The University of Wisconsin Press
History / African Studies / Politics / Education
Mau Mau’s Children
The Making of Kenya’s Postcolonial Elite
David P. Sandgren
Africa and the Diaspora: History, Politics, Culture
Thomas Spear, David Henige, and Michael Schatzberg, Series Editor
Who were the children of the Mau Mau Rebellion and what became of them after Kenya’s independence?
In 1963 David Sandgren went to Kenya to teach in a small, rural school for boys, where he remained for the next four years. These were heady times for Kenyans, as the nation gained its independence, approved a new constitution, and held its first elections. In the school where Sandgren taught, the sons of Gikuyu farmers rose to the challenges of this post colonial era and, in time, entered Kenyan society as adults, joining Kenya’s first generation of post colonial elites.
In Mau Mau’s Children, Sandgren reconnects with these former students. Drawing on more than one hundred interviews, he provides readers with a collective biography of the lives of Kenya’s first postcolonial elite, stretching from their 1940s childhood to the peak of their careers in the 1990s. Through these interviews, Mau Mau’s Children shows the trauma of growing up during the Mau Mau Rebellion, the nature of nationalism in Kenya, the new generational conflicts arising, and the significance of education and Gikuyu ethnicity on his students’ path to success.
David P. Sandgren is professor of history at Concordia College – Moorhead in Minnesota. He is the author of Christianity and the Kikuyu: Religious Divisions and Social Conflict.
“The commentary is fascinating and lucid, and the overall result is original and highly informative.” —Choice
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LC: 2011042649 DT
184 pp. 6 x 9 12 b/w photos
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“Mau Mau’s Children provides insights that are vivid and important and that are not available elsewhere in literature.”
—Richard Waller, Bucknell University
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