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When a book begins with a statement such as "In the 1992 presidential elections, it would appear that the United States stood a reasonable chance of acquiring a new president in the person of a certain Mr. David Duke," a reader must wonder if the author is being deliberately alarmist or has simply lost contact with reality. (After all, Duke had little national credibility, and even his campaigns in his home state of Louisiana could best be described as highly problematic.) On matters concerning his native Nigeria, and on the rest of the African nations, Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka is perhaps more reliable, albeit still somewhat longwinded. The Burden of Memory is based on a set of lectures Soyinka gave at the W.E.B. Dubois Institute and faithfully preserves their highly academic orality, whether he is advocating massive reparations for the people of Africa for the historical injustices to which they have been subject, or using literary criticism to explore the ways in which Africans have been willing to "forgive" Westerners in the hopes of assimilating into the culture that formerly treated them as vassals. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In three essays, Nobel laureate Soyinka examines Africa's recent history and the ways African and other countries have dealt with horrendous crimes against humanity. Like his Open Sore of a Continent (1996), this work is based on lectures at Harvard University's W. E. B. DuBois Institute. The first essay, "Reparations, Truth, and Reconciliation," deals most directly with the issues Tina Rosenberg addressed in her prizewinning study of post-Communist Eastern Europe, The Haunted Land: "How on earth does one reconcile reparations, or recompense, with reconciliation, or remission of wrongs?" Although Soyinka respects the generosity of spirit behind South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, he points out that failure to demand restitution may build an expectation of impunity that can only encourage further crimes. In the essays "L. S. Senghor and Negritude" and "Negritude and the Gods of Equity," Soyinka examines the response of writers with African roots to the effects of slavery and colonialism as well as to the cruelties imposed on Africans by many of their own postcolonial leaders. Mary Carroll --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Let me start by acknowledging that I haven't read this particular work. I'm merely expressing my ire at an ignoramus of a reviewer from Philadelphia, who suggested that Soyinka's... Read morePublished on Sept. 3 2003 by Kwabena Osei
I was extremely impressed with Professor Soyinka's argument for reparations not only for Africa, but for all victims of enslavement, colonialism, and oppression. Read morePublished on April 4 2001 by Michael S. Moore
After learning that Soyinka received a Nobel Prize in Literature while perusing the back cover of this book at the bookstore, I was immediately interested. Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2001
This book was intelligently written -- too intelligently. In fact, I found it unintelligible the first time through. Read morePublished on March 14 1999