Nkrumah and the Chiefs
Politics of Chieftaincy in Ghana 1951-1960
Charts the governments frustrated attempts to democratize local government and the long campaigns by many southern chiefs to resist being marginalized.
A study of a radical nationalist government's attempts to destroy chieftaincy in Ghana. It shows how chiefly resistance to their destruction forced the government to seek control over rural areas by redefining chieftaincy. It should provide a context for understanding Ghana's political topography.
North America: Ohio U Press
North America: Ohio U Press
"... very distinguished scholarship, the writing is not only clear but stylishly crafted, and the story it tells is about a major aspect of modern Ghanaian political history... - , Professor of Modern History of Africa in the University of London" Gareth Austin, Professor of Modern History of Africa in the University of London
"Richard Rathbone's Nkrumah and the Chiefs tells the story of what befell this institution and its incumbents, especially in the South and more particularly the Akan regions, in its painful and bemusing encounter with the state power from the first election won by Kwame Nkrumah's Convention People's Party in 1951 to his triumph in the Presidential elections in 1960. Rathbone tells it exceptionally well, bringing to bear on it throughout not merely the sophisticated viewpoint of an analyst of the imperial end game ... but also the vivid and intimate affection of someone who has lived at length not just in its national university but also in its provincial towns." John Dunn, THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
"...examines a highly complex power struggle in straightforward language." Guy Arnold, WEST AFRICA
"... a book which will inspire scholars who seek to preserve painstaking research, subtle interpretation, wide-ranging oral enquiry and courageous reassessment as part of the tool-kit of the historian." David Birmingham, CANADIAN JOURNAL OF AFRICAN STUDIES
"... subtle and beautifully written book..." John Flint, JOURNAL OF IMPERIAL & COMMONWEALTH HISTORY
"...Rathbone does not seek to glorify Nkrumah but rather to untangle Nkrumah's relationship with chiefs and chieftaincy as an institution in Ghana, and the relationship portrayed is one of Nkrumah's more tenuous struggles with the traditional elite concerning who controlled the rural masses and ultimately access to power. In the end, chiefs ended up not only becoming fearful, but also mere puppets dancing to whatever tune was played by the CPP government. In unravelling this complex relationship, Rathbone recreates and chronologically establishes the important events occurring in this relationship." Emmanuel Kwesi Aning, DEMOCRACY & DEVELOPMENT