218pp., illus., map, paperback, Athens, 2021
Zwame Nkrumah (1909-1972) was the first Prime Minister and President of the West African state of Ghana, having led the Gold Coast to independence from Britain in 1957. In 1964 the constitution was amended and Ghana became a one-party state, with Nkrumah as president for life. He was deposed in 1966 by the National Liberation Council and lived the rest of his life in Guinea.
“This short biography of Kwame Nkrumah highlights the multiple worlds that informed the Ghanaian leader’s entry onto the global stage. Ahlman offers an accessible and nuanced narrative about the personal, ideological, and intellectual cornerstones of Nkrumah’s vision for Ghana and the African continent, with perceptive attention to Nkrumah’s afterlife in scholarly and popular understandings of his memory and legacy." Naaborko Sackeyfio-Lenoch, author of The Politics of Chieftaincy: Authority and property in colonial Ghana, 1920–1950
“Jeffrey Ahlman takes us through the diverse stages of Kwame Nkrumah’s life, navigating his personal experiences via the specific global contexts that marked each era. Turn-of-the-century colonial infiltration into the African continent; global depression and war; antiracism and anticolonial resistance in the United States and Britain; and postcolonial pan-Africanism form a concrete stage for the imagination of one man from Nkroful. This is at once the story of Nkrumah’s vision for Africa and for Ghana and of Ghana’s ever-evolving rendering of Nkrumah.” Leslie James, Senior Lecturer in Global History, Queen Mary University of London