CROSSING CENTURIES – book by Irene Tinker
Fifty years ago the world was in the midst of a cataclysmic change. World War II had undermined the European colonial powers; the countries they had controlled were in turmoil as nationalism swept the globe. Yet these momentous events were hardly mentioned in my undergraduate studies at Harvard where my government courses focused on Europe while political philosophy delved into ancient Greece. I wanted to experience and understand what was happening in the world.
What Others Are Saying About Crossing Centuries
Irene Tinker’s vivid memoir recaptures a pivotal moment, circa 1953, when East Africa was on the road to independence. It dramatizes both how far new nations have come since then and how burdened they remain by ghosts of the past. Her book contains useful history, rigorous political science, and fascinating ethnography, all enhanced by the added dimension of a woman’s perspective. But, above all, this is a good story, in the tradition of great African travelogues from James Conrad and Graham Greene to Paul Theroux. Crossing Centuries will warm the hearts of old Africa hands and seize the imagination of readers new to what used to be called the Dark Continent.
Alan McKee, US Ambassador to Swaziland 1996-1999
Crossing Centuries provides insightful grounded observations of the changing global south through the eyes of a founding scholar of the field of women and development. This is a riveting read, especially for scholars and practitioners of international development.
Louise Fortmann, Professor, University of California at Berkeley
For someone who lived in Africa in the late sixties, as colonialism was dying, Irene Tinker’s book conjures up the vitality and enthusiasm of the Africans who were taking over and the denial of the colonials, who considered. themselves both superior and essential.
Paul Sack, Peace Corps Country Director in Tanzania 1966-67; Peace Corps Washington 1968-69
A rich and engaging journey from India through Africa to London that brings the reader into a world on the brink of changing forever. Irene Tinker’s account offers a valuable glimpse into a past that we barely remember and therefore cannot draw on to understand the present and its challenges.
Jane Jaquette, Professor, Occidental College