The Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute released a list of books recommended by Thabo Mbeki. There are a few unexpected surprises like “The Eighteeth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte” by Karl Marx. Read the list below. Source: Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute
1. The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte – by Karl Marx
Gutenberg link: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1346/1346-h/1346-h.htm
Written: December 1851 – March 1852
The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte poses the challenge to us always to understand that history, even as an ‘academic’ discipline, is about the general (multi-disciplinary) development of human society. This means that we must constantly seek to understand African and global society in all its elements.
2. The Highland Clearances – by John Prebble
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 31st 1969 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published 1963).
The Highland Clearances tells an evocative story about land dispossession in Scotland, which parallels land dispossession in South Africa, (and representative of colonialism in general where such dispossession took place). This illustrates the inherent ‘functioning’ of capital, regardless of national boundaries. This emphasises the international/universal role of ‘capital’ as the central driver of the process of ‘globalisation’.
3. The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution – by C.L.R. James
Paperback, 2nd Edition, 448 pages
Published October 23rd 1989 by Vintage (first published 1938)
The Black Jacobins is about the ‘African Diaspora’ in Haiti – combines a definitive account about Africa’s place in the then ‘global political economy’, the role and place of slavery in this regard, and, of great importance, the role and struggles of the Africans once they were integrated in the world economy, (through the African slaves), in helping to determine world history and the shape of human society. (NB: The majority of the slaves who rose in rebellion successfully to establish the very first Black Republic were first generation African slaves!)
4. Damming the Flood: Haiti and the Politics of Containment – by Peter Hallward
Paperback: 512 pages
Publisher: Verso; New Updated Edition (December 27, 2010)
“Damming the Flood” follows this account immediately, graphically to relate a contemporary story about Haiti. It tells the story that Haiti, given its historic place in the centuries-old ‘globalisation’ process, has, to this day, continued to pay a price for having served in thevanguard in the struggle to achieve genuine African liberation.
The preceding books tell stories that principally relate to the
rest of the world, outside of Africa.
5. Frontiers: The Epic of South Africa’s Creation and the Tragedy of the Xhosa People – by Noel Mostert
Hardcover, 1355 pages
Published June 23rd 1992 by Knopf (first published January 1st 1992)
“Frontiers” brings us back to Africa. It tells a story both about the real meaning of the European colonisation of Africa and the related protracted struggles of the African people to defeat the effort to deprive them of their independence. Among others, Frontiers tells an inspiring African story of resistance to colonialism. However, it also reports the African defeat in this regard.
6. God’s Bits of Wood – Ousmane Sembène
Heinemann, 1995 – Fiction
The historical drama contained in “God’s Bits of Wood” presents a creative-realistic imagination of the continuation of the anti-colonial struggle detailed in “Frontiers: The Epic of South Africa’s Creation”, in the context of the African society created in the aftermath of the victory of the colonial powers. It is an outstanding work of creative ‘fictional realism’.
7. In Search of Enemies: A CIA Story – by John Stockwell
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton; 1st edition (March 17, 1984)
The Book relates immediately to the above/foregoing. It tells both a particular and generic story abut how the dominant world powers would act and have acted specifically to perpetuate African dependence, in their interest.
It is important that Africans, victims of the machinations described in Book, must understand how those who would deny us our independence operate.
8. PRICE OF POWER – by Seymour Hersh
Paperback, 700 pages
Published May 28th 1984 by Summit Books (NY) (first published 1983)
The book provides a vivid example in this regard, which includes the confirmation of the constancy of the strategic objectives of the major Western powers, regardless of which political party is in power.
7. Civilization or Barbarism: An Authentic Anthropology – by Cheikh Anta Diop, Yaa-Lengi Meema Ngemi (Translation)
Paperback, 464 pages
Published April 1st 1991 by Chicago Review Press (first published
January 1st 1991)
All the preceding Books inevitably present us, the Africans,as ‘victims’ of history. This is based on an assertion that has informed European historiography for a long time that we are objects rather than makers of history. However, Civilization or Barbarism presents a well-argued African case, advanced by the modern African intelligentsia, that as Africans we have been makers of history. It is important that as Africans we understand this reality.
8. Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization – by Martin Bernal
Published by: Rutgers University Press
Page Count: 608
Publication Year: 1987
The scientific works carried out by the African intelligentsia as represented in Civilization or Barbarism above has been confirmed by some among the European intelligentsia. Book  confirms the historically vital finding that African thought, etc, is a central contributor to the evolution of all human society, including inherited modern thought and practice.Thus can we, the Africans, legitimately claim not only that Africa is the very (generic/genetic) origin of all humanity, but also that we played our own rightful role in terms of defining human behaviour in all its important elements.
9. The Wretched of the Earth – by Frantz Fanon
Grove Press, 1967.
In the end, all our important studies, as reflected above, which seek to ‘understand the world’, must empower us to make a determination about how we must act to change this ‘world’, for
our benefit as Africans. This means that we must understand ourselves and our own responsibility to ourselves, precisely as makers of history. Black Athena challenges us to undertake this task,acting honestly in this regard. Building on this, we have a duty further to expand our understanding of our reality, ourselves and our possibilities.
10. Africa Must Unite (New World Paperbacks) – by Kwame Nkrumah
Paperback: 229 pages
Publisher: International Publishers (June 1970)
First published: in Great Britain by Macgibbon and Kee in 1965.The eminent Pan-Africanist, Kwame Nkrumah, speaking for his generation, made bold to present Africa with many strategic tasks. These are contained in Africa Must Unite, all of which we must examine closely. In this regard, relating to their relevance and practicality, we must make every effort to understand everything which would give us the possibility to achieve sustained success.