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Crossing Centuries: A 1953 African road trip anticipates the shape of things to come

Events | Headline and Cultural Forums
Photo: Irene Tinker

Irene Tinker (professor emerita  at the University of California, Berkeley and a longtime Council member) recounts her journey by car across colonial Africa, circa 1953.  Her travelogue, published last as Crossing Centuries, begins with a new husband and an Austin A40 in Mombasa and eventually ends in London, weaves together personal narrative, history, rigorous political science, and some fascinating ethnography while also revealing a pivotal period when colonialism was beginning to falter and East Africa was on the road to independence. Tinker’s story dramatizes both how far these new nations have come since then and how burdened they remain by ghosts of the past.

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