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Vast, diverse, dynamic, and turbulent, the true nature of Africa is often obscured by its poverty-stricken image. In this controversial and gripping guide, Tom Young cuts through the emotional hype to critically analyse the continent's political history and the factors behind its dismal economic performance. Maintaining that colonial influences are often overplayed, Young argues that much blame must lie with African governments themselves and that Western aid can often cause as much harm as good.