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Development as Rebellion (HB Box Set)

A Biography of Julius Nyerere

by Issa G. Shivji, Saida Yahya-Othman, Ng’wanza Kamata

Book One: The Making of a Philosopher Ruler

Book Two: Becoming Nationalist

Book Three: Rebellion Without Rebels

This is the first comprehensive biography of Julius Nyerere, a national liberation leader, the first president of Tanzania and an outstanding statesman of Africa and the global south. Written by three prominent Tanzanians, the work spans over 1200 pages in three volumes. It delves into Nyerere's early days among his chiefly family, and the traditions, friends and education that moulded his philosophy and political thought. All these provide the backdrop for his entrance into nationalist politics, the founding of the independence movement and his original experiment with socialism.

The work took six years to research and write, involving extensive and wide-ranging interviews with persons from all walks of life in Tanzania and abroad. Among these were several leaders in East and Southern Africa who were based in Dar es salaam during their liberation struggles. The authors also visited several British universities and archives with material related to Nyerere and Tanzania, thus enriching the work with primary sources that not available in Tanzania.
The book does not shy away from a critical assessment of Nyerere’s life and times. It reveals the philosopher ruler’s dilemmas and tensions between freedom and necessity, determinism and voluntarism and, above all, between territorial nationalism and continental Pan-Africanism.

ISBN 9789987084111 | 1208 pages | 229 x 152mm | 2020 | Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, Tanzania | Hardback



"This book represents a monumental achievement Over two decades after his passing in 1999, the figure of Julius Nyerere continues to dominate the political landscape of Tanzania…  We are certainly not short of accounts of his life, which range from the sketches of foreign sympathizers during the heyday of ujamaa  to the histories which are routinely told and retold in the contemporary Tanzanian press. However, there has hitherto been no full biography… At times it reads less as a biography of Nyerere than as a history of decolonization and its aftermath in Tanzania."

George Roberts, University of Cambridge, African Studies Review Volume 64, Number 1
The most comprehensive and in-depth look at every aspect of the life of the man who became one of the greatest leaders and philosophers of the African Liberation, universally acclaimed as the Mwalimu of Africa.
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
More than just a biography, this work promises to give the reader a multifaceted introduction to the history of the country and the region, the dynamics and challenges of the anti-colonial struggle, as well as a nuanced understanding of the theory of human and social emancipation in an important part of the post-colonial world.
Mahmood Mamdani
This book merits praise and wide readership. It is no doubt a significant intellectual contribution to the African library on nation-building and progressive thought in post-colonial Africa.
Thandika Mkandawire

We must thank the authors of this biography because by telling the story of Mwalimu they help to give a concrete account of that common thread in his thinking which informed his actions as a liberation fighter, a statesperson and a pan-Africanist. Thus will we have what will serve as an invaluable manual for the activists for the renaissance of Africa.

Thabo Mbeki

A fascinating read, the biography provides a complex analysis of Mwalimu Nyerere: the philosopher, statesman, politician, writer, teacher, husband and father. The work explores the controversies surrounding Mwalimu’s public and personal life in a critical and sensitive way, drawing on a wealth of information from a variety of sources, including interviews, public archives and personal documents to provide gems, rare insights on contentious moments and events.

Marjorie Mbilinyi



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