At a recent meeting of the Abuja Literary Society, I listened to attendees discuss the economic, political, and social developments they continued to hope for over sixty years after Nigerian independence. Then they moved on to debate whether or not Nigerians were even “ready” for the advanced level of development that many of them associate with nations in the Global North. This debate about the psychology of development in the Global South is not new, and for over a decade Frank Gerits has been working to detail how Africans shaped this debate after 1945. The Ideological Scramble for Africa: How the Pursuit of Anticolonial Modernity Shaped a Postcolonial Order, 1945–1966 is the culmination of that work, speaking to scholars in diplomatic history and international relations from what Gerits describes as the perspective of the Global South.

This perspective depends on extensive archival research, including ten African archives in Ethiopia, Ghana,...

You do not currently have access to this content.