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A State of Blood: The Inside Story of Idi Amin

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Written in exile, under tight security, here is Henry Kyemba's inside story of Idi Amin. Written in exile, under tight security, here is Henry Kyemba's inside story of Idi Amin.


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Written in exile, under tight security, here is Henry Kyemba's inside story of Idi Amin. Written in exile, under tight security, here is Henry Kyemba's inside story of Idi Amin.

30 review for A State of Blood: The Inside Story of Idi Amin

  1. 4 out of 5

    lafloor

    As I read this unbelievable memoir, I have a hard time understanding why Kyemba stayed as long as he did. I mean, even after Amin had his brother murdered he still came back to work for the tyrant thug. Reading these accounts of murder after murder after murder it starts to become unreal. I went to Kampala over Xmas time, however and I was shocked to learn that the people of Uganda do not hate Amin. In fact they credit him with producing some of the city's important architectural buildings, etc. As I read this unbelievable memoir, I have a hard time understanding why Kyemba stayed as long as he did. I mean, even after Amin had his brother murdered he still came back to work for the tyrant thug. Reading these accounts of murder after murder after murder it starts to become unreal. I went to Kampala over Xmas time, however and I was shocked to learn that the people of Uganda do not hate Amin. In fact they credit him with producing some of the city's important architectural buildings, etc. They believe the stories of body-disfiguring and goriness (like that depicted briefly in The Last King of Scotland) are just urban myths. I think this memoir needs to be read by the people of Uganda, but perhaps they don't want to read it. Perhaps it is easier not knowing. . .

  2. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Ssempala

    Wow! This true story will blow your head off for surprises. I was aware of how murderous Gen. Idi Amin was but I wasn't prepared for some of the bloodier incidences and the sense of danger that loomed over every public figure in Uganda at that time. The list of prominent people killed at the beginning of the book moreover gives a hint of how much the ordinary people must have suffered without the notice and attention of the international press. Wow! This true story will blow your head off for surprises. I was aware of how murderous Gen. Idi Amin was but I wasn't prepared for some of the bloodier incidences and the sense of danger that loomed over every public figure in Uganda at that time. The list of prominent people killed at the beginning of the book moreover gives a hint of how much the ordinary people must have suffered without the notice and attention of the international press.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ted

    When I purchased this book, I hoped to get a picture of Idi Amin's personality, and an inside story on how he maintained power. Instead I got a disconnected - though interesting - hodgepodge of anecdotes. The author states that he was a confidant of Amin's with whom he "could talk to at any time of the day or night," but he fails to explore Amin's character or tell us how he managed to maintain his hold on the government while Ugandan society fell apart. I couldn't help but feeling that the autho When I purchased this book, I hoped to get a picture of Idi Amin's personality, and an inside story on how he maintained power. Instead I got a disconnected - though interesting - hodgepodge of anecdotes. The author states that he was a confidant of Amin's with whom he "could talk to at any time of the day or night," but he fails to explore Amin's character or tell us how he managed to maintain his hold on the government while Ugandan society fell apart. I couldn't help but feeling that the author was holding something back. Did he partake in some of the government's misdeeds and is holding back on revealing this? Kyemba stresses how much Amin trusted him, but never outlines why that was. Not only did Amin trust Kyemba, but Kyemba trusted the ruthless dictator just as much! Even after Kyemba's brother is murdered by the government, Kyemba felt that "for me, things would be different... I did not believe I would ever be in any personal danger." I suppose this is how regimes like Amin's are able to last for so long. Ministers watch as those around them are murdered, yet they trust that for them, things will be different. Eventually Kyemba realizes that he, too, has a shelf life and flees the country.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Fishface

    This is Henry Kyemba's memoir of being a member of Milton Obote's government in Uganda, and then -- somewhat to his surprise -- finding himself highly placed in Idi Amin's government after Amin ousted Obote. This is a cool and rational description of what Amin put his country through, and it is clear that Kyemba doesn't want to know, or at any rate linger over, too many of the details of Amin's genocide of his own constituents, the destruction of the country's economy or Uganda's standing in the This is Henry Kyemba's memoir of being a member of Milton Obote's government in Uganda, and then -- somewhat to his surprise -- finding himself highly placed in Idi Amin's government after Amin ousted Obote. This is a cool and rational description of what Amin put his country through, and it is clear that Kyemba doesn't want to know, or at any rate linger over, too many of the details of Amin's genocide of his own constituents, the destruction of the country's economy or Uganda's standing in the international community. Heavily illustrated with photos. Well-written and carefully thought out, telling us each time he has to leave out a name for fear of getting a friend or colleague killed. The text starts with a list of 100 people he knows who were killed by his boss -- including the author's own brother. Well worth a look.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Hardcorekancil

    I read A State of Blood shortly after returning from Uganda, maybe to gain a sense of perspective on the history of this country. It was a compelling read, if a gruesome one. Henry Kyemba gives us his own insights into Idi Amin's regime: what it meant to be living in Uganda at that time but also what led to the regime and how he thought it would evolve (at the time of writing). Although it shouldn't be taken as a stand-alone document on Uganda under Idi Amin, it is an important testimony that de I read A State of Blood shortly after returning from Uganda, maybe to gain a sense of perspective on the history of this country. It was a compelling read, if a gruesome one. Henry Kyemba gives us his own insights into Idi Amin's regime: what it meant to be living in Uganda at that time but also what led to the regime and how he thought it would evolve (at the time of writing). Although it shouldn't be taken as a stand-alone document on Uganda under Idi Amin, it is an important testimony that deserves to be read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    I remember when Idi Amin was in the news regularly, in the seventies, as a really bad guy, but I did not know how evil he really was. I am doing a study, for my own education, on Uganda, and this book is a real eye-opening place to start. Horrible. The author spares no gory detail, and one can feel his anguish, not only at having to play a part in a corrupt and cruelly violent evil government, but also in having to witness the economic destruction of his home country. Sadly, the portrayal of Idi I remember when Idi Amin was in the news regularly, in the seventies, as a really bad guy, but I did not know how evil he really was. I am doing a study, for my own education, on Uganda, and this book is a real eye-opening place to start. Horrible. The author spares no gory detail, and one can feel his anguish, not only at having to play a part in a corrupt and cruelly violent evil government, but also in having to witness the economic destruction of his home country. Sadly, the portrayal of Idi Amin's character seems all too similar to that of other dead and living world leaders.Frightening.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mia

    Couldn't put it down, it just seemed too horrible to be true that Idi Amin got away with as much as he did for so long. It is also unbelievable how long Kyemba stayed before defecting, but I guess better late than never. This book was published awhile ago but the world continues to allow the worst dictators to literally get away with mass murder, which is incomprehensible in this day and age. Couldn't put it down, it just seemed too horrible to be true that Idi Amin got away with as much as he did for so long. It is also unbelievable how long Kyemba stayed before defecting, but I guess better late than never. This book was published awhile ago but the world continues to allow the worst dictators to literally get away with mass murder, which is incomprehensible in this day and age.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Apiwe

    was Idi Amin really a cannibal?

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kalpana Behara

    Doing a deep dive into understanding east Africa and this was a good start. Having visited Uganda and specifically the places mentioned in the book recently, this started feeling a bit personal as the narrative unfolded. A bit too detailed in parts but a very good perspective and a personal account of life in Uganda in the 70s. One perspective is never enough though.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ashabaheebwa Timothy

    The book seems to give an account of what happened during the time of Amin more so from someone in the inner circle. However the writer should have told us how the late Idi Amin managed to maintain his grip on power for so long with all the limitations he had.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    The real story of the Last King of Scotland.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Denzil

    I can vouch for many of the facts of this book, as I was in Uganda in 1976 (and was locked up for being a tourist with a camera; all my spools of film were destroyed and my camera confiscated) - both me and my friend John Nickson were locked up in Kampala, and treated VERY badly. The amazing thing about this book is that Henry hung around as a cabinet minister for so long even after his brother was killed. I am a bit sceptical; there must have been something in it for him. But the book is well wr I can vouch for many of the facts of this book, as I was in Uganda in 1976 (and was locked up for being a tourist with a camera; all my spools of film were destroyed and my camera confiscated) - both me and my friend John Nickson were locked up in Kampala, and treated VERY badly. The amazing thing about this book is that Henry hung around as a cabinet minister for so long even after his brother was killed. I am a bit sceptical; there must have been something in it for him. But the book is well written and has a very honest ring to it; he obviously did a complete about-face (though way too late) - as did the attorney general (read foreword) And he is no doubt an intelligent guy and a good writer. This was one of the most terrible stories ever, of events in African history. The MOST amazing thing is that Amin remained in power until 1980 (even after this book was published in August 1977) and ALSO that Amin was never brought to account in any way and died of old age in Libya under the protection of Gaddafi And the current residents of Uganda will mostly tell you that this book is bullshit and that Amin actually did a lot for the country!! Much like Trump supporters, Mugabe supporters, and, in SA, Zuma supporters. People really struggle to learn from history. (Of course would not say they are nearly as bad though. Lol We also know, though it wasn't mentioned in this book, that Idi was a cannibal.)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amavi Agbodoh

    Henry Kiyemba tells a story of the heinous crimes of a barbaric dictator. The throes suffered by the people is truly despicable. It's heart wrenching to describe the killings and death, let alone being subjected to such punishment. I have not been to Uganda, I'd like to go there. I believe the country has risen from this bloody state to the pearl it truly is. Henry Kiyemba tells a story of the heinous crimes of a barbaric dictator. The throes suffered by the people is truly despicable. It's heart wrenching to describe the killings and death, let alone being subjected to such punishment. I have not been to Uganda, I'd like to go there. I believe the country has risen from this bloody state to the pearl it truly is.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ben Cheyney

    Something a little different. The inside story of Idi Amin's rule of Uganda from Henry Kyemba, who served in his cabinet until he fled (I forget the year!). If you've seen The Last King of Scotland and enjoyed it, this is a great read. Something a little different. The inside story of Idi Amin's rule of Uganda from Henry Kyemba, who served in his cabinet until he fled (I forget the year!). If you've seen The Last King of Scotland and enjoyed it, this is a great read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chris Schaffer

    I liked the details it exposed on Amin and his atrocities. It was hard to read and not be skeptical of Kyemba's complicity in all of it. He knew at the end that Amin knew that he knew too much and smartly defected, otherwise he surely would have been executed. I liked the details it exposed on Amin and his atrocities. It was hard to read and not be skeptical of Kyemba's complicity in all of it. He knew at the end that Amin knew that he knew too much and smartly defected, otherwise he surely would have been executed.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Avinash Bhusal

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Bbxbxbf

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ray Talniya

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It's good books,must read... It's good books,must read...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lulu Opio

    I am a bit disappointed in this book, I expected much more.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bram

    Horrific insider account of the rise and terror of Idi Amin, written by an emigree while Amin was still in power. Gruesome, informative and well written

  20. 4 out of 5

    Obalola Ibrahim

    The book has a lot of gory brutality of dictatorship. Worse because the dictator lacks a formal education. There are so many killings reported even if by estimation (150,000) humans. But it has increased my curiosity of how Idi Amin died and how Uganda was rehabilitated. As well as how it is operating in this new era of computers, smartphones and connectivity.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tpstrandberg

    Very interesting insiders perspective. Killing after killing after killing, gets a little repetitive.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Good god....you thought the movie was grim, read the first-hand account by a former official and "friend" of Amin. Good god....you thought the movie was grim, read the first-hand account by a former official and "friend" of Amin.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Risa

    Extremely interesting book. For a more recent piece by Kyemba, check out http://www.monitor.co.ug/artman/publi.... Extremely interesting book. For a more recent piece by Kyemba, check out http://www.monitor.co.ug/artman/publi....

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sdacey1224

  25. 4 out of 5

    Joan

  26. 5 out of 5

    Wonder

  27. 4 out of 5

    BJ

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nora Lindvall

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sija Samwel

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ali Azefoune

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