THE BOY IS GONE: CONVERSATIONS WITH A MAU MAU GENERAL book trailer:
The saga of the General’s passage from boy to man is a tale of two civilizations caught in the creative and destructive form of contact we call colonialism…. Anyone wishing to broaden their understanding of what lies beneath the veil of stereotypes and Hollywood distortions of Africa, or who would enjoy meeting a character of uncommon intellect and grace, should read this book.
Those of us who teach African history are always looking for accessible and engaging books to assign our students. Africa is a vast unknown to most American college students. Most of us have developed strategies of easing them into the subject gently. Huttenbach’s book will fit the bill.
Laura Lee did what every one of us in the African history field has always wanted to do. She actually lived with the family of her subject. They ate together, worked together (picking tea), stayed together. There is simply no better way for a White outsider to penetrate the core of Meru history.
Laura Lee Huttenbach’s debut, The Boy Is Gone: Conversations with a Mau Mau General, is a unique first-hand account of cultural lineage, revolutionary awakening and dogged perseverance told in the voice Japhlet Thambu, a man who seems to have fit several lifetimes into the span of one. It is an essential testimony to those seeking to understand modern-day Kenya.
[Huttenbach and Thambu’s] touching and in the end profound relationship across age, geography, and gender formed the basis of this engaging book, a permanent record of the life and adventures of an African leader set down with grace, intelligence, affection, and style. A valuable contribution to anthropology, life history, and African studies and a recommended read for anyone interested in the modern transformation of African life.