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France's presence on the African continent has often been presented as 'cooperation' and part of French cultural policy by policy-makers in Paris - and quite as often been denounced as 'the longest scandal of the republic' by French academics and African intellectuals. Between the last years of French colonialism and France's sustained interventions in former African colonies such as Chad or Cote d'Ivoire during the 2000s, the legacy of French colonialism has shaped the historical trajectory of more than a dozen countries and societies in Africa. The complexities of this story are now, for the first time, addressed in a comprehensive series of essays, based on new research by a group of specialists in French colonial history. The book addresses the needs of both academic specialists and those of students of history and neighbouring disciplines looking for structural analysis of key themes in France's and Africa's shared history.