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Tom Kamara book to be launched today

A book containing selected writings of legendary Liberian journalist Tom Kamara will be launched on July 09, 2021, in Monrovia. The launch is expected to take place at the Platform for Dialogue and Peace office, in Sinkor, Old Matadi, Estate at 2:00 pm.

Entitled ‘This, Too, Is Liberia’, the book contains a selection of articles written by Tom Kamara (1949-2012), one of Liberia’s most famous journalists. He was known for his sharp, admired, feared, uncompromising pen.  He used his pen as his weapon to fight for human rights, democracy, and social development during one of the darkest chapters in Liberia’s history. His creative style is a combination of facts, contemplation, and irony, making his articles extremely worth reading. 

Through the collective efforts of family, friends, and the Tom Kamara Foundation, fifty-three articles written between 1997 and 2012 are captured in the book, published by ‘ Odyssee Reisgidsen’ in the Netherlands. The book provides reliable accounts and understanding of Liberia’s troubled history of wars and serves as a guide for good governance, democracy, and the rule of law.

Tom Kamara was the founder publisher of the New Democrat, a Liberian newspaper that suffered the wrath of several dictatorships yet still active and contributing to post-war Liberia development processes.

During the Liberian civil war(s) the late Tom Kamara was forced into exile; the Netherlands, a country that eventually became his second home country. During his years in exile, Tom continued his fight for press freedom and social justice through his writings. In 2003, he returned to Liberia and continued as editor of the New Democrat. He was on his way to the Netherlands for medical treatment when he suddenly died, in 2012.

A team consisting of Tom’s widow Rachael Kamara, Jimmy Shilue, and Leo Platvoet selected 53 articles that form the core of the publication ‘This, Too, Is Liberia’, an expression coined by Tom Kamara referring to specific events in Liberia. The publication of the book is an initiative under the Tom Kamara Foundation, to preserve his writings and memorialize a legendary writer.   

In the book, 53 selected articles have been grouped under five sub-headings, referring to the eras of Samuel Doe (1980-1990), Charles Taylor (1989-2003), and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2006-2018), a fourth category focuses on the love-hate relationship between Liberia and its ‘motherland, the United States of America whereas the last category deals with events and issues in other African countries.

The Dutch economist Dr. Fred van der Kraaij who has been following events in Liberia since the late 1970s wrote the Introduction presenting valuable insights into Tom Kamara’s life and work.  The book concludes with four contributions detailing Tom Kamara’s life, two of which were written by very close Liberian friends, Jimmy Shilue, who shared many of Tom Kamara’s Dutch years and his memories, while Siahyonkron Nyansor, the US-based editor of The Perspective also provided perspectives on Tom.

‘This, Too, Is Liberia’ presents a rich collection of articles on Liberia’s contemporary history.

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