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Ebook Thomas Sankara Speaks: The Burkina Faso Revolution, 1983-87 by Thomas Sankara read! Book Title: Thomas Sankara Speaks: The Burkina Faso Revolution, 1983-87
The author of the book: Thomas Sankara
Edition: Pathfinder Press (NY)
Date of issue: January 1st 1989
ISBN: 0873485262
ISBN 13: 9780873485265
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Loaded: 1250 times
Reader ratings: 7.2
Language: English
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 18.88 MB

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There is a certain tragedy in the life of Thomas Sankara, and it is not at first glance obvious. Sankara was the first President of Burkina Faso, an authentic revolutionary who managed in just four years to transform his society and his homeland in a way it is doubtful most would believe to be possible if told, before his assassination in 1987 and the destruction of his revolution by his former comrade Blaise Compaore.

What do I refer to by tragedy? It is not, as such, his death. As unpleasant as it sounds, it is not even the destruction of his revolution. The true tragedy of Thomas Sankara is that his revolution is unknown. Sankara was as great a revolutionary as the world as ever seen, a man more than an equal to all the Lenins of the 20th century; yet, because he had the misfortune to be born Burkinabe, he falls into this academic blind spot. Sankara's words should be sung from the rooftops, yet he remains largely unheard. If nothing else, Thomas Sankara Speaks is of incredible value for that alone.

Thomas Sankara Speaks is a collection of speeches, press conferences and interviews from Sankara's ill-fated leadership. The first thing readers will probably notice is that this is no Leninist polemic, no theory-laden Marxist tome. Sankara does not shy away from his revolutionary character; yet, his speech is grounded in his surroundings, a focus on the present reigning throughout. Sankara speaks of the problems - and solutions - his government immediately faced. The rhetoric of anti-imperialism, of socialism, of Marxism, this is all still there; however, this is all set within a very Burkinabe context, something which can admittedly be a little confusing at first.

Yet, the book is all the better for it, and it exemplifies really why Sankara is so valuable. We have enough theories to last us to utopia; Sankara is far more than that because he provides us with a living model of revolution, a modern-day Paris Commune. That does not mean the book is some sort of revolutionary Bible, a revealed religion for the disempowered masses; far from it. What Thomas Sankara Speaks is, in essence, a case study. It does not necessarily hold answers; but it does ask the right questions.

But that is not the real appeal of Thomas Sankara Speaks. That is that, simply put, it is inspirational. The Burkinabe revolution is an incredible success, an example of one of the most downtrodden countries on Earth rising, however briefly, to independence and dignity; furthermore, Sankara is a fine narrator, taking us along Burkina Faso's path to progress in his modest, personable manner.

When asked why he didn't want his portrait hung in public places, as was the norm for other African leaders, Sankara replied "There are seven million Thomas Sankaras."' If only there were seven billion.


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