Interesting book on former President/dictator in Somalia, Mohammed Said Barre. he did a lot of socialist reforms on land and the economy, was allied to the Soviets and close to the world anti-imperialist struggle, but fell out with the Soviets over Ogaden/Ethiopia. Complex stuff, but the Barre period saw a comparatively stable and uplifiting period of Somali history compared to the post 1990 period which gets worse until now tragically. I am largely ignorant of Somali history, so any pointers is welcome.
Quote from the back of the book:
"Barre was the architect of the Somali October Revolution and the third President of the young Somali nation. At the time of independence in 1960, Somalia was touted in the West as the model of a rural democracy in Africa. However, tribalism, extended family loyalties and conflicts were social problems the civilian government failed to eradicate and eventually succumbed to itself. A bloodless coup led buy Barre ushered Somalia into the modern era. He brought radical positive developments including volunteer labour harvested and planted crops, and built roads and hospitals. Virtually all industry, banks and businesses were nationalised. Co-operative farms were heavily promoted. He forbade tribalism and stressed loyalty to the central authorities. He introduced Somalia's first writing script for the Somali language. This is his definite story"
- Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm