Book Review: Historical Dictionary of United States-Africa Relations (Historical Dictionaries of U. S. Diplomacy)


by Robert Anthony Waters Jr

Lanham, Md." The Scarecrow Press/Rowman & Littlefield, 2009. Pp. lxx, 367. Illus., maps, chron., biblio. $95.00. ISBN: 081085063X


Historical Dictionary of United States-Africa Relations contains a wealth of detail on many aspects of relations between the U.S. and Africa from the seventeenth century, with a particular focus on events and people since independence, and particularly during the post-Cold War era.

Entries are often quite long, and rarely take a moral or political stance. The editor takes pains to point out the strengths and weaknesses of policies, actions, and politicians with an even hand. Given the focus of the volume, however, many important earlier events are overlooked. Thus, there are no entries for such matters as U.S. policy on anti-slavery patrols in the decades before the Civil War, "back to Africa" movements during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that sometimes produced influential African-American communities in places such as Nigeria, which sometimes affected U.S. relations with the colonial powers, U.S. military assistance to Liberia through the mid-twentieth century, the American military presence in West Africa during World War II, and some other matters.

A valuable reference for American relations with Africa over the past five decades


Reviewer: A.A. Nofi   

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