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A list of key readings about Kenya.
Please sort and annotate in a user-friendly manner. For formatting, consider using automated reference wikification.


  • Barsby, Jane. Kenya (Culture Smart!: a quick guide to customs and etiquette) (2007)
  • Haugerud, Angelique. The Culture of Politics in Modern Kenya. Cambridge U. Press, 1995. 266 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Mwaura, Ndirangu. Kenya Today: Breaking the Yoke of Colonialism in Africa. Algora, 2005. 238 pp.
  • Parkinson, Tom, and Matt Phillips. Lonely Planet Kenya (2006) except and text search
  • Rough Guide To Kenya (8th ed. 2006)


  • Anderson, David. Histories of the Hanged: The Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire. W. W. Norton, 2005. 406 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Berman, Bruce and Lonsdale, John. Unhappy Valley: Conflict in Kenya and Africa. 2 vol. Ohio U. Press, 1992. 504 pp.
  • Bravman, Bill. Making Ethnic Ways: Communities and Their Transformations in Taita, Kenya, 1800-1950. James Currey, 1998. 283 pp.
  • Collier, Paul and Lal, Deepak. Labour and Poverty in Kenya, 1900-1980. Oxford U. Press, 1986. 296 pp.
  • Eliot, Charles. The East Africa Protectorate (1905), by the well-informed former governor; full text online
  • Elkins, Caroline. Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya. Holt, 2005. 496 pp.
  • Gatheru, R. Mugo. Kenya: From Colonization to Independence, 1888-1970. McFarland, 2005. 236 pp.
  • Harper, James C., II. Western Educated Elites in Kenya, 1900-1963. Routledge, 2006. 193 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Kanogo, Tabitha. African Womanhood in Colonial Kenya, 1900-50. Ohio U. Press, 2005. 268 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Kyle, Keith. The Politics of the Independence of Kenya St. Martin's, 1999. 258 pp.
  • Lewis, Joanna. Empire State-Building: War and Welfare in Kenya, 1925-52. James Currey, 2000. 393 pp.
  • Mackenzie, A. Fiona D. Land, Ecology and Resistance in Kenya, 1880-1952. Edinburgh U. Pr., 1998. 286 pp.
  • Maloba, Wunyabari O. Mau Mau and Kenya: An Analysis of Peasant Revolt. Indiana U. Press, 1993. 288 pp.
  • Maxon, Robert M. and Ofcansky, Thomas P. Historical Dictionary of Kenya. (2nd ed. Scarecrow, 2000). 449 pp.
  • Maxon, Robert M. Going Their Separate Ways: Agrarian Transformation in Kenya, 1930-1950. Fairleigh Dickinson U. Pr., 2003. 353 pp
  • Miller, Norman, and Rodger Yeager. Kenya: The Quest for Prosperity (2nd ed. 1984) online edition at Questia
  • Ndege, George Oduor. Health, State, and Society in Kenya. U. of Rochester Press, 2001. 224 pp.
  • Ochieng, William R., ed. Themes in Kenyan History. Ohio U. Press, 1991. 261 pp.
  • Ochieng, William R., ed. A Modern History of Kenya: In Honour of Professor B. A. Ogot. Nairobi, Kenya: Evans Brothers, 1989. 259 pp.
  • Odhiambo, E. S. Atieno and Lonsdale, John, eds. Mau Mau and Nationhood: Arms, Authority and Narration. Ohio U. Press 2003. 306 pp.
  • Odhiambo, E. S. Atieno. "Ethnic Cleansing and Civil Society in Kenya 1969-1992." Journal of Contemporary African Studies 2004 22(1): 29-42. Issn: 0258-9001 Fulltext: Ebsco
  • Ogot, B. A. and Ochieng, W. R., eds. Decolonization and Independence in Kenya, 1940-93. Ohio U. Press, 1996. 270 pp. online edition from Questia
  • Ogot, B. A. Historical dictionary of Kenya (1981)
  • Percox, David A. Britain, Kenya and the Cold War: Imperial Defence, Colonial Security and Decolonisation. Tauris, 2004. 252 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Pinkney, Robert. The International Politics of East Africa. Manchester U. Pr., 2001. 242 pp. compares Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
  • Press, Robert M. Peaceful Resistance: Advancing Human Rights and Democratic Freedoms. Ashgate, 2006. 227 pp.
  • Sabar, Galia. Church, State, and Society in Kenya: From Mediation to Opposition, 1963-1993. F. Cass, 2002. 334 pp.
  • Sandgren, David P. Christianity and the Kikuyu: Religious Divisions and Social Conflict. Peter Lang, 1989. 209 pp.
  • Smith, David Lovatt. Kenya, the Kikuyu and Mau Mau. Mawenzi, 2005. 359 pp.
  • Steinhart, Edward O. Black Poachers, White Hunters: A Social History of Hunting in Colonial Kenya. Oxford: James Currey, 2006. 248 pp.
  • Tignor, Robert L. Capitalism and Nationalism at the End of Empire: State and Business in Decolonizing Egypt, Nigeria, and Kenya, 1945-1963. Princeton U. Press, 1998. 419 pp.

Primary sources

  • Kareri, Charles Muhuro. The Life of Charles Muhoro Kareri. U. of Wisconsin-Madison, African Studies Program, 2003. 104 pp.
  • Lewis, Joanna, ed. From Mau Mau to Harambee: Memoirs and Memoranda of Colonial Kenya, Tom Askwith. Cambridge U. Press, 1995. 221 pp.
  • Maathai, Wangari Muta. Unbowed: A Memoir. Knopf, 2006. 314 pp.