Decolonization & Independence in Kenya, 1940-93

By B. A. Ogot; W. R. Ochieng | Go to book overview

Introduction
The Invention
of Kenya

E.S. ATIENO-ODHIAMBO

Nations are in the making once again, this time in Eastern Europe and Southern Africa, and with momentous consequences for the historian of nationalism. A hundred years ago, writes David Bradling, the Cambridge historian of Latin America, nations used to grow -- or, better still, evolve. 'Then the fashion changed and they were made, or simply emerged. Nowadays they are imagined or invented.' 1 Kenya's trajectory partly falls within this umbrella. Made into a colonial state ex nihilo through colonial conquest and imperial fiat at the end of the last century, it became a settler state in the inter-war years, only to be transformed by African struggles for civil liberties, human rights, democratic participation, workers' rights, peasant independence, spiritual space, elective representation and civic responsibility in the period between 1945 and 1963. These were struggles for freedom -- Uhuru. Historians of the 1960s referred to the phenomenon as African nationalism, and often as mass nationalism. Yet what these struggles yielded immediately was more limited: the capture of the state power in 1963. The challenge ahead lay in making a nation out of the past: nation-building in other words. Historical consciousness was to play a vital role in this quest for national identity. And historians of Kenya have, in the past thirty years, had to grapple with this ambiguity as the central agenda. What role can, nay, must, historians play in shaping national identity? How does one make the writing of history into a creative principle that links the intellectual enterprise with the demands of everyday life? These demands of everyday life have in Kenya's postcolonial experience involved a concern with national unity, patriotic endeavour, economic development, social and spiritual space, the valorization of the cultural heritage and the definition of Kenya's place in the world. It is these demands -- and they encompass the totality of the lived experiences of everyone in the family, at school, in the workplace, in the community and in the process of governance -- that

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Decolonization & Independence in Kenya, 1940-93
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Contributors viii
  • Prologue on Decolonization xi
  • Notes xvii
  • Introduction the Invention of Kenya 1
  • Note 3
  • Part One the Decolonization of Kenya 1945-63 5
  • One Decolonization: A Theoretical Perspective 7
  • Conclusion 21
  • Notes 22
  • Two the Formative Years 1945-55 25
  • Conclusion: Towards an Alternative Future 43
  • Bibliography 44
  • Three: The Decisive Years 1956-63 48
  • Part Two the Kenyatta Era 1963-78 81
  • Four Structural & Political Changes 83
  • Conclusion 106
  • Appendix: Constitutional Amendments Under Kenyatta 107
  • Notes 108
  • Five - Social & Cultural Changes 110
  • Conclusion 143
  • Notes 144
  • Part Three the First Nyayo Decade 1978-88 149
  • Six the Economics of Structural Adjustment 151
  • Conclusion 182
  • Notes 183
  • Seven the Politics of Populism 187
  • Notes 213
  • Eight the Construction of a National Culture 214
  • Part Four Epilogue 1989-93 237
  • Nine Transition from Single-Party to Multiparty Political System 1989-93 239
  • Conclusion 259
  • Notes 260
  • Index 262
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