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African History

African History Book List

Cover of 'The Demographics of Empire'

The Demographics of Empire
The Colonial Order and the Creation of Knowledge
Edited by Karl Ittmann, Dennis D. Cordell, and Gregory H. Maddox

The Demographics of Empire is a collection of essays examining the multifaceted nature of the colonial science of demography in the last two centuries. The contributing scholars of Africa and the British and French empires focus on three questions: How have historians, demographers, and other social scientists understood colonial populations? What were the demographic realities of African societies and how did they affect colonial systems of power?

Cover of 'Generations Past'

Generations Past
Youth in East African History
Edited by Andrew Burton and Hélène Charton-Bigot

Contemporary Africa is demographically characterized above all else by its youthfulness. In East Africa the median age of the population is now a striking 17.5 years, and more than 65 percent of the population is age 24 or under. This situation has attracted growing scholarly attention, resulting in an important and rapidly expanding literature on the position of youth in African societies.

A Choice “Outstanding Academic Title”
Cover of 'The Law and the Prophets'

The Law and the Prophets
Black Consciousness in South Africa, 1968–1977
By Daniel Magaziner

“No nation can win a battle without faith,” Steve Biko wrote, and as Daniel R. Magaziner demonstrates in The Law and the Prophets, the combination of ideological and theological exploration proved a potent force. The 1970s are a decade virtually lost to South African historiography. This span of years bridged the banning and exile of the country’s best-known antiapartheid leaders in the early 1960s and the furious protests that erupted after the Soweto uprisings of June 16, 1976.

Cover of 'Domestic Violence and the Law in Colonial and Postcolonial Africa'

Domestic Violence and the Law in Colonial and Postcolonial Africa
Edited by Emily S. Burrill, Richard L. Roberts, and Elizabeth Thornberry

Domestic Violence and the Law in Colonial and Postcolonial Africa reveals the ways in which domestic space and domestic relationships take on different meanings in African contexts that extend the boundaries of family obligation, kinship, and dependency. The term domestic violence encompasses kin-based violence, marriage-based violence, gender-based violence, as well as violence between patrons and clients who shared the same domestic space.

Cover of 'Trustee for the Human Community'

Trustee for the Human Community
Ralph J. Bunche, the United Nations, and the Decolonization of Africa
Edited by Robert A. Hill and Edmond J. Keller

Ralph J. Bunche (1904–1971), winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950, was a key U.S. diplomat in the planning and creation of the United Nations in 1945. In 1947 he was invited to join the permanent UN Secretariat as director of the new Trusteeship Department.

A Choice Significant University Press Title for Undergraduates, 2010–11.
Cover of 'African Soccerscapes'

African Soccerscapes
How a Continent Changed the World’s Game
By Peter Alegi

From Accra and Algiers to Zanzibar and Zululand, Africans have wrested control of soccer from the hands of Europeans, and through the rise of different playing styles, the rituals of spectatorship, and the presence of magicians and healers, have turned soccer into a distinctively African activity. African Soccerscapes explores how Africans adopted soccer for their own reasons and on their own terms.

U.S. and World Winner in the Best African Cuisine Book category, Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, 2010
Cover of 'Stirring the Pot'

Stirring the Pot
A History of African Cuisine
By James C. McCann

Africa's art of cooking is a key part of its history. All too often Africa is associated with famine, but in Stirring the Pot, James C. McCann describes how the ingredients, the practices, and the varied tastes of African cuisine comprise a body of historically gendered knowledge practiced and perfected in households across diverse human and ecological landscape.

Cover of 'Colonial Meltdown'

Colonial Meltdown
Northern Nigeria in the Great Depression
By Moses E. Ochonu

Historians of colonial Africa have largely regarded the decade of the Great Depression as a period of intense exploitation and colonial inactivity. In Colonial Meltdown, Moses E. Ochonu challenges this conventional interpretation by mapping the responses of Northern Nigeria’s chiefs, farmers, laborers, artisans, women, traders, and embryonic elites to the British colonial mismanagement of the Great Depression.

Cover of 'The Land beyond the Mists'

The Land beyond the Mists
Essays on Identity and Authority in Precolonial Congo and Rwanda
By David Newbury
· Foreword by Jan Vansina

The horrific tragedies of Central Africa in the 1990s riveted the attention of the world. But these crises did not occur in a historical vacuum. By peering through the mists of the past, the case studies presented in The Land Beyond the Mists illustrate the significant advances to have taken place since decolonization in our understanding of the pre-colonial histories of Rwanda, Burundi, and eastern Congo.

Cover of 'Children in Slavery through the Ages'

Children in Slavery through the Ages
Edited by Gwyn Campbell, Suzanne Miers, and Joseph C. Miller

Significant numbers of the people enslaved throughout world history have been children. The vast literature on slavery has grown to include most of the history of this ubiquitous practice, but nearly all of it concentrates on the adult males whose strong bodies and laboring capacities preoccupied the masters of the modern Americas.

Cover of 'Recasting the Past'

Recasting the Past
History Writing and Political Work in Modern Africa
Edited by Derek R. Peterson and Giacomo Macola

The study of intellectual history in Africa is in its infancy. We know very little about what Africa’s thinkers made of their times. Recasting the Past brings one field of intellectual endeavor into view. The book takes its place alongside a small but growing literature that highlights how, in autobiographies, historical writing, fiction, and other literary genres, African writers intervened creatively in their political world.

Cover of 'Race, Revolution, and the Struggle for Human Rights in Zanzibar'

Race, Revolution, and the Struggle for Human Rights in Zanzibar
The Memoirs of Ali Sultan Issa and Seif Sharif Hamad
By G. Thomas Burgess

Zanzibar has had the most turbulent postcolonial history of any part of the United Republic of Tanzania, yet few sources explain the reasons why. From a series of personal interviews conducted over several years, Thomas Burgess has produced two highly readable first-person narratives in which two nationalists in Africa describe their conflicts, achievements, failures, and tragedies.

Finalist for the African Studies Association’s 2010 Melville J. Herskovits Award.
Cover of 'Wielding the Ax'

Wielding the Ax
State Forestry and Social Conflict in Tanzania, 1820–2000
By Thaddeus Sunseri

Forests have been at the fault lines of contact between African peasant communities in the Tanzanian coastal hinterland and outsiders for almost two centuries. In recent decades, a global call for biodiversity preservation has been the main challenge to Tanzanians and their forests. Thaddeus Sunseri uses the lens of forest history to explore some of the most profound transformations in Tanzania from the nineteenth century to the present.

Cover of 'Unconquerable Spirit'

Unconquerable Spirit
George Stow’s History Painting of the San
By Pippa Skotnes

George Stow was a Victorian man of many parts—poet, historian, ethnographer, artist, cartographer, and prolific writer. A geologist by profession, he became acquainted, through his work in the field, with the extraordinary wealth of rock paintings in the caves and shelters of the South African interior. Enchanted and absorbed by them, Stow set out to create a record of this creative work of the people who had tracked and marked the South African landscape decades and centuries before him.

2009 Herskovits Award finalist
Cover of 'Healing Traditions'

Healing Traditions
African Medicine, Cultural Exchange, and Competition in South Africa, 1820–1948
By Karen E. Flint

Healing Traditions offers a historical perspective to the interactions between South Africa’s traditional healers and biomedical practitioners. It provides an understanding that is vital for the development of medical strategies to effectively deal with South Africa’s healthcare challenges.