ISBN 9789966259301
Pages 120
Dimensions 229 x 152mm
Illustrations B/W Illustrations
Published 2013
Publisher East African Educational Publishers, Kenya
Format Paperback

Kenyan Student Airlifts to America 1959-1961

An Educational Odyssey

by Robert F. Stephens

What did it take to get hundreds of Kenyan students, thirsting for higher education, into US colleges in the late 1950s and early 1960s? It took perseverance, help from countless people, and the overwhelming desire of the students themselves. This is an engaging and insightful book about an important and ignored slice of history. When we think of vital historical airlifts, minds race back to the Berlin Airlift. Robert Stephens takes us to another American-sponsored airlift that brought a generation of future African leaders to American shores for higher education. This effort profoundly altered the lives of these men and women, the development of East African nations, and the perception of America. At a time when the world struggled to understand the value of 'soft' as opposed to military power, this book offers a valuable historical model. Set during the last days of colonialism in Kenya, the book documents the development of human talent that would foster a majority-ruled independent Kenya. Its focus on Africans ñ their individual and collective biographies, aspirations and intermittent assistance from the US and others - is the story.

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Reviews

"… an engaging and insightful book about an important and ignored slice of history … Robert Stephens takes us to another American-sponsored airlift that brought a generation of future African leaders to our shores for higher education. This effort profoundly altered the lives of these men and women, the development of East African nations, and the perception of America. At a time when the world struggled to understand the value of ‘soft’ as opposed to military power, this book offers a valuable historical model."

Ken Auletta, Author and Columnist for The New Yorker

"There have been several efforts to write this story. In particular, I know that the late Dr Kiano and H E Ambassador Pamela Mboya were keen to see these events recorded. Dr Stephens is to be commended for putting on paper a true story of what has helped shape the present day Kenya."

Joe Barrage Wanjui, Chancellor, University of Nairobi
About the Author

Robert F. Stephens

Robert F. Stephens was born in Escanaba, Michigan in 1924. He attended Michigan State College, served in the USA Army in World War II, and later graduated from Washington and Lee University. He received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan in 1973. From 1955 to 1957 he was with the Department of State/United States Information Agency in Washington, DC, and in 1957 was posted for two years to Nairobi, Kenya, as Vice Consul for Educational and Cultural Affairs in the United States Information Service/USA Consulate.

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