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Adventures in Zambian Politics: A Story in Black and White

Guy Scott
Adventures in Zambian Politics: A Story in Black and White
ISBN: 978-1-62637-959-6
ISBN: 978-1-62637-961-9
2021/259 pages/LC: 2018032409
Paperback now available!
Originally published in hardcover in 2019.
"This excellent book is a revealing account of ... African politics from the inside. It is also a splendid rebuke to those (far from absent in the academy, as elsewhere) who are content or even eager to settle for tabloid understandings of African politicians." —Calum Fisher, Africa

"[A] riveting insider account of the workings of Zambian politics."—Publishers Weekly

"Part memoir, part history, Adventures in Zambian Politics is free of the robotic and unreflective tics that often haunt political biographies. It feels more like having a chat over a drink—if that chat ranged from political meetings in jail to the heart of Zambian government to the role of China's investment in Africa, with economics and a dash of literature thrown in."—Stephen Bush, special correspondent, New Statesman

"A remarkably frank insider's account of a unique political partnership. . . . Guy Scott's themes range from derring-do on the campaign trail, to Keynesian economics, bare-knuckles backstage maneuvering, the blight of AIDS, and the complex web of forces that conspire against reform in his native Zambia and many other parts of Africa."—Alan Cowell, former foreign correspondent, New York Times, and author of Killing the Wizards

"Engrossing, entertaining, and packed with insights, wisdom and a dash of humour. . . . This book deserves to become an African classic."—Michael Holman, former Africa editor, Financial Times

"A riveting account of Zambian political and economic developments from independence to today's Chinese dependence, by a major protagonist—the man who saved the country from famine as minister of agriculture, fought poverty and inequality and kwacha overvaluation, former MP for Lusaka Central, the first white vice president, and briefly president of the country." —Professor Domenico M. Nuti, Sapienza University of Rome


As Miles Larmer writes in the foreword, Adventures in Zambian Politics is unlike any political memoir you have ever read.

It is ... A political history of Zambia from colonial times to the present. A revealing insider account of politics and government within a modern African state. A story about race in Africa. A chronicle of the rise and fall of two improbable political allies who wanted to change Zambian politics: Michael Sata, whose convoluted political career led him to become president in 2011, and Guy Scott, Sata's vice president and, after Sata's death, acting president of Zambia. Not least, it is a pleasure to read.

Guy Scott's absorbing narrative of his career and Michael Sata's in the chaotic world of African politics tells a uniquely Zambian story. But it is also a special contribution to our understanding of democracy and democratization across Africa.


Guy Scott was acting president of Zambia after the death of President Michael Sata. Prior to that he was vice president (2011–2014) and had also served as minister of agriculture and an opposition leader in the Zambian parliament.


  • Foreword—Miles Larmer.
  • Prologue.
  • The Plucky Little Devil.
  • "Northern Rhodesians."
  • Sounds in the Forest.
  • Young Michael Heads For Town.
  • The First Wind.
  • Chimwela: The Second Wind.
  • The Reign of King Fred.
  • Elements of Fudge.
  • X Years in the Wilderness, Y Days in Jail.
  • Inside Looking Out.
  • Daily Business.
  • Double Dutch Syndrome.
  • Chinese Whispers.
  • Good Neighborliness.
  • The Not-So-Rough Guide.
  • Slow Death.
  • Epilogue: A Quick Presidency, and After.