive, readable, and up-to-date text and reference work on the evolution of postcolonial Portuguese-speaking Africa.