• Bookset: The Trial of J.J. Rawlings & Ogyakrom: The Missing Pages of June 4th (2 books)

    Two prolific writers, brothers. One tumultuous period in Ghana’s history. One significant personality.
    Same perspectives or different? Get this set and find out.

    About the Trial of JJ Rawlings

    The Trial of JJ Rawlings narrates the extraordinary circumstances under which a young military officer Flt Lt JJ Rawlings, later to become the longest serving Head of State of Ghana, shot into the limelight to change the course of Ghana’s history and political development.The first edition of the book, originally published in 1986, completely sold out within a year, making this second edition very welcome in response to public request.

    This volume is a valuable contribution to our understanding of those ineluctable forces that have changed the contours of our society. Surely, the story of JJ, well told in this volume, cannot fail to grip and hold the reader’s most concentrated attention. – Prof F.A. Botchwey, PhD

     

    About Ogyakrom: The Missing Pages of June 4th

    The present volume represents landmarks within 22 months of Yankah’s weekly column in The Catholic Standard, from January 1979 to March 1980. It is inspired by topical issues in two military regimes (General F Akuffo’s SMC 2, Rawlings’ June 4th Revolution) and one civilian government (Hilla Limann’s PNP). This compilation altogether allows a veiled peep into the most turbulent period in Ghana’s political history, Rawlings’ June 4th Revolution, including preceding events and the aftermath of the Revolution. In the words of Dr Anthony Bonnah Koomson, Editor of The Catholic Standard at the time of Yankah’s celebrated column: “The book captures a momentous era in Ghana’s immediate political history, reminiscences of which the author has sough to recreate and preserve with phenomenal linguistic skill. It presents, through satire, an accurate heartbeat of a people under intense political paralysis.”

    This book makes compelling, even if hilarious, reading on Ghana’s enigmatic June 4th Revolution.

     

  • The Pen at Risk: Spilling My Little Beans

    “The Pen at Risk is more than a memoir. It is a piece of authentic, ungarnished history by a writer and public intellectual who is too modest to accept the title of a historian, but who witnessed and chronicled the most intriguing epochs of Ghana’s national life. Laced with the innate Fante humour, this book is a piece of deep but entertaining non-fiction that is told with the demystified simplicity of one of Ghana’s greatest academics and writers. Kwesi Yankah is a gift to humanity, and this memoir is a greater gift to an unfortunate generation like mine that did not live in the era of the incisive writings of the great Kwatriot.” – Manasseh Azure Awuni, Editor-in-Chief, The Fourth Estate

    “When a citizen who has spent his whole life scrutinising society, turns the spotlight on himself, the risks include this epic engagement that spares no one, him included. In this bare-it-all memoir, the Yankah enigma is fully bared, warts and all.  As it turns out, Yankah has had more than his fair share of privileged roles, ultimately impacting the national narrative. The richness of ethnography here, is as riveting as his urban-savvy accounts of the intrigues of university and national politics. While we watch him weave his wizardry of words, we are also awed by the totality of his humanity. The Pen at Risk is a hilarious package of eruditions. It is about the exalted gossips of our Motherland. The narratives are so sweet they hurt. If this isn’t the best book you have read in years, call me illiterate.” – Kofi Akpabli, Scholar, Author, Journalist

    “In this memoir, Kwesi Yankah  delivers a sparkling tableau of key aspects of his life, tabling his charmed childhood and amazing trajectory as an academic. He then rolls out his long stint as an audacious social commentator and columnist for leading papers (which may have put his pen at risk). With a penmanship characterized by a keen eye for detail, this autobiography is an entertaining and captivating book that should be read by all interested in media and social history as well as autobiography as a literary genre.” – Professor Mansah Prah, University of Cape Coast

    “Intriguing, revealing, and brilliant. The Pen at Risk is unvarnished introspection beautifully strung together with anecdotes in a way that is vibrant and colorful. Kwesi Yankah’s work is a refreshingly modest invitation to see life through a different lens, even for a fleeting moment.” – Dr Obeng Amoako Edmonds, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California

  • The Mumfordians: Memories of a Sea Boy

    In one beautiful swoop, this book takes you to the nostalgic past and the aspirational future of an African nation still in the throes of defining self-determination. With the brilliance of powerful recalls, it dissects the socio-cultural as well as the political. It is one man’s journey from an idyllic African fishing village, through his self-improvement to become the executive secretary of a Pan-African body travelling several capitals of the world in the service of his employer.

    It is also a book about people − their history, their dreams and the ills they seem unable to decidedly confront. But what makes The Mumfordians a keepsake is its richness in national promise and communal nostalgia.

  • Daughter in Exile: A Novel

    The acclaimed author of The Teller of Secrets returns with a gut-wrenching, yet heartwarming, story about a young Ghanaian woman’s struggle to make a life in the US, and the challenges she must overcome.

    Lola is twenty-one, and her life in Senegal couldn’t be better. An aspiring writer and university graduate, she has a great job, a nice apartment, a vibrant social life, and a future filled with possibility. But fate disrupts her world when she falls for Armand, an American Marine stationed at the U.S. Embassy. Her mother, a high court judge in Ghana, disapproves of her choice, but nothing will stop Lola from boarding a plane for Armand and America.

    That fateful flight is only the beginning of an extraordinary journey; she has traded her carefree existence in Senegal for the perilous position of an undocumented immigrant in 1990s America.

    Lola encounters adversity that would crush a less-determined woman. Her fate hangs on whether or not she’ll grow in courage to forge a different life from one she’d imagined, whether she’ll succeed in putting herself and family together again. Daughter in Exile is a hope-filled story about mother love, resilience, and unyielding strength.

  • The Teller of Secrets (HarperVia Edition)

    In this stunning debut novel—a tale of self-discovery and feminist awakening—a feisty Nigerian-Ghanaian girl growing up amid the political upheaval of late 1960s postcolonial Ghana begins to question the hypocrisy of her patriarchal society, and the restrictions and unrealistic expectations placed on women.

    Young Esi Agyekum is the unofficial “secret keeper” of her family, as tight-lipped about her father’s adultery as she is about her half-sisters’ sex lives. But after she is humiliated and punished for her own sexual exploration, Esi begins to question why women’s secrets and men’s secrets bear different consequences. It is the beginning of a journey of discovery that will lead her to unexpected places.

    As she navigates her burgeoning womanhood, Esi tries to reconcile her own ideals and dreams with her family’s complicated past and troubled present, as well as society’s many double standards that limit her and other women. Against a fraught political climate, Esi fights to carve out her own identity, and learns to manifest her power in surprising and inspiring ways.

    Funny, fresh, and fiercely original, The Teller of Secrets marks the American debut of one of West Africa’s most exciting literary talents.

  • Beyond Fear and Power: Osahene Boakye Djan – Pioneer Journey from the Village to the City and Back

    On 2nd June, 1979, the military high command of the Ghana Armed Forces picked up intelligence of an impending coup against their regime from the 5 Battalion, the only fighting unit in Accra at the time.

    General Odartey Wellington, the then Army Commander, informed his lower commanders to take steps to order Captain Boakye Djan, the D Company Commander of the 5 Battalion of Infantry to stop it.

    On 4th June, 1979, Captain Boakye Djan emerged to become the substantive head of government and official spokesperson of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council of Ghana.

    This is the story of one of Africa’s great military masterminds and why he has survived it all.

  • Politics in Ghana (1982-1992): Rawlings, Revolution and Populist Democracy

    This work was embarked upon as part of my study of military intervention in politics which had become the bane of politics in my country and Africa as a whole. My previous study had encompassed the period 1972-1979 (vide Politics In Ghana 1972 — 1979). The publication was well received and it won several awards. The book decried military rule in the hope that it would discourage military incursions in Ghanaian politics. As the 31 December Revolution unfolded, several friends impressed upon me, and I felt a deep obligation in the same direction, to capture and analyse the events of the time for posterity and for the guidance of my beloved country.

    With the advent of the PNDC on 31 December 1981, revolutionary politics was launched, which was geared towards participatory democracy. The PNDC military government claimed that it was not just another military junta but that under the auspices of the military and civilian revolutionary leaders and cadres, the people were taking their destinies into their own hands towards the establishment of grassroots democracy. In the process, as the revolutionaries claimed, all injustices would be redressed, corruption would be eradicated and a new era of prosperity would dawn as “true democracy” was manifested.

    My task in this work was to examine critically, the true nature of the PNDC, its composition, declared aims and objectives and whether the politics of revolution which dawned on 31 December 1981, could be justified. It was worthy to study and document whether the Defence Committees, District Assemblies, political and legal institutions of the PNDC, the regime’s human rights record, economic and social policies, responsibility and accountability to the populace, responsiveness in government and its electoral record did lead to a true democracy. The work is seen as a contribution towards answering the question: did the PNDC bring democracy to Ghana?

  • …Power to the People: Reflections on Retrogressive Politics

    Published in 1984…Power to the People is a doctor’s medicine for Ghana’s ills. The pill is occasionally bitter, but is coated with a generous layer of therapeutic laughter, to help its message slide gently into the appropriate organs of the national digestive system.

    Presented in the form of prose, poetry and cartoons, the first part of the book, subtitled The Past, covers the Nkrumah, Kotoka, Afrifa & Ankrah, Busia, Acheampong & Akuffo, Rawlings 1979 and Limann eras. The second part, subtitled The Present, covers the first three years of the second coming of Rawlings.

    In a satirical treatment of our history over almost 30 years, this book sheds a great light onto the paths that Ghana traversed in those heady years, in a form that is easy to read, reflect on and learn.

    In the author’s own words, “in recording these…my hope is that others would be induced to ponder over and question loudly some of those short-comings, lapses and omissions in our national character and situation which are stifling our growth and retarding the country’s progress. If our questions get loud and irritating enough to cause discomfiture in our policy makers, then the reader wouldn’t have been bored for nothing.”

  • The First Vice President: A Biography of JWS de Graft-Johnson (Hardcover)

    In the late 1970s, Joe de Graft-Johnson appeared on the national political scene as an Association of Recognized Professional Bodies executive, overlapping with his tenure as president of the Ghana Institution of Engineers. During this time, Joe actively demonstrated against the socioeconomic decline and lack of regard for professional guidance by the military regime. Joe subsequently won the People’s National Party’s nomination and became the Republic’s Vice President in 1979. Before this, he had transformed the Building and Road Research Institute into a prominent voice in using natural resources to address developmental needs, imbued as he was, with nation-building.

    Joe grew up within a family tradition of service to the country, instructed by lessons such as his grandfather’s contributions through the Aborigines’ Rights Protection Society. The Mfantsipim School and the historical significance of Cape Coast had also left their mark on him.

    Later, in exile, still focused on national development, he fought for the transition to democracy.
    The First Vice President chronicles the extraordinary life of Joe, spent in dedication to his country.

  • The Butchers of Ogyakrom and Other Short Stories

    The Butchers of Ogyakrom is a collection of short stories dating back to the 1980s when Ghana was under the grip of a violent military dictatorship. Who are the real “Butchers in Ogyakrom” and what do they deal in?

    This collection deals with turbulent times in the history of Ghana, particularly the abuse of political power by military rulers. It also deals with the ailments that afflict a neocolonial African country in the era of IMF-led structural adjustment programme (SAP).

    What drives a nation’s rulers to seek the help of a devious and ambitious soothsayer? Who’s responsible for the numerous midnight abductions, murders and disappearances in Ogvakrom?

    What happens when a Prince ignores his father’s advice and joins forces with poor peasants fighting to defend their land? What does a mother do with a child who is half-snake, half human? Can the Catholic priest save this child?

    The stories employ candour, historical honesty and humour to take a swipe the at some of Ghana’s most recent (mis) rulers in times of crisis. It is bound to generate a keen interest, and, of course, controversy.

  • Beyond the Political Spider: Critical Issues in African Humanities (African Humanities Series)

    Beyond the Political Spider: Critical Issues in African Humanities by Kwesi Yankah is the first title in the newly established African Humanities Association (AHA) publication series.

    By integrating his own biography into a critique of the global politics of knowledge production, Yankah, through a collection of essays, interrogates critical issues confronting the Humanities that spawn intellectual hegemonies and muffle African voices. Using the example of Ghana, he brings under scrutiny, amongst others, endemic issues of academic freedom, gender inequities, the unequal global academic order, and linguistic imperialism in language policies in governance.

    In the face of these challenges, the author deftly navigates the complex terrain of indigenous knowledge and language in the context of democratic politics, demonstrating that agency can be liberatory when emphasising indigenous knowledge, especially expressed through the idiom of local languages and symbols, including Ananse, the protean spider, folk hero in Ghana and most parts of the pan-African world.

    “Fascinating snapshots from an engaged scholarly life in Africa, valuable as an archival resource for the understanding of this period of higher education in Africa.” – John Higgins, Arderne Chair in Literature, Department of English Literary Studies, University of Cape Town

    “This book is unique and gives a powerful rendition of the state of the Humanities in Africa (with Ghana as a case in point). It grapples with some of the pertinent issues dogging the Humanities in Africa. It comments on the Humanities scholarship in Africa, and subtly throws a challenge for future scholarship. It draws on African traditions, communal heritage, and governance in discussing the role and place of the Humanities in Africa. It also brings into the analysis the ever-changing imperatives and modernity in re-configuring African Humanities.” – Mark Benge Okot, Head of Department, Literature, Makerere University, Uganda

    “Beyond the Political Spider’ effectively draws, in a unique fashion, from literature, history, linguistics and other cognate disciplines in the African Humanities.” – Sati Umaru Fwatshak, Department of History, University of Jos, Nigeria

  • The Legislative System of Ghana

    This book focuses on the legislative system of Ghana. It contains sixteen chapters, each focusing on a unique aspect of the legislative system of Ghana. It outlines the rules, the practice, and procedure that govern the conduct of business and Members in the Parliament of Ghana and its committees, and the various actors involved in the organisation of the legislative business. It breaks into minute forms, the procedural norms, and attitudes that influence members’ behaviour and the various parliamentary outcomes.

    “This study is well researched and presented in a very lucid form…. Indeed, it is a very useful source for students, parliamentarians, and academics on the parliamentary history, procedure, and practice of Ghana’s Parliament.” – Hon Dr. Benjamin Kunbour, Former Majority Leader, Former Minister of Defence and Senior Lecturer, University of Ghana School of Law

  • General Acheampong: The Life and Times of Ghana’s Head of State (Hardcover)

    A magnificent book…brilliant in shedding light on some of the most important but little known dark passages in our national history…worth reading by anybody who truly seeks knowledge about our recent past.

  • To the Thirsty Land: Autobiography of a Patriot by Emmanuel Evans-Anfom

    Emmanuel Evans-Anfom, who passed away in 2021 at the age of 101 years, was considered a living legend in Ghana.

    He was one of the great pioneers of the medical profession in that country, as well as serving as Vice Chancellor for The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi. His memoirs span his lifetime from the end of colonial rule through four and a half decades of independent Ghana. They tell the story of his early upbringing in James Town, the seminal impact of Achimota College on his education and career, and his medical training at Edinburgh University in wartime Britain. At the peak of his professional career, Evans-Anfom was one of the leading surgeons of the country and a renowned educationalist.

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  • Destiny and Politics: A Biography of Hon. Samuel Sallas-Mensah

    From a humble beginning as the son of a farmer in a relatively small town, Hon. Samuel Sallas-Mensah, four terms MP for Upper West Akim would perhaps have ended up as a farmer too. In those days, children took after their parents’ trades. Sallas got the chance to go to America and the entire course of his life changed. After a distinguished career in accountancy in the US and later in Nigeria, destiny led his way once more but this time to the country of his birth, Ghana, where eventually, a new career window opened in his life – politics.

    As a Member of the Consultative Assembly his accounting and financial acumen were in evidence as he actively contributed to the District Assembly Common Fund. And as a Member of Parliament he was instrumental in instituting the live television coverage of the sitting of the Public Accounts Committee – legacies to the nation that survive today.

    In this compelling biography the reader come face-to-face with this influential man of few words who is famed to have friends and access to both sides of the Ghanaian political divide. But what would Sallas be remembered for most, a politician, a chartered accountant or family man? More importantly, where else will destiny lead him to?

    “Crispy-delicious narratives, refreshingly-garnished insights. This fascinating biography of a patriot never finishes astonishing you with the twists and turns. But it is the authoritative revelations about a nation and its people that makes this book destined to be relevant to the politics of Ghana.” ~ Business & Financial Times

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