Julius Rex: Nyerere through the eyes of his critics, 1953-2013

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Abstract

This article examines political critics of Tanzania's first president, Julius K. Nyerere. While his detractors varied greatly in both ideological and sociological terms, the three major groups studied here shared a sharp intellectual frustration with Nyerere's effective utilization of humility as a political weapon to control debate, court international support, and silence opposition. Foreign critics, primarily European writers, were divided principally by their social proximity to Nyerere - older white "decolonizers" lamented their friend's embrace of authoritarian tactics to achieve utopian ends, while younger writers instead saw a distant and unworldly figure best understood in abstract philosophical terms. The most vocal Tanzanian critics, by contrast, were united by the heavy-handed actions they and their families had endured at the hands of the Tanzanian state, which in turn produced sharply personalized criticisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-477
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Eastern African Studies
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2014

Keywords

  • Tanzania
  • authoritarianism
  • decolonization
  • imprisonment
  • journalism
  • political opposition
  • socialism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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