Since the 1960s, there have been more than 200 coups—extra-constitutional or forced changes in government—in Africa, with around half of them being successful. The period between the 1960s and 1990s was characterized by Cold War machinations, economic crises, and the growing de-legitimization of many post-colonial regimes. The majority of coups were followed by the formation of some type of military government, but after this diverse outcomes resulted. ‘The military in African politics’ outlines the nature of military rule and why there were so many coups. The fragility of the state and its tenuous hold on legitimacy, accentuated by the behaviour of those in power, is of critical importance.