the Last King of Scotland by Giles Foden (1998)

“His Excellency President for Life Field Marshal Al Hadj Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular..”

Dr. Garrigan takes a position in Uganda in the early 1970s. When Idi Amin gets hurt in an accident by the town Garrigan resides, he gets to treat him. Idi Amin is so impressed by the Scottish doctor and wants him as his private physician. As he is tired of not being able to treat the people coming to the local hospital because of lack of necessary equipment, he takes the position. He witnesses the horrors of Idi Amin, but also gets enchanted by the charismatic dictator and decides against leaving. He also gets entangled in politics; the British want him to assassin Idi Amin as he is the only one who has access, but he refuses as a doctor saves lives, not taking them.

Dr. Garrigan is a fictional character, but the book is based on real events that took place during Idi Amin’s reign of terror in Uganda. The book was made into a film in 2006, and I’m glad I didn’t remember too much of the film as I think that would have ruined the book for me. What I really liked about the book is all the things I learnt from it.