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Ohio Short Histories of Africa

Ohio Short Histories of Africa is a series of informative and concise guides, lively biographies, and succinct introductions to important topics in African history.

Praise for Ohio Short Histories of Africa Titles
“I am a huge fan of Ohio University Press’s Ohio Short Histories of Africa series. I use them to teach my introductory-level African politics students about oppression, resistance, liberation and corruption, and I recommend the books to anyone who asks as an affordable and accessible introduction to a wide range of topics in African studies.” —Laura Seay, The Washington Post

“Authoritative, streamlined, and highly readable, this book deserves a wide readership.” — African Studies Quarterly review of The ANC Youth League

“This book is sure to become required reading for students and scholars of youth politics in South Africa and the continent more widely.” — Journal of African History review of The Idea of the ANC

“The book, as a short history rather than an in-depth examination of a person or a movement, will be most useful for students….” — Library Journal review of Steve Biko

Advisory Board:
Sean Jacobs (The New School),
Daniel Magaziner (Yale University),
Michelle R. Moyd (Indiana University), and
Carina E. Ray. (Brandeis University)

Cover of 'A Short History of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart'

A Short History of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart
By Terri Ochiagha

In the accessible and concise A Short History of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Terri Ochiagha asks new questions and brings wider attention to unfamiliar but crucial elements of the story, including new insights into questions of canonicity, and into literary, historiographical, and precolonial aesthetic influences.

African History · Literary Criticism, Africa · African Studies

Cover of 'Boko Haram'

Boko Haram
By Brandon Kendhammer and Carmen McCain

From its small-time origins in the early 2000s to its transformation into one of the world’s most-recognized terrorist groups, this short book tells the story of Boko Haram’s bloody, decade-long war in northeastern Nigeria.

African History · Terrorism · Religion, Politics, and the State · Nigeria

Cover of 'Albert Luthuli'

Albert Luthuli
By Robert Trent Vinson

In an excellent addition to the Ohio Short Histories of Africa series, Robert Trent Vinson recovers the forgotten story of Albert Luthuli, Africa’s first Nobel Peace Prize winner, who linked South African antiapartheid politics with international human rights campaigns and was a leading advocate of nonviolent civil disobedience techniques.

Biography, Activists · African History · African National Congress · Apartheid · South Africa

Cover of 'Robert Mugabe'

Robert Mugabe
By Sue Onslow and Martin Plaut

For some, Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe is a liberation hero who confronted white rule and oversaw the radical redistribution of land. For others, he is a murderous dictator who drove his country to poverty. This concise biography, in a highly successful series, reveals the complexity of the man who led Zimbabwe for its first decades of independence.

Biography, Heads of State · African History · Zimbabwe · African Studies

Cover of 'The Truth and Reconciliation Commission'

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission
By Mary Ingouville Burton

In 1995, South Africa’s new government set up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a lynchpin of the country’s journey forward from apartheid. In contrast to the Nuremberg Trials and other retributive responses to atrocities, the TRC’s emphasis on reconciliation marked a restorative approach to addressing human rights violations and their legacies. The hearings, headed by Bishop Desmond Tutu, began in spring of 1996.

African History · Political Science · Conflict Resolution (Business and Econ.) · Peace Studies · African Studies · Apartheid · South Africa

Cover of 'Julius Nyerere'

Julius Nyerere
By Paul Bjerk

With vision, hard-nosed judgment, and biting humor, Julius Nyerere confronted the challenges of nation building in modern Africa. Constructing Tanzania out of a controversial Cold War union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, Nyerere emerged as one of independent Africa’s most influential leaders. He pursued his own brand of African socialism, called Ujamaa, with unquestioned integrity, and saw it profoundly influence movements to end white minority rule in Southern Africa.

Biography, Heads of State · African History · Colonialism and Decolonization · African Studies · Cold War · Tanzania · Eastern Africa

Cover of 'Thabo Mbeki'

Thabo Mbeki
By Adekeye Adebajo

In this concise biography, ideally suited for the classroom, Adekeye Adebajo seeks to illuminate former South African president Thabo Mbeki’s contradictions and situate him in a pan-African pantheon.

Biography, Heads of State · African History · Colonialism and Decolonization · Cold War · South Africa

Cover of 'South Sudan'

South Sudan
A New History for a New Nation
By Douglas H. Johnson

Africa’s newest nation has a long history. Often considered remote and isolated from the rest of Africa, and usually associated with the violence of slavery and civil war, South Sudan has been an arena for a complex mixing of peoples, languages, and beliefs. The nation’s diversity is both its strength and a challenge as its people attempt to overcome the legacy of decades of war to build a new economic, political, and national future.

African History · Sudan

Cover of 'Ken Saro-Wiwa'

Ken Saro-Wiwa
By Roy Doron and Toyin Falola

A penetrating, accessible portrait of the activist whose execution galvanized the world. Hanged by the Nigerian government on November 10, 1995, Ken Saro-Wiwa became a martyr for the Ogoni people and for human rights activists, as well as a symbol of modern Africans’ struggle against military dictatorship, corporate power, and environmental exploitation.

Biography, Activists · Environmental Studies · African History · African Studies · Nigeria · Western Africa · Africa

Cover of 'Ellen Johnson Sirleaf'

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
By Pamela Scully

In this concise biography, Scully shows us how the life of Nobel Peace Prize winner and two-time Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf speaks to many of the key themes of the twenty-first century. Among these are the growing power of women in the arenas of international politics and human rights; the ravaging civil wars of the post–Cold War era in which sexual violence is used as a weapon; and the challenges of transitional justice in building postconflict societies.

Biography, Heads of State · Biography, Women · African Studies · Africa · Liberia · Western Africa

Cover of 'Frantz Fanon'

Frantz Fanon
Toward a Revolutionary Humanism
By Christopher J. Lee

A timely and original short biography reintroducing Fanon for a new generation of readers. Written with clarity and passion, Christopher J. Lee’s account argues for the pragmatic idealism of Frantz Fanon and his continued importance today.

Biography, Activists · Colonialism and Decolonization · World History · African Studies

Cover of 'African Leaders of the Twentieth Century'

African Leaders of the Twentieth Century
Biko, Selassie, Lumumba, Sankara
By Lindy Wilson, Bereket Habte Selassie, Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja, and Ernest Harsch

This omnibus edition brings together concise and up-to-date biographies of Steve Biko, Emperor Haile Selassie, Patrice Lumumba, and Thomas Sankara. African Leaders of the Twentieth Century will complement courses in history and political science and serve as a useful collection for the general reader. Steve Biko, by Lindy Wilson Steve Biko inspired a generation of black South Africans to claim their true identity and refuse to be a part of their own oppression.

Biography, Heads of State · Africa · African Studies · African History