Idi AminThe Story of Africa's Icon of Evil

Idi AminThe Story of Africa's Icon of Evil

Mark Leopold

Print publication date: 2021

ISBN: 9780300154399

Publisher: Yale University Press

Abstract

Idi Amin began his career in the British army in colonial Uganda and worked his way up the ranks before seizing power in a British-backed coup in 1971. He built a violent and unstable dictatorship, ruthlessly eliminating perceived enemies and expelling Uganda's Asian population as the country plunged into social and economic chaos. This book places Amin's military background and close relationship with the British state at the heart of the story. It traces the interwoven development of Amin's career and his popular image as an almost supernaturally evil monster, demonstrating the impossibility of fully distinguishing the truth from the many myths surrounding the dictator. Using an innovative biographical approach, the book reveals how Amin was, from birth, deeply rooted in the history of British colonial rule, how his rise was a legacy of imperialism, and how his monstrous image was created.