A story of betrayal, belligerence and bloodshed, I Didn’t Do It For You is the portrait of a country torn by war and buffeted by the capricious manoeuvrings of foreign powers, which remains defiant throughout. It is a story that reveals the colonial and superpower legacy of a continent.
No country better embodies Africa’s battered history than mulish Eritrea. Still bearing the imprint of its occupiers (including continent’s best espresso and worst rail system), it served as a launch pad for Fascist Italy’s imperial ambitions, a US spy base, and a pawn in the Cold War’s proxy aggressions. Michela Wrong brilliantly exposes the conflicts and comedy of the twentieth-century Africa while employing her acute eye for incongruous detail. Along the way, we meet a guerrilla fighter who taught himself French cuisine in the trenches, a formidable emperor, and a chemist who arranged a heist on his own laboratory. A blend of travelogue and history, I Didn’t Do It For You pierces the heart of our colonial past.
Author: Michela Wrong
Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial
“Impressive… Wrong offers an uplifting testament to the resilience of the human spirit. Eminently readable and full of fascinating detail, this book deserves and needs to be read.” – Guardian
“I found it engrossing, vividly written in the style of the best thrillers, while portraying real-life dramas and characters larger than life.” – Anthony Sampson, Author of Mandela: The Authorised Biography
“A wonderful, readable and illuminating book … Michela Wrong is an enormously talented writer. She brings a sharp eye, enjoyment of people and admiration for their capacity to endure to the story of Eritrea’s struggle for their independence … deeply engaging and honest.” – Clare Short, New Statesman
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