I Didn't Do It for You: How the World Used and Abused a Small African Nation

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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.

Product Details

Author: Michela Wrong

Paperback: 464 pages

Publisher: Harper Perennial

ISBN: 978-0007150953


“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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