Best Historical African Biographies Books

Here you will get Best Historical African Biographies Books For you.This is an up-to-date list of recommended books for you.

1. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

Author: by Ishmael Beah
Published at: Sarah Crichton Books; 1st edition (August 5, 2008)
ISBN: 978-0374531263

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This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Children have become soldiers of choice. In the more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers.

Ishmael Beah used to be one of them. What is war like through the eyes of a child soldier? How does one become a killer?How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives.

But until now, there has not been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived. In A Long Way Gone, Beah, now twenty-five years old, tells a riveting story: how at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence.

By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts. This is a rare and mesmerizing account, told with real literary force and heartbreaking honesty.”My new friends have begun to suspect I haven’t told them the full story of my life.


2. Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

Author: by Nelson Mandela
Published at: Back Bay Books (October 1, 1995)
ISBN: 978-0316548182

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“Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand history and then go out and change it.” President Barack Obama Nelson Mandela was one of the great moral and political leaders of his time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country.

After his triumphant release in 1990 from more than a quarter-century of imprisonment, Mandela was at the center of the most compelling and inspiring political drama in the world. As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africa’s antiapartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial government and majority rule.

He is still revered everywhere as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality. Long Walk to Freedom is his moving and exhilarating autobiography, destined to take its place among the finest memoirs of history’s greatest figures.

Here for the first time, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela told the extraordinary story of his life – an epic of struggle, setback, renewed hope, and ultimate triumph. The book that inspired the major motion picture Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.


3. Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust

Author: by Immaculee Ilibagiza
Published at: Hay House Inc.; Illustrated edition (April 7, 2014)
ISBN: 978-1401944322

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Immaculee Ilibagiza grew up in a country she loved, surrounded by a family she cherished. But in 1994 her idyllic world was ripped apart as Rwanda descended into a bloody genocide. Immaculee’s family was brutally murdered during a killing spree that lasted three months and claimed the lives of nearly a million Rwandans.

Incredibly, Immaculee survived the slaughter. For 91 days, she and seven other women huddled silently together in the cramped bathroom of a local pastor while hundreds of machete-wielding killers hunted for them. It was during those endless hours of unspeakable terror that Immaculee discovered the power of prayer, eventually shedding her fear of death and forging a profound and lasting relationship with God.

She emerged from her bathroom hideout having discovered the meaning of truly unconditional lovea love so strong she was able seek out and forgive her family’s killers. The triumphant story of this remarkable young woman’s journey through the darkness of genocide will inspire anyone whose life has been touched by fear, suffering, and loss.


4. African Samurai: The True Story of Yasuke, a Legendary Black Warrior in Feudal Japan

Author: by Geoffrey Girard
Published at: Hanover Square Press; Reissue edition (February 2, 2021)
ISBN: 978-1335044983

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Warrior.Samurai.Legend. When Yasuke arrived in Japan in the late 1500s, he had already traversed much of the known world. Kidnapped as a child in Northeast Africa, he served as a bodyguard to the head of the Jesuits in Asia, traveling to India and China, and eventually arriving in Japan, where everything would change.

Most Japanese people had never seen an African man before. Some believed he was a god. Others saw him as the black-skinned Buddha. Among those drawn to him was Lord Nobunaga, head of the most powerful clan in Japan, who made Yasuke a samurai in his court.

Soon, Yasuke was learning the traditions of martial arts and ascending the upper echelons of Japanese society, where he would live on to become a legend for the centuries to come.


5. Who Was King Tut?

Author: by Roberta Edwards
Published at: Penguin Workshop; Illustrated edition (March 2, 2006)
ISBN: 978-0448443607

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Ever since Howard Carter uncovered King Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, the young pharaoh has become a symbol of the wealth and mystery of ancient Egypt. Now, a two-and-a-half-year-long museum exhibit of Tut’s treasures is touring major cities in the U.S., drawing record crowds.This Who Was …?

Is complete with 100 black-andwhite illustrations and explains the life and times of this ancient Egyptian ruler, covering the story of the tomb’s discovery, as well as myths and so-called mummy curses.


6. Out of Africa (Modern Library 100 Best Nonfiction Books)

Author: by Isak Dinesen
Published at: Modern Library (September 5, 1992)
ISBN: 978-0679600213

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Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all timeIn this book, the author of Seven Gothic Tales gives a true account of her life on her plantation in Kenya. She tells with classic simplicity of the ways of the country and the natives: of the beauty of the Ngong Hills and coffee trees in blossom: of her guests, from the Prince of Wales to Knudsen, the old charcoal burner, who visited her: of primitive festivals: of big game that were her near neighbors-lions, rhinos, elephants, zebras, buffaloes-and of Lulu, the little gazelle who came to live with her, unbelievably ladylike and beautiful.

The Random House colophon made its debut in February 1927 on the cover of a little pamphlet called “Announcement Number One.” Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer, the company’s founders, had acquired the Modern Library from publishers Boni and Liveright two years earlier.

One day, their friend the illustrator Rockwell Kent stopped by their office. Cerf later recalled, “Rockwell was sitting at my desk facing Donald, and we were talking about doing a few books on the side, when suddenly I got an inspiration and said, ‘I’ve got the name for our publishing house.


7. Flight of the Diamond Smugglers: A Tale of Pigeons, Obsession, and Greed Along Coastal South Africa

Author: by Matthew Gavin Frank
Published at: Liveright (February 23, 2021)
ISBN: 978-1631496028

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Unforgettable….An outstanding adventure in its lyrical, utterly compelling, and heartbreaking investigations of the world of diamond smuggling. Aimee NezhukumatathilFor nearly eighty years, a huge portion of coastal South Africa was closed off to the public. With many of its pits now deemed overmined and abandoned, American journalist Matthew Gavin Frank sets out across the infamous Diamond Coast to investigate an illicit trade that supplies a global market.

Immediately, he became intrigued by the ingenious methods used in facilitating smuggling? Particularly, the illegal act of sneaking carrier pigeons onto mine property, affixing diamonds to their feet, and sending them into the air. Entering Die Sperrgebiet (The Forbidden Zone) is like entering an eerie ghost town, but Frank is surprised by the number of people willingeven eagerto talk with him.

Soon he meets Msizi, a young diamond digger, and his pigeon, Bartholomew, who helps him steal diamonds. It’s a deadly game: pigeons are shot on sight by mine security, and Msizi knows of smugglers who have disappeared because of their crimes.


8. Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route

Author: by Saidiya Hartman
Published at: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First edition (January 22, 2008)
ISBN: 978-0374531157

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In Lose Your Mother, Saidiya Hartman traces the history of the Atlantic slave trade by recounting a journey she took along a slave route in Ghana. Following the trail of captives from the hinterland to the Atlantic coast, she reckons with the blank slate of her own genealogy and vividly dramatizes the effects of slavery on three centuries of African and African American history.

The slave, Hartman observes, is a strangertorn from family, home, and country. To lose your mother is to be severed from your kin, to forget your past, and to inhabit the world as an outsider. There are no known survivors of Hartman’s lineage, no relatives in Ghana whom she came hoping to find.

She is a stranger in search of strangers, and this fact leads her into intimate engagements with the people she encounters along the way and with figures from the past whose lives were shattered and transformed by the slave trade.

Written in prose that is fresh, insightful, and deeply affecting, Lose Your Mother is a “landmark text” (Robin D.G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams).


9. We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda

Author: by Philip Gourevitch
Published at: Picador; First edition (September 1, 1999)
ISBN: 978-0312243357

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An unforgettable firsthand account of a people’s response to genocide and what it tells us about humanity. This remarkable debut book chronicles what has happened in Rwanda and neighboring states since 1994, when the Rwandan government called on everyone in the Hutu majority to murder everyone in the Tutsi minority.

Though the killing was low-tech-largely by machete-it was carried out at shocking speed: some 800,000 people were exterminated in a hundred days. A Tutsi pastor, in a letter to his church president, a Hutu, used the chilling phrase that gives Philip Gourevitch his title.

With keen dramatic intensity, Gourevitch frames the genesis and horror of Rwanda’s “genocidal logic” in the anguish of its aftermath: the mass displacements, the temptations of revenge and the quest for justice, the impossibly crowded prisons and refugee camps. Through intimate portraits of Rwandans in all walks of life, he focuses on the psychological and political challenges of survival and on how the new leaders of postcolonial Africa went to war in the Congo when resurgent genocidal forces threatened to overrun central Africa.

10. Mansa Musa and the Empire of Mali

Author: by P. James Oliver
Published at: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 26, 2013)
ISBN: 978-1468053548

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Oliver’s well-researched biography of Mansa Musa reads like an exotic tale of gold, glory, and adventure. During his long reign as Mali’s emperor, Mansa Musa led his empire into its Golden Age; presided over a spectacular, 60,000 person, 9,000 mile pilgrimage; founded a university in Timbuktu; and helped revolutionize architecture across the Sudan.

Oliver does not allow Musa’s story to get bogged down in detail by seamlessly weaving a lot of history into his narrative and by supplying curious readers with an extensive Glossary. Many of the African ancestors of today’s African-Americans came from West Africa.From 700 – 1600 A.D., one after the other, three great, black, commercial empires dominated West Africa.

They were powerful, prosperous, complex, stable – and large. At its height, the Empire of Mali was the size of all of Western Europe. Well-crafted and fast paced, Oliver’s book is enhanced by a liberal sprinkling of enjoyable drawings, clear and helpful maps, and interesting photos.

11. 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi

Author: by Mitchell Zuckoff
Published at: Twelve; Media tie-in edition (November 24, 2015)
ISBN: 978-1455538447

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The harrowing, true account from the brave men on the ground who fought back during the Battle of Benghazi. 13 Hours presents, for the first time ever, the true account of the events of September 11, 2012, when terrorists attacked the US State Department Special Mission Compound and a nearby CIA station called the Annex in Benghazi, Libya.

A team of six American security operators fought to repel the attackers and protect the Americans stationed there. Those men went beyond the call of duty, performing extraordinary acts of courage and heroism, to avert tragedy on a much larger scale.

This is their personal account, never before told, of what happened during the thirteen hours of that now-infamous attack. 13 Hours sets the record straight on what happened during a night that has been shrouded in mystery and controversy. Written by New York Times bestselling author Mitchell Zuckoff, this riveting book takes readers into the action-packed story of heroes who laid their lives on the line for one another, for their countrymen, and for their country.

12. The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After

Author: by Clemantine Wamariya
Published at: Crown; Reprint edition (April 2, 2019)
ISBN: 978-0451495334

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The plot provided by the universe was filled with starvation, war and rape. I would notcould notlive in that tale. Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbors began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were thunder.

In 1994, she and her fifteen-year-old sister, Claire, fled the Rwandan massacre and spent the next six years migrating through seven African countries, searching for safetyperpetually hungry, imprisoned and abused, enduring and escaping refugee camps, finding unexpected kindness, witnessing inhuman cruelty.

They did not know whether their parents were dead or alive. When Clemantine was twelve, she and her sister were granted refugee status in the United States; there, in Chicago, their lives diverged. Though their bond remained unbreakable, Claire, who had for so long protected and provided for Clemantine, was a single mother struggling to make ends meet, while Clemantine was taken in by a family who raised her as their own.

13. Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood

Author: by Alexandra Fuller
Published at: Random House Trade Paperbacks (March 11, 2003)
ISBN: 978-0375758997

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A worthy heir to Isak Dinesen and Beryl Markham, Alexandra Fuller shares visceral memories of her childhood in Africa, and of her headstrong, unforgettable mother. This is not a book you read just once, but a tale of terrible beauty to get lost in over and over.

Newsweek By turns mischievous and openhearted, earthy and soaring … Hair-raising, horrific, and thrilling. The New Yorker Though it is a diary of an unruly life in an often inhospitable place, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight is suffused with Fuller’s endearing ability to find laughter, even when there is little to celebrate.

Fuller’s debut is unsentimental and unflinching but always captivating. In wry and sometimes hilarious prose, she stares down disaster and looks back with rage and love at the life of an extraordinary family in an extraordinary time. From 1972 to 1990, Alexandra Fullerknown to friends and family as Bobogrew up on several farms in southern and central Africa.

14. Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill

Author: by Candice Millard
Published at: Anchor; Illustrated edition (May 30, 2017)
ISBN: 978-0307948786

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“A thrilling account…. This book is an awesome nail-biter and top-notch character study rolled into one.” New York Times Critic Jennifer Senior’s Top Ten Books of 2016 At the age of twenty-four, Winston Churchill was utterly convinced it was his destiny to become prime minister of England.

He arrived in South Africa in 1899, valet and crates of vintage wine in tow, to cover the brutal colonial war the British were fighting with Boer rebels and jumpstart his political career. But just two weeks later, Churchill was taken prisoner.

Remarkably, he pulled off a daring escapetraversing hundreds of miles of enemy territory, alone, with nothing but a crumpled wad of cash, four slabs of chocolate, and his wits to guide him. Bestselling author Candice Millard spins an epic story of bravery, savagery, and chance encounters with a cast of historical charactersincluding Rudyard Kipling, Lord Kitchener, and Mohandas Gandhiwith whom Churchill would later share the world stage.

But Hero of the Empire is more than an extraordinary adventure story, for the lessons Churchill took from the Boer War would profoundly affect twentieth century history.

15. J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography

Author: by Humphrey Carpenter
Published at: Houghton Mifflin Company; 1st edition (June 1, 2000)
ISBN: 978-0618057023

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The authorized biography of the creator of Middle-earth. In the decades since his death in September 1973, millions have read THE HOBBIT, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, and THE SILMARILLION and become fascinated about the very private man behind the books.

Born in South Africa in January 1892, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was orphaned in childhood and brought up in near-poverty. He served in the first World War, surviving the Battle of the Somme, where he lost many of the closest friends he’d ever had.

After the war he returned to the academic life, achieving high repute as a scholar and university teacher, eventually becoming Merton Professor of English at Oxford where he was a close friend of C.S. Lewis and the other writers known as The Inklings.

Then suddenly his life changed dramatically. One day while grading essay papers he found himself writing ‘In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit’ – and worldwide renown awaited him. Humphrey Carpenter was given unrestricted access to all Tolkien’s papers, and interviewed his friends and family.

16. No Future Without Forgiveness

Author: by Desmond Tutu
Published at: Image; New Ed edition (October 17, 2000)

ISBN: 978-0385496902

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The establishment of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission was a pioneering international event. Never had any country sought to move forward from despotism to democracy both by exposing the atrocities committed in the past and achieving reconciliation with its former oppressors.

At the center of this unprecedented attempt at healing a nation has been Archbishop Desmond Tutu, whom President Nelson Mandela named as Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. With the final report of the Commission just published, Archbishop Tutu offers his reflections on the profound wisdom he has gained by helping usher South Africa through this painful experience.

In No Future Without Forgiveness, Tutu argues that true reconciliation cannot be achieved by denying the past. But nor is it easy to reconcile when a nation “looks the beast in the eye.” Rather than repeat platitudes about forgiveness, he presents a bold spirituality that recognizes the horrors people can inflict upon one another, and yet retains a sense of idealism about reconciliation.