Historical Dictionary of Kenya

1) Historical Dictionary of Kenya – Robert M. Maxon, Thomas P. Ofcansky
Scarecrow Press | 2000 | EPUB

A ready reference to the history and culture of this complicated and important African nation. Entries cover the important people, places, events, and culture of the nation. A thorough introduction provides important context for first time students of Kenya, and the bibliography will serve both novice and experienced researchers in good stead.

2) Historical Dictionary of Tanzania – Thomas P. Ofcansky, Rodger Yeager
Scarecrow Press | 1997 | EPUB

The United Republic of Tanzania is a rare phenomenon in Africa, the result of a merger between the former British colony of Tanganyika and the island republic of Zanzibar. While there has been and still are tensions, this has held together, perhaps because the country has been ruled by a dominant party ever since independence. It enjoyed a special aura under its first president, Julius Nyerere, who spoke glowingly of an African socialism, which did not quite prosper as hoped, and a democracy, which is admittedly better than elsewhere but not quite what it might be. But the party is still there and Tanzania is doing as well as most and better than some.

Still, while Tanzania is not as popular as before, it remains an important state and is worth knowing better. Given the shortage of literature on the country, it is fortunate that one can fall back on this, now second edition of the Historical Dictionary of Tanzania. It includes information, in the dictionary section, on life before the colonial powers arrived, what Germany and Britain did during their tenure, and what has happened since independence in 1961. This is provided in xxx concise entries. The chronology traces the history, pre-colonial, colonial, and independent, going year by year. And the introduction provides an overview. Certainly not to be missed is the amazingly large bibliography.

3) Historical Dictionary of Uganda – Louise M. Pirouet
Scarecrow Press | 1995 | EPUB

Uganda has now joined the list of countries covered by Scarecrow Press’ series of Historical Dictionaries of Africa. An introductory essay provides an overview of the geography, demography, and economy of one of Africa’s most scenically beautiful and diverse countries. The historical section of the introduction outlines Uganda’s chequered development as a British protectorate and then deals with its initial post-independence before outlining its tragic decent into chaos and carnage under Presidents Idi Amin and the reinstated Milton Obote. Finally, Pirouet notes the change of political direction under Yoweri Museveni. A chronology follows which locates events that are dealt with more fully in the dictionary proper.

The entries in the main section of the dictionary cover places, historical events and movements, important persons and ethnic groups, languages, and political and other movements up to early 1994. This is followed by a lengthy select bibliography arranged under twelve main heads. The introduction to the bibliography provides a brief guide to the main collections of archival material relating to Uganda. One of the fascinations of Ugandan history is the exceptionaly rich documentation relating to the early colonial period, and the unusual amount of high-quality Ugandan language published and archival source material which characterizes this highly literate society.

4) Historical Dictionary of Rwanda – L. Dorsey
Scarecrow Press | 1994 | EPUB

Blessed with natural beauty and rich vegetation, Rwanda is often called the “land of a thousand hills” (le pays des mille collines), a reference to its many lush and green rolling hills. Moreover, for many Rwandans, at least in the past, Rwanda, in spite of its small size, is vast; in fact, it means the universe. This idyllic view, however, sharply contrasts with the sad history of ethnic strife that unfolded since the 1950s: the 1959 Hutu Revolution followed by years of anti-Tutsi pogroms, undemocratic regimes, the civil war of 1990-1994, and, more significantly, the April-July 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and the killing of Hutu who opposed the killings. The 1994 genocide against the Tutsi remains the most defining single event in contemporary Rwanda, and many people in the world today know of this central African nation from the prism of extreme mass violence that sullied the end of the 20th century amid international indifference and has since haunted the world’s conscience.

5) Historical Dictionary of Somalia – Mohamed Haji Mukhtar
Scarecrow Press | 2003 | PDF

Despite advances in modern communication and the proliferation of information, there remain areas of the world about which little is known. One such place is Somalia. The informed public is aware of a political meltdown and consequent chaos there, but few comprehend the causes of this tragic crisis. This new edition covers Somalia’s origin, history, culture, and language, as well as current economic and political issues.