New Books Network

Anais Angelo

Power and the Presidency in Kenya

The Jomo Kenyatta Years

Cambridge University Press 2020

New Books in African StudiesNew Books in BiographyNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Political ScienceNew Books in Politics & Society September 23, 2020 Susan Thomson

Anais Angelo, postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for African Studies at the University of Vienna has written an exceptional book entitled Power and the...

Anais Angelo, postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for African Studies at the University of Vienna has written an exceptional book entitled Power and the Presidency in Kenya: The Jomo Kenyatta Years (Cambridge University Press) in CUP’s prestigious African Studies Series.

Angelo’s book analyses the little-studied institution of the Office of the President by studying its first postcolonial office-holder in Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta.

Angelo’s book is also a study of postcolonial statebuilding, told through the process of negotiations that transformed Kenya into a presidential republic. Using extensive archival records, she finds that neither the Brits nor Kenyan political elites intended to create a presidential regime with near limitless executive power. The result is a political biography of Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta. It’s a story of distant and discrete politician that also narrates Kenya’s colonial and postcolonial history.


Susan Thomson is associate professor of peace and conflict studies at Colgate University.