The Forging of an African Nation: The Political and Constitutional Evolution of Uganda from Colonial Rule to Independence, 1894-1962 – By G.S.K Ibingira (1973)

Grace Stewart Katebariirwe Ibingira was a 30-year old youth at Uganda’s independence in 1962. A founder member of the Uganda People’s Congress in 1960, Ibingira was at the centre of national politics during those critical years of transition. Just a little over three years after independence, he was imprisoned, along with four other ministers, on […]

The Political Kingdom in Uganda: A Study in Bureaucratic Nationalism – By David E. Apter (Revised Third Edition, 1997)

This book is an analytical study of the internal and external politics and systems of Buganda, the central and largest kingdom in Uganda. The development of political parties and the great conflicts in post 1900 Buganda are thoroughly presented and analysed. But more than politics, it is an anthropological and historical account of the evolution […]

Sundiata: An Epic of Mali – By D.T. Niane (1965)

This is the English translation (by G.D. Pickett) of D.T. Niane’s part history/part legend of Sundiata Keita, the thirteenth century founder of the Great Empire of Mali, and great uncle of the famous Mansa Musa. It is a short but very captivating story, only 84 pages long. This is classic story telling from a very […]

The Great Lakes of Africa: Two Thousand Years of History – By Jean-Pierre Chretien

This is an English translation (by Scott Straus) of a scholarly book that successfully stitches together the complex and long story of kingdoms, chiefdoms, traditions, alliances, hatreds, settlements, movements, colonization, political independence and violence that have shaped one of the most fascinating, albeit troubled, regions in Africa. Published in 2006, the book is not an […]

The King’s Men: Leadership and Status in Buganda on the Eve of Independence – Edited by L.A. Fallers (1964)

  This is a multi-author presentation of Buganda’s progress during the century between first contact with Europeans and Independence in 1962. We learn about Buganda’s hierarchical political organization that was later exported to many parts of Uganda. The description and analysis of social mobility, cultural adaptation and Buganda’s economy are highly instructive.  The section on […]

The Social Origins of Violence in Uganda, 1964-1985 – By A.B.K. Kasozi

This is one of the most thorough and accessible examinations of Uganda’s post-independence violence and bloodshed. Professor Kasozi presents a compelling argument that the central problem has been social inequality, economic disparities, a culture of poor to absent conflict resolution and sectarian cleavages.  He offers remedial suggestions. First published in 1994, this book remains fresh […]

Two Kings of Uganda, or Life by the Shores of Victoria Nyanza, Being an Account of a Residence of Six Years in Eastern Equatorial Africa – By Robert Pickering Ashe.

Allowing for the biased lenses of a British missionary, this is a very informative account of Buganda in the period 1883-86. Originally published in 1889, the copy I have is a Second Edition (1971) with a very good introduction by John Rowe, a historian, which is itself a concise overview of that period. Highly recommended. […]