Howard W. French

Howard W. French is a Professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. His most recent book, Born in Blackness: Africa, Africans, and the Making of the Modern World, 1471 to the Second World War, was published last year. (December 2022)


Enemies of Progress

France’s obsession with retaining influence over its former West African colonies has led to brutal dictatorships in Burkina Faso and Chad.

Thomas Sankara: A Revolutionary in Cold War Africa

by Brian J. Peterson

France’s Wars in Chad: Military Intervention and Decolonization in Africa

by Nathaniel K. Powell

Living by the Gun in Chad: Combatants, Impunity and State Formation

by Marielle Debos, translated from the French by Andrew Brown

The Trial of Hissène Habré: How the People of Chad Brought a Tyrant to Justice

by Celeste Hicks

October 7, 2021 issue

Can America Remain Preeminent?

The global influence of the US is threatened by the potentially chaotic unraveling of a political, security, and economic architecture that has structured the world for the past seventy or so years.

An Open World: How America Can Win the Contest for Twenty-First-Century Order

by Rebecca Lissner and Mira Rapp-Hooper

Exit from Hegemony: The Unraveling of the American Global Order

by Alexander Cooley and Daniel Nexon

A World Safe for Democracy: Liberal Internationalism and the Crises of Global Order

by G. John Ikenberry

April 29, 2021 issue

Treasures of the Sahel

Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara

an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, January 30–August 23, 2020

May 14, 2020 issue

A propaganda photo showing Mao with people from African, Arab, and South American countries, 1959

Mao’s Shadow

Maoism: A Global History

by Julia Lovell

China’s New Red Guards: The Return of Radicalism and the Rebirth of Mao Zedong

by Jude Blanchette

March 12, 2020 issue

Mansa Musa, the king of Mali, approached by a Berber on camelback; detail from The Catalan Atlas, attributed to the Majorcan mapmaker Abraham Cresques, 1375

Africa’s Lost Kingdoms

Africa has never lacked civilizations, nor has it ever been as cut off from world events as it has been routinely portrayed.

The Golden Rhinoceros: Histories of the African Middle Ages

by François-Xavier Fauvelle, translated from the French by Troy Tice

African Dominion: A New History of Empire in Early and Medieval West Africa

by Michael A. Gomez

African Kings and Black Slaves: Sovereignty and Dispossession in the Early Modern Atlantic

by Herman L. Bennett

A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution

by Toby Green

Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, and Exchange Across Medieval Saharan Africa

an exhibition at the Block Museum of Art, Evanston, Illinois, January 26–July 21, 2019; the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, September 21, 2019–February 23, 2020; and the National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C., April 8–November 29, 2020

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June 27, 2019 issue

Aung San Suu Kyi addressing supporters at the National League for Democracy 
headquarters in Rangoon after her release from house arrest, November 14, 2010

Looking for Hope in Burma

Than Shwe: Unmasking Burma's Tyrant

by Benedict Rogers, with a foreword by Václav Havel

Everything Is Broken: A Tale of Catastrophe in Burma

by Emma Larkin

December 23, 2010 issue

The Chinese writer Liao Yiwu, right, with a caretaker at the ancient Buddhist Gu Temple, which was damaged in the Sichuan earthquake, June 6, 2008

A Hero of the China Underground

The Corpse Walker: Real-Life Stories, China from the Bottom Up

by Liao Yiwu, translated from the Chinese with an introduction by Wen Huang, and with a foreword by Philip Gourevitch

October 14, 2010 issue

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