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  • Writer's pictureClay Anderson

Review of Idi Amin by Mark Leopold

Mark Leopoldo’s Idi Amin: The Story of Africa's Icon of Evil is a biography of the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, who ruled from 1971 to 1979. The book is a thorough investigation of Amin's life, from his military background to his close relationship with the British state. Leopold's book is the first serious full-length biography of Amin, and it sifts through the many myths and fictitious claims that have long shaped public perceptions of the dictator.


Leopold's book is a powerful and provocative account of Amin's life. The book places Amin's military background and close relationship with the British state at the heart of the story. Leopold argues that Amin's rise to power was facilitated by his close ties to the British military, which trained him and provided him with the weapons and support he needed to stage a coup against Ugandan President Milton Obote.


Leopold's book is not a definitive account of who Amin was or wasn't, but rather a smaller, more insightful book about why historians have written about him in the way they have. Leopold is a social anthropologist, and his book is informed by his expertise in this field. He examines the ways in which Amin has been represented in popular culture, and the ways in which these representations have shaped public perceptions of the dictator.


Leopold's book is well-written and full of original research. He draws on a wide range of sources, including interviews with former members of Amin's inner circle, to paint a vivid picture of the dictator's life. Leopold's book is also sharply written and forensically researched, making it an important contribution to the field of African history.


Leopold's book is a fascinating and insightful account of Idi Amin's life. The book is well-written and full of original research, and it provides a valuable contribution to the field of African history. Leopold's book is particularly interesting because it examines the ways in which Amin has been represented in popular culture, and the ways in which these representations have shaped public perceptions of the dictator.


One of the strengths of Leopold's book is its focus on Amin's military background and his close relationship with the British state. Leopold argues that Amin's rise to power was facilitated by his close ties to the British military, which trained him and provided him with the weapons and support he needed to stage a coup against Ugandan President Milton Obote. This is an important point, as it challenges the popular perception of Amin as a self-made man who rose to power through sheer force of will.


Another strength of Leopold's book is its examination of the ways in which Amin has been represented in popular culture. Leopold argues that Amin has been portrayed as a cartoonish villain in films and other media, and that these representations have shaped public perceptions of the dictator. This is an important point, as it highlights the ways in which popular culture can shape our understanding of historical figures.


One weakness of Leopold's book is its narrow focus on Amin's life. While the book provides a thorough investigation of Amin's life, it does not provide much context for the broader political and social forces that shaped Uganda during this period. This is a minor criticism, however, as Leopold's book is primarily focused on Amin and his life.


In conclusion, Mark Leopold's Idi Amin: The Story of Africa's Icon of Evil is a fascinating and insightful account of Idi Amin's life. The book is well-written and full of original research, and it provides a valuable contribution to the field of African history. Leopold's book is particularly interesting because it examines the ways in which Amin has been represented in popular culture, and the ways in which these representations have shaped public perceptions of the dictator. Overall, Leopold's book is an important and valuable addition to the literature on African history.

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