Idi Amin

The Story of Africa's Icon of Evil

Mark Leopold

View Inside Format: Hardcover
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The first serious full-length biography of modern Africa’s most famous dictator

Idi Amin began his career in the British army in colonial Uganda, and worked his way up the ranks before seizing power in a British-backed coup in 1971. He built a violent and unstable dictatorship, ruthlessly eliminating perceived enemies and expelling Uganda’s Asian population as the country plunged into social and economic chaos.

In this powerful and provocative new account, Mark Leopold places Amin’s military background and close relationship with the British state at the heart of the story. He traces the interwoven development of Amin’s career and his popular image as an almost supernaturally evil monster, demonstrating the impossibility of fully distinguishing the truth from the many myths surrounding the dictator. Using an innovative biographical approach, Leopold reveals how Amin was, from birth, deeply rooted in the history of British colonial rule, how his rise was a legacy of imperialism, and how his monstrous image was created.

Mark Leopold is lecturer in social anthropology at the University of Sussex.  His research in Idi Amin’s home area led to the book Inside West Nile, chosen as an "outstanding academic title of 2005" by the American Library Association.
ISBN: 9780300154399
Publication Date: January 5, 2021
320 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 map + 23 color illus.