Top Book Review
The Prison Letters of Nelson M...

The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela edited by Sahm Venter

This is a superbly-edited collection of the ANC chief’s prison letters, which paint a portrait of Mandela the family man, the political thinker and...

Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala

(Friday12th October, 2018 Issue) In 2010, UK rap artist Akala dropped the album DoubleThink, and with it, some unforgettable words. “First time I saw...
Taking Minutes of Meetings by ...

Taking Minutes of Meetings by Joanna Gutmann

Issued Friday 5October2018 Minutes are vital to the success of meetings. Attendees rely on them for information they may have missed, and they serve...
A Feast of Gambian poetry and ...

A Feast of Gambian poetry and prose

Hassoum Ceesay,(ed.)Bold Voices: a selection of Gambian Poems, Prose and Plays, Writers’ Association of The Gambia Publication, Unique Graphics...
The First Muslim by Lesley Haz...

The First Muslim by Lesley Hazleton

Viewed through the lens of dogmatic perversions in the Soviet Union and China, communism is often seen as the antithesis of American society; an...
BOOK REVIEW: Making Africa Wor...

BOOK REVIEW: Making Africa Work

Greg Mills, Jeffrey Herbst, Olusegun Obasanjo and Dickie Davis (editors) The following fast facts have been revealed in this book: the population...
Book Review:Teju Cole on A Hou...

Book Review:Teju Cole on A House for Mr Biswas by VS Naipaul a novel of full-bore Trinidadian savvy

Lively, funny and malicious, Naipaul’s 1961 novel is the story of a man who claws his way free of abject poverty, fighting his in-laws at every turn....
Book Review : Dissecting the J...

Book Review : Dissecting the Jammeh tyranny The Gambia under AFPRC-APRC Rule, 1994-2008, Abdoulaye Saine, Lexington Books, 2010

Professor Saine has been in the forefront of the fight to end the 22 years of tyranny under Yahya Jammeh, as head of many pro-democracy groups based...
Hassoum Ceesay, Founding Fathe...

Hassoum Ceesay, Founding Father: P.S Njie, a moral biography, Baobab printers, 203 pages, 2018.

Prolific Gambian historian Hassoum Ceesay’s fourth full length book titled Founding Father: P.S Njie, a moral biography, has just been published. The...
Book Review:MANDELA READING WE...

Book Review:MANDELA READING WEEK END AT TIMBOOKTOO

In 1964, a few months after Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) was jailed by the Apartheid regime, a small compendium of his most notable writings and...
Book Review - The Ark Before N...

Book Review - The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood by Irving Finkel

The story of the ark, and animals ‘two by two’, is so much older than the Bible: why was the myth appropriated? Where do the stories of the Bible...

Book Review: How the chicken crossed the world: the story of the bird that powers civilization

By Andrew LawlerReviewed By Rose Prince This book will make you respect the humble chicken Now just seen as a cheap source of protein, the...

Comey is unsparing in his disgust at Trump A Higher Loyalty by James Comey

The cacophony and chaos surrounding the White House have only grown in the 11 months since Donald Trump ordered the firing of James Comey. Like most...
BOOK REVIEW - China’s Second C...

BOOK REVIEW - China’s Second Continent: `how a million migrants are building a new empire in Africa

On a trip to Lusaka, Zambia, last year, I kept chasing an energetic and jittery Chinese man, the only staff member of a Chinese mining company...
Book Review : Why I’m no longe...

Book Review : Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race, by Reni Eddo-Lodge

The provocative title is hard to ignore, and so is the book’s cover. Seen from afar, it appears to be called Why I’m No Longer Talking About Race,...
Book Review: The Economics Ant...

Book Review: The Economics Anti-Textbook: A Critical Thinker’s Guide to Microeconomics

It was the perfect “natural experiment:” in April 1992, New Jersey’s minimum-wage was scheduled to rise from $4.25 an hour to $5.05, while...
Edge of Chaos: Why Democracy I...

Edge of Chaos: Why Democracy Is Failing to Deliver Economic Growth -- and How to Fix It

I have a soft spot for intellectual bomb-throwers and policy provocateurs. Perhaps it is because of my many decades working in financial markets:...
Book Review  Aid and Authorita...

Book Review Aid and Authoritarianism in Africa: Development without Democracy Edited by Tobias Hagmann and Filip Reyntjens

This is a wide-ranging volume which examines the intersection between the aid industry and African politics from a variety of perspectives. It should...
Book Review: Neither Devil Nor...

Book Review: Neither Devil Nor Child: How Western Attitudes Are Harming Africa,

How the West keeps Africa Poor and Unstable By Tom Young, OneWorld Publishing 2018 This new book is polemical. It is also an out of the box...
Everything Under the Heavens: ...

Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power

The rise of China has become the most important strategic challenge to the United States in the early 21st century. Buoyed by the world’s second...
Book Review: Comey is unsparin...

Book Review: Comey is unsparing in his disgust at Trump

A Higher Loyalty By James Comey The cacophony and chaos surrounding the White House have only grown in the 11 months since Donald Trump ordered...

Book Review: The Gambia under AFPRC-APRC Rule, 1994-2008, Abdoulaye Saine, Lexington Books, 2010

Dissecting the Jammeh tyranny Professor Saine has been in the forefront of the fight to end the 22 years of tyranny under Yahya Jammeh, as head of...
Book Review - A Short History ...

Book Review - A Short History of Nearly Everything

Bill Bryson What has propelled this popular science book onto all the bestseller lists? The answer is simple. It is superbly written. Author Bill...

Book Review: “The State of Africa – A History of Fifty Years of Independence” by Martin Meredith

Martin Meredith’s The State of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence is an unbiased chronological record of failed leadership in...
Book Review: Making Africa Wor...

Book Review: Making Africa Work

Greg Mills, Jeffrey Herbst, Olusegun Obasanjo and Dickie Davis (editors) The following fast facts have been revealed in this book: the population...
Book Review  Born a Crime: sto...

Book Review Born a Crime: stories from a South African childhood, by Trevor Noah

As host of “The Daily Show,” Trevor Noah comes across as a wry, startled and sometimes outraged outsider, commenting on the absurdities of American...
So Much Things to Say: The Ora...

So Much Things to Say: The Oral History of Bob Marley

Among biblical quotations favoured by Rastafarians comes psalm 118: “The stone that the builders refused is become the headstone of the corner”, a...
CONGO: The Epic History of a P...

CONGO: The Epic History of a People By David Van Reybrouck Reviewed by J.M.Ledgard

On June 5, 1978, the Congolese dictator Joseph-Désiré Mobutu stood on a hot grassy bluff in the south of his vast country — then named Zaire — and...
Political Order and Political ...

Political Order and Political Decay by Francis Fukuyama

Francis Fukuyama’s Political Order and Political Decay is a wide-ranging examination of the factors giving rise to the golden trifecta of statecraft:...
The Price of Inequality

The Price of Inequality

America currently has the most inequality and the least equality of opportunity among the developed countries, writes Nobel Prize-winning economist...

Book Review: A nutshell biography of Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana

Forward Ever: The Life of Kwame Nkrumah, PANAF Books, 80 pages. This book is a summary of the illustrious life of Nkrumah who ruled Ghana from...
Book Review:A Brief History of...

Book Review:A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes

A Brief History of Time begins with a striking image and a wonderful true story: An elderly lady attended a public lecture given by an astrophysicist...

Book Review: IN OUR PERILOUS, DIVIDED WORLD, COMPASSION IS IN OUR BEST INTEREST Twelve Steps to a Compassionate life

In bookshops, many best-sellers are self-help manual with bold, glossy covers and such title as, ‘Do you want to be a millionaire?’, ‘Six ways to...
Book Review: A Review of Maria...

Book Review: A Review of Mariama Ba’s So Long a Letter

Published in 1980, Mariama Ba’s So Long a Letter recounts the stories of two women and their husbands, lifelong friends living in Senegal during the...
The Ark Before Noah: Decoding ...

The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood by Irving Finkel

The story of the ark, and animals ‘two by two’, is so much older than the Bible: why was the myth appropriated? Where do the stories of the Bible...
Book Review: How the chicken c...

Book Review: How the chicken crossed the world: the story of the bird that powers civilization

This book will make you respect the humble chicken Now just seen as a cheap source of protein, the chicken is given the reverence it deserves in...
Globalization and Its Disconte...

Globalization and Its Discontents Revisited, published November 2017

In this crucial expansion and update of his landmark bestseller, renowned economist and Nobel Prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz addresses...
Book Review: Diagnosing the ne...

Book Review: Diagnosing the new wave democracies of West Africa

Elections and Democratization in West Africa 1990-2009, Edited by Abdoulaye Saine, Boubacarr Ndiaye and Mathurin Houngnikpo, Africa World Press, 452...
BOOK REVIEW: The unlucky conti...

BOOK REVIEW: The unlucky continent: How Africa’s riches have brought it mainly misery

The Fortunes of Africa: A 5,000-Year History of Wealth, Greed, and Endeavour. By Martin Meredith. “Do not talk to me of gold…[it] brings more...

BOOK REVIEW: Behind the scenes in Wollof marriage

Wollof Marriage: narratives and interpretation of motives by Tijaan Kamara, Daaraji Publishers, 2017, 62 pages This monograph of 63 pages deals...

BOOK REVIEW: It's our turn to eat - The Story of a Kenyan Whistle-Blower

Michela Wrong Michela Wrong has built a distinguished literary career telling stories of African corruption and Western complicity. A former Africa...

Book Review: Masood Khakil, Whispers of War

Masood Khakil, Whispers of War: an Afghan Freedom Fighters’ account of the Soviet invasion, Sage publishers, 2017 Fighting the Communist in...
Book Review: Rift - A New Afri...

Book Review: Rift - A New Africa Breaks Free by Alex Perry

Foreign correspondent and Newsweek contributing editor Alex Perry (Lifeblood) takes an ambitious and controversial approach to answering some of the...
Review: Homo Deus: A Brief His...

Review: Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow “The greatest scientific discovery was the discovery of ignorance.”

In January 2013 a 26-year-old named Aaron Swartz committed suicide in the United States. He was facing prison for hacking computers at America’s...
JAZZ APPRECIATION: HORACE SILV...

JAZZ APPRECIATION: HORACE SILVER - An Original Jazz Messenger

Picture: QUINCY JONES
As we continue to write about jazz, we always try to remind our readers about the link that exist between the melodious sounds of Africa and the jazz...
How Did Humans Get Smart?

How Did Humans Get Smart?

When Melinda and I went on our spring vacation, I encouraged her to pack a copy of Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. I had...
Book Review: Debriefing the Pr...

Book Review: Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein

John Nixon. Bantam Press. 2016. In Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein, John Nixon tells the fascinating story of Saddam...

The Dragon’s Gift, By Deborah Brautigam

Reviewed by Ian Birrell The Chinese invasion of Africa is, for many people, a simple morality tale with an obvious villain. For the past decade,...
DAVID AND GOLIATH:  Underdogs,...

DAVID AND GOLIATH: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants By Malcolm Gladwell & Reviewed by Joe Nocera

To judge by “David and Goliath,” Malcolm Gladwell’s favorite word is “we.” In fact, it’s been his favorite word since his first book, “The Tipping...
BOOK REVIEW: J.A. Rogers, Worl...

BOOK REVIEW: J.A. Rogers, World’s Great Men of Colour

(Friday, 29th September 2017 Issue) Touchstone Books, 431 pages This book every Gambian should read! This book seeks to decolonize the minds of...
Book review - Audacity

Book review - Audacity

Picture: A view on Obama’s White House tenuxre
How Barack Obama defied his critics and created a legacy that will prevail, Jonathan Chait, Customs House, 2017. This book by Jonathan Chait, a...
Book Review: Changing Times

Book Review: Changing Times

Picture: The Life and Times of Gambia’s great historian and cultural connoisseur
(Friday, 15 September 2017 issue) A West African Patriach Tells His-story, Conversations with Bakary Sidibe, Ulla Fels, Trediton, 2017, 213 pages. ...
BOOK REVIEW: DEFYING DICTATORS...

BOOK REVIEW: DEFYING DICTATORSHIP: Essays on Gambian Politics, 2012 – 2017

Prof Pierre Gomez Associate Professor of Comparative Literature Dean, School of Arts and Sciences The University of The Gambia Brikama Campus, P.O....
A nutshell biography of Kwame ...

A nutshell biography of Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana

Forward Ever: The Life of Kwame Nkrumah, PANAF Books, 80 pages. This is the fourth book we wish our readers to buy and read. This book is a...
The Case for Impeachment

The Case for Impeachment

Edward Luce Shortly after last year’s US presidential election, Allan Lichtman received a thank-you note from Donald Trump. The historian was one...
‘Daily Rituals’ Of The Brillia...

‘Daily Rituals’ Of The Brilliantly Creative

Picture: How Artists Work by Mason Currey
The Onion published an essay recently called “Find The Thing You’re Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your...
A Living Mirror:The Life of De...

A Living Mirror:The Life of Deyda Hydara, Alota Ahmed Alota, Demba Ali Jawo, The Point Press, 2007, 215 pages. The inspirational life of slain Gambian journalist Deyda Hydara

When this book first came out in 2007, few people dared to buy it or even read it in public. The authors therefore must have been extremely brave to...

The unlucky continent: How Africa’s riches have brought it mainly misery

The Fortunes of Africa: A 5,000-Year History of Wealth, Greed, and Endeavour. By Martin Meredith. “Do not talk to me of gold…[it] brings more...
Dissecting the Jammeh tyranny

Dissecting the Jammeh tyranny

The Gambia under AFPRC-APRC Rule, 1994-2008, Abdoulaye Saine, Lexington Books, 2010. Professor Saine has been in the forefront of the fight to end...
The Power of - I Am Not Your N...

The Power of - I Am Not Your Negro

Raoul Peck’s documentary brings to life James Baldwin’s urgent ideas about race in America, and documents a large part of the civil-rights movement. ...
ON A CAMEL MOVING FORWARD IN T...

ON A CAMEL MOVING FORWARD IN TIME

LEO AFRICANUS By Amin Maalouf Book review by ANTON SHAMMAS In 1992, when the New World celebrated the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s...
ON A CAMEL MOVING FORWARD IN T...

ON A CAMEL MOVING FORWARD IN TIME

LEO AFRICANUS By Amin Maalouf. Book review by ANTON SHAMMAS In 1992, when the New World celebrated the 500th anniversary of Christopher...
Book Review: Seeds of History ...

Book Review: Seeds of History The expertise of African slaves in growing rice played a crucial role in the American South. DREW GILPIN FAUST

In low-country South Carolina, American slavery assumed a distinctive form, one that has captured the attention of generations of historians. Between...
BOOK REVIEW: A Merciless Place...

BOOK REVIEW: A Merciless Place: The Lost Story of Britain’s Convict Disaster in Africa,

Reviewed byMichael Bellesiles By Emma Christopher It is a rare pleasure to review a book that will appeal not only to the specialist in the field,...
BOOK REVIEW: Lawyers as non-go...

BOOK REVIEW: Lawyers as non-governance leaders

We Are Called To Leadership: the ensuring responsibility of lawyers, Fafa Edrissa M’bai, Fulladu Publishers, 35 pages Gambian legal luminary and...
How Nasty rulers steal our wea...

How Nasty rulers steal our wealth and make us poor

The Looting Machine, warlords, tycoons, smugglers and the systematic theft of Africa’s wealth, Tom Burgis, Collins, 2016, 324 pages This book...
BOOK REVIEW: The rise of the t...

BOOK REVIEW: The rise of the terrorist group ISIS

Black Flags: the rise of ISIS, Joby Warrick, Transworld Books, 2015 Be warned reader: this book can make you sick! Why? Because it describes in...
BY: BAKARY SANYANG Director of...

BY: BAKARY SANYANG Director of Bibliographic Services The Gambia National Library Service Authority (GNLSA)

Book Title: IN SEARCH OF KNOWLEDGE AND SELF-DEVELOPMENT Author: Muhammad IS. Gassama 18th March 2017, UTG Law Faculty, MDI Road This book is a...
Book Review: Fatou fetch the w...

Book Review: Fatou fetch the water

Neil Griffiths -Red Robin 2010 This brightly coloured and cheerful picture book tells the story of what happens when Fatou, daughter of the...
How Nasty rulers steal our wea...

How Nasty rulers steal our wealth and make us poor

The Looting Machine, warlords, tycoons, smugglers and the systematic theft of Africa’s wealth, Tom Burgis, Collins, 2016 324 Pages. This book...
 Dr Ismaila Ceesay, Political ...

Dr Ismaila Ceesay, Political Science Lecturer, The University of The Gambia

The Long Road to Democracy in The Gambia edited by Prof Pierre Gomez It is a great pleasure for me, and indeed an honour to review this book, ‘The...

Crimes Against Humanity: The Struggle for Global Justice - Geoffrey Robertson

Penguin. A book review by Danny Yee © 2000 http://dannyreviews.com/ In Crimes Against Humanity lawyer and human rights campaigner Geoffrey...
Dissecting the Jammeh tyranny

Dissecting the Jammeh tyranny

The Gambia under AFPRC-APRC Rule, 1994-2008, Abdoulaye Saine, Lexington Books, 2010. Professor Saine has been in the forefront of the fight to end...
How the Gambia Army was founde...

How the Gambia Army was founded

How We Built the Gambia Army, Trevor Stewart, Author House, 2016, 104 pages In early 1984, 33 years ago the PPP regime of President Alhagi Sir...
In God’s Path: The Arab Conque...

In God’s Path: The Arab Conquests and the Creation of an Islamic Empire by Robert Hoyland

Reviewed by Dr Youssef Choueiri, University of Manchester The main aim of this book is to answer the following question: how does one account for...
The nature and scope of Islami...

The nature and scope of Islamic education in West Africa Islamic Education in Africa by Robert Launay, Indiana University Press, 2016, 323 pages.

This is an academic text which comprises 15 chapters written by noted historians and theologians, all of them revisiting how Islam is taught in West...
Islam: beliefs and teachings

Islam: beliefs and teachings

Ghulam Sarwar, Muslim Education Trust, UK, 8th edition, 2016, 240 pages. I can remember this was the standard textbook for high school students in...
Book Review: The Shock Doctrin...

Book Review: The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

In THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, Naomi Klein explodes the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically. Exposing the thinking, the money trail and...
BLOOD RIVER - A Journey To Afr...

BLOOD RIVER - A Journey To Africa’s Broken Heart- Tim Butcher

As a journalist Tim Butcher had covered stories from all over war torn Africa, but it was the system of corruption and secrecy veiling the Congo that...
Congo: The Epic History of a P...

Congo: The Epic History of a People by David van Reybrouck, book review

This ambitious history of the Congo tells a story of ravishment – and dark comedy Reviewed by Andy Morgan Like “genius” or “masterpiece”, “epic”...

Book Review:The Mask of Anarchy, Stephen Ellis, Hurst and Company, 2007 (revised and updated edition)

The story of the Liberian Civil War In this ground breaking work Ellis not only traces the course of the Liberian Civil War of 1989 to 1996 and...
BOOK REVIEW: Empires in the Su...

BOOK REVIEW: Empires in the Sun: The Struggle for the Mastery of Africa by Lawrence James

Reviewed by Kwasi Kwarteng In the summer of 1940, when it became clear that France would collapse, Mussolini presented Hitler with a shopping...

Bad Science by Ben Goldacre

We’re lucky to have Ben Goldacre, and maybe as a result of his book we’ll have more people like him. He is fighting what sometimes seems like a...
Bad Science

Bad Science

We’re lucky to have Ben Goldacre, and maybe as a result of his book we’ll have more people like him. He is fighting what sometimes seems like a...
Book Review: The Richest Man i...

Book Review: The Richest Man in Babylon

The Richest Man in Babylon opens with a brief story of a man named Bansir, who never seemed able to get ahead in life. He owed people money and...
Book Review:A Brief History of...

Book Review:A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes by Stephen W. HawkingBantum, 1988 Jupiter Scientific

A Brief History of Time begins with a striking image and a wonderful true story: An elderly lady attended a public lecture given by an astrophysicist...
J. A Rogers, World’s Great Men...

J. A Rogers, World’s Great Men of Colour, Touchstone Books, 431 pages

This book every Gambian should read! This book seeks to decolonize the minds of all Africans because it traces the illustrious careers of great...
Cultural History of Sukuta/Sab...

Cultural History of Sukuta/Sabiji, by Ousman Mohammed Cham, and Ousman Mamakeh Bojang, Prografix Printers, 2016, p.164.

By Hassoum Ceesay, Gambia National Museum This is a ground breaking historical text which seeks to enhance our understanding of Gambian history...
Joel Joffe, The State vs. Nels...

Joel Joffe, The State vs. Nelson Mandela: the trial that changed South Africa, 288 pages, OneWorld Publishers.

A firsthand account of the Rivonia Trials of 1964 Reviewed by Hassoum Ceesay If this book is about the trial ‘that changed South Africa’, it is...
Why Nations Fail by Daron Acem...

Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson

Two US academics offer a compelling analysis of the world’s financial malaise Reviewed by Paul Collier As the turbulence of global economic...
Exodus: immigration and multic...

Exodus: immigration and multiculturalism in the 21st century by Paul Collier

The migration of poor people to rich countries is a phenomenon overloaded with toxic associations, a subject politicised before it has been analysed....
A Merciless Place: The Lost St...

A Merciless Place: The Lost Story of Britain’s Convict Disaster in Africa, by Emma Christopher.

It is a rare pleasure to review a book that will appeal not only to the specialist in the field, but also to the general reader. A Merciless Place is...
The First World War in Africa ...

The First World War in Africa -Hew Strachan

Covering events in the German colonies of Togoland, the Cameroons, South-West Africa, and East Africa, The First World War in Africa was originally a...
“The State of Africa – A Histo...

“The State of Africa – A History of Fifty Years of Independence” by Martin Meredith

(Issue, Friday, 16 September 2016) Martin Meredith’s The State of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence is an unbiased chronological...
MOSQUITO:  A Natural History o...

MOSQUITO: A Natural History of Our Most Persistent and Deadly Foe.

Andrew Spielman and Michael D’Antonio “No animal on earth has touched so directly and profoundly the lives of so many human beings. For all of...
Mandela Reading Week End At Ti...

Mandela Reading Week End At Timbooktoo

(Friday September 02, 2016 Issue) Nelson Mandela: Speeches, Letters and Other Writers, Pearson Modern Classics, 2002, 167 pages In 1964, a few...
Book Review: The Masque of Afr...

Book Review: The Masque of Africa, V.S Naipaul, Picador, 2010

Glimpses of African belief This is the latest book of Nobel Prize for Literature winner VS Naipaul, Trinidad born, England educated and author of...
Pierre Gomez, D. S Junisa et. ...

Pierre Gomez, D. S Junisa et. al Understanding The Magic Calabash of Nana Grey Johnson, Fulladu Publishers, 2016, 120 pages.

Dissecting a gem of Gambian literature Here is a neatly packaged book from Fodeh Baldeh’s Fulladu publishers about one of the great success of...
Roots, Alex Haley, Vintage Pre...

Roots, Alex Haley, Vintage Press, 686 pages

The Book that put The Gambia firmly on the world map. If I had my way, every Gambian child in High School will read the whole or part of this...

A Time For Machetes: The Rwandan Genocide: The Killers Speak, Jean Hatzfeld, 2003, 238 Pages

I have read many books and journals articles on the nasty 1994 Rwandan genocide including the classics by Phillip Gourevitch, Gerard Pruinier, but...
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