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Title: Kwame Nkrumah : an intellectual biography
Author: Biney, Ama Barbara
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2007
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Kwame Nkrumah remains a towering figure in African history. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's non-violent campaign of civil disobedience to achieve political ends, he led present-day Ghana to independence in 1957. Nkrumah made Ghana a beacon of hope for not only Ghanaians but also people of African descent throughout the world. Perhaps no other African leader of the 1950s and 1960s personified the dreams, principles and aspirations of this era. At the centre of my analysis of Nkrumah's political, social and economic thought will be his own writings. I begin my re-examination of Nkrumah's life and thought by focusing on the political discourse and controversies surrounding him. The focus of Chapter 1 is his sojourn in America, where he pursued his academic studies. Chapter 2 examines his period of political activism in London between 1945 to 1947 under the ideological guidance of George Padmore. This prepared him for the leadership of the new political party he founded, the Convention People's Party, following his return to the Gold Coast in 1947. In Chapter 3,1 focus on Nkrumah's political performance, his relationship with the British colonial authorities in the period 1951 to 1957. Chapter 4 scrutinises his position on the federalist argument presented by his political enemy, the National Liberation Movement. Chapter 5 looks at politics in the post-independence period whilst Nkrumah's economic and cultural policies are the focus of Chapter 6. While in office, Nkrumah documented his thought in several publications, which will be examined in Chapter 7. His foreign policy aimed at furthering African unity will be critically assessed via the various institutional mechanisms he set up to achieve this objective in Chapter 8. After the coup, which deposed him in February 1966, Nkrumah continued to develop his political and economic convictions and this is the focus of Chapter 9. The final chapter considers Nkrumah's legacy in Ghana and on the wider Pan-African stage in contemporary Africa.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral