Development as Rebellion: A Biography of Julius Nyerere

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Book One: The Making of a Philosopher Ruler

Lead Author: Saida Yahya-Othman

Book Two: Becoming Nationalist

Lead Author: Ng’wanza Kamata

Book Three: Rebellion Without Rebels

Lead Author: Issa G. Shivji

We must thank the authors of this biography because by telling the story of Mwalimu they help to give a concrete account of that common thread in his thinking which informed his actions as a liberation fighter, a statesperson and a pan-Africanist. Thus will we have what will serve as an invaluable manual for the activists for the renaissance of Africa.

–Thabo Mbeki

The most comprehensive and in-depth look at every aspect of the life of the man who became one of the greatest leaders and philosophers of the African Liberation, universally acclaimed as the Mwalimu of Africa.

–Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

More than just a biography, this work promises to give the reader a multifaceted introduction to the history of the country and the region, the dynamics and challenges of the anti-colonial struggle, as well as a nuanced understanding of the theory of human and social emancipation in an important part of the post-colonial world.

–Mahmood Mamdani

This book merits praise and wide readership. It is no doubt a significant intellectual contribution to the African library on nation-building and progressive thought in post-colonial Africa.

—Thandika Mkandawire

A fascinating read, the biography provides a complex analysis of Mwalimu Nyerere: the philosopher, statesman, politician, writer, teacher, husband and father. The work explores the controversies surrounding Mwalimu’s public and personal life in a critical and sensitive way, drawing on a wealth of information from a variety of sources, including interviews, public archives and personal documents to provide gems, rare insights on contentious moments and events.

–Marjorie Mbilinyi

At last we have a definitive biography of Julius Kambarage Nyerere, one of the major political actors on the African stage for a whole generation. … This is compulsory reading for anyone interested in Nyerere, Tanzania and Africa.

–Jenerali Ulimwengu

Spectacular book!

Scholar, teacher, poet, philosopher, politician, nationalist, socialist, democrat, autocrat, visionary, icon and iconoclast, Julius “Mwalimu” Nyerere left such a colossal footprint on modern African and global history that a biography that does justice to such an enigmatic and complex figure seemed unimaginable. Until now.

–Robin D. G. Kelley

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Additional information

Weight 2.8 kg




Year Published



Paperback, Hardback

Issa G. Shivji

Issa G. Shivji is one of Africa's leading experts on law and development issues. Shivji has served as advocate of the high court and the Court of Appeal of Tanzania since 1977 and advocate of the high court in Zanzibar since 1989. He has taught and worked in universities all over the world, including the University of Zimbabwe, the University of Warwick, the University of Hong Kong and El Colegio De Mexico.

He is a retired Professor of Public Law and first holder of the Julius Nyerere Professorial Chair in Pan-African Studies of the University of Dar es Salaam. He has published over a dozen books, including “Class Struggles in Tanzania” (1976), “The Concept of Human Rights in Africa” (1989) and “Pan-Africanism or Pragmatism: Lessons of Tanganyika-Zanzibar Union” (2008).

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Development as Rebellion: A Biography of Julius Nyerere