Dark Age: The Political Odyssey Of Emperor Bokassa by Brian TitleyDark Age: The Political Odyssey Of Emperor Bokassa by Brian Titley

Dark Age: The Political Odyssey Of Emperor Bokassa

byBrian Titley

Paperback | February 22, 2002

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Dark Age recounts the turbulent political career of recently deceased Jean-Bedel Bokassa, the flamboyant president-for-life and later emperor of the Central African Republic/Empire. Brian Titley examines the myths and legends surrounding the man, probes their origins and veracity, and attempts to provide a more balanced perspective on this controversial and misunderstood figure. Following a lengthy career in the French army, Bokassa seized power in the Central African Republic in 1966. His flamboyance and excesses soon became legendary: he was accused of cannibalism, feeding enemies to lions and crocodiles, and beating schoolchildren to death. Bokassa's tendency for self-aggrandizement culminated in 1977 when he named himself emperor and orchestrated a coronation in the style of Napoleon's. He was overthrown by French paratroopers in 1979 and went into exile, but returned to his homeland in 1985 to face a sensational trial. Titley interprets Bokassa's authoritarian and self-aggrandizing style as an attempt to legitimize his regime in a context devoid of indigenous political structures and explores the troubled relations between France and its former colonies. Combining techniques of historical inquiry and investigative journalism, he has produced a fascinating account of a pivotal chapter in contemporary African history.
Title:Dark Age: The Political Odyssey Of Emperor BokassaFormat:PaperbackPublished:February 22, 2002Publisher:McGill-Queen's University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0773524185

ISBN - 13:9780773524187

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Editorial Reviews

"A fascinating historical study that engages the reader from start to finish. Titley sheds light on the nature of personalistic dictatorships in sub-Saharan Africa and on the extent to which France influenced the political evolution of some of its former African colonies. It will become the standard work in English on the subject." Richard Sandbrook, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto ----- "An excellent political biography ... this book is without question the best study of Bokassa to date." International Journal of African Historical Studies ----- "Titley provides an important corrective to what he identifies as superficial, racist dismissals of Bokassa's rule. His examination of the actual nature of Bokassa's rule reveals a more complex picture than the commonly drawn caricature ... Well worth the read." Africa Today ----- "An engrossing story that offers much of value for understanding late twentieth-century international politics." Choice ----- "Titley's painstaking account provides us with a vivacious, yet sound, study of Bokassa's, rule and downfall in the Central African Republic. Providing numerous insights on political leadership in Africa, and on the resilience of ties between ex-colonies and former metropoles, this book stands as the standard work on Bokassa in English, and probably will remain so for years to come." The International History Review ----- "A lively account of a particularly striking episode in contemporary African history." A.S. Kanya-Forstner, Department of History, York University