The traditions of organized statehood in the countries of French West Africa stretch back for some fifteen centuries. During the past sixty years, writes Basil Davidson, French influence has greatly strengthened the feeling of federal community that inspires many of the newly evolving republics of the Western Sudan and the Guinea coast.
The Republic of Guinea has been the scene over the centuries of several attempts at state-building. Basil Davidson records how the memory of past achievements strongly influences West Africa today.
In the still largely unexplored Sudan lie the remains of one of the richest and least known of ancient African civilizations.
Despite its isolation from the mainstream of human development, Basil Davidson writes, African society before the coming of the Europeans was neither savage nor stagnant.
In 1945 Tito wrote. ‘We mean to make Yugoslavia both democratic and independent’. How was this possible, asks Basil Davidson, for a war-torn Communist country in a world of super-powers?