At home in London UK and West Africa
Michael Wolfers, author, editor and translator
(into English from French and Portuguese)
Merlin Press published Thomas Hodgkin Wandering Scholar A biography
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234x156mm; 211pp; index; EU publication: 3.4.2007
Hbk ISBN 978 0 85036 580 1 GB Pounds 40.00
Pbk ISBN 978 0 85036 581 8 GB Pounds 16.95
ISBN-10 HBK0850365805PBK 0850365813
Michael Wolfers is a writer, translator and academic. He is the author of books on Angola and on politics in post-independence Africa and has taught as a Visiting Senior Lecturer at the University of Juba, Sudan. He was close to Thomas Hodgkin from 1966 to 1982 and for this book retraced many of the paths trodden by Hodgkin in Britain and around the world. He has drawn on an immense store of unpublished material in the Hodgkin family papers.
When Thomas Hodgkin left Oxford few would have expected that someone from a privileged public school would emerge as a Marxist and a dissident. Michael Wolfers provides the first detailed biography of Hodgkin - as a remarkable human being and intellectual.
Hodgkin left the colonial office after becoming convinced that Britain was not respecting the Palestinians. He travelled extensively in Africa and became one of the founders of a new discipline of African Studies, writing African Political Parties and Nationalism in Colonial Africa.His Vietnam: The Revolutionary Path was written in the midst of American intervention. He was an unconventional scholar: Frantz Fanon sent him to see the Algerian revolution; Che Guevara came for drinks in Ghana.
- A probing story of the life and loves of a remarkable and unique individual from a prominent family within Britain's 'intellectual aristocracy'.
- A chronological narrative that discusses both personal life and wider changes in the world scene.
- Wolfers records successes and strengths as well as failures and weaknesses, he draws on unpublished papers and candidly tells the story of 'a threesome marriage'.
- Wolfers and Hodgkin are a winning combination. Hodgkin's Letters From Africa 1947-1956 (Haan, 2000)co-edited by Michael Wolfers was highly praised: Melvyn Bragg wrote of:'absorbing letters of a remarkable Englishman abroad'; Basil Davidson said it was a 'vivid historical document'.