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African History

African History Book List

Cover of 'Intonations'

Intonations
A Social History of Music and Nation in Luanda, Angola, from 1945 to Recent Times
By Marissa J. Moorman

Intonations tells the story of how Angola’s urban residents in the late colonial period (roughly 1945–74) used music to talk back to their colonial oppressors and, more importantly, to define what it meant to be Angolan and what they hoped to gain from independence. A compilation of Angolan music is included in CD format. Marissa J. Moorman presents a social and cultural history of the relationship between Angolan culture and politics.

Cover of 'The Benefits of Famine'

The Benefits of Famine
A Political Economy of Famine and Relief in Southwestern Sudan, 1983–89
By David Keen

The conflict in Darfur had a precursor in Sudan’s famines of the 1980s and 1990s. The Benefits of Famine presents a new and chilling interpretation of the causes of war-induced famine.

Cover of 'Slavery, Emancipation and Colonial Rule in South Africa'

Slavery, Emancipation and Colonial Rule in South Africa
By Wayne Dooling

Slavery, Emancipation and Colonial Rule in South Africa examines the rural Cape Colony from the earliest days of Dutch colonial rule in the mid-seventeenth century to the outbreak of the South African War in 1899. For slaves and slave owners alike, incorporation into the British Empire at the beginning of the nineteenth century brought fruits that were bittersweet.

Honorable Mention by the David Easton Award Committee, APSA · Finalist for the 2009 Herskovits Award for outstanding scholarly work published on Africa
Cover of 'Heterosexual Africa?'

Heterosexual Africa?
The History of an Idea from the Age of Exploration to the Age of AIDS
By Marc Epprecht

Heterosexual Africa? The History of an Idea from the Age of Exploration to the Age of AIDS builds from Marc Epprecht’s previous book, Hungochani (which focuses explicitly on same-sex desire in southern Africa), to explore the historical processes by which a singular, heterosexual identity for Africa was constructed—by anthropologists, ethnopsychologists, colonial officials, African elites, and most recently, health care workers seeking to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Cover of 'Human Rights in African Prisons'

Human Rights in African Prisons
Edited by Jeremy Sarkin

Prisons are always a key focus of those interested in human rights and the rule of law. Human Rights in African Prisons looks at the challenges African governments face in dealing with these issues. Written by some of the most eminent researchers from and on Africa, including the former chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Cover of 'Myth of Iron'

Myth of Iron
Shaka in History
By Dan Wylie

Myth of Iron is the first book-length scholarly study of the famous Zulu leader Shaka to be published. It lays out, as far as possible, all the available evidence — mainly hitherto underutilized Zulu oral testimonies, supported by other documentary sources — and decides, item by item, legend by legend, what exactly we can know about Shaka’s reign.

Cover of 'The Unsettled Land'

The Unsettled Land
State-making and the Politics of Land in Zimbabwe, 1893–2003
By Jocelyn Alexander

The Unsettled Land engages with the current debates on land and politics in Africa and provides a much-needed historical narrative of the Zimbabwean case. In early 2000, a process of land occupation began in Zimbabwe. It involved the movement of hundreds of thousands of black farmers onto mostly white-owned farms, often under the leadership of veterans of Zimbabwe’s 1970s liberation war. The Zanu (PF) government cast this moment as the end of colonialism.

Winner of the 2007 Aidoo-Snyder Scholarly Book Prize
Cover of 'Women, Work & Domestic Virtue in Uganda, 1900–2003'

Women, Work & Domestic Virtue in Uganda, 1900–2003
By Grace Bantebya Kyomuhendo and Marjorie Keniston McIntosh

This groundbreaking book by two leading scholars offers a complete historical picture of women and their work in Uganda, tracing developments from precolonial times to the present and into the future. Setting women’s economic activities into a broader political, social, and cultural context, it provides the first general account of their experiences amid the changes that shaped the country.

Cover of 'Slavery in the Great Lakes Region of East Africa'

Slavery in the Great Lakes Region of East Africa
Edited by Henri Médard and Shane Doyle

Slavery in the Great Lakes Region of East Africa is a collection of ten studies by the most prominent historians of the region. Slavery was more important in the Great Lakes region of Eastern Africa than often has been assumed, and Africans from the interior played a more complex role than was previously recognized. The essays in this collection reveal the connections between the peoples of the region as well as their encounters with the conquering Europeans.

Cover of 'War in Pre-Colonial Eastern Africa'

War in Pre-Colonial Eastern Africa
The Patterns and Meanings of State-Level Conflict in the 19th Century
By Richard Reid

War in Pre-Colonial Eastern Africa examines the nature and objectives of violence in the region in the nineteenth century. It is particularly concerned with highland Ethiopia and the Great Lakes. It will be of use to those interested in military history and to anyone involved in modern development and conflict resolution seeking to understand the deeper historical roots of African warfare.

Cover of 'Constructive Engagement?'

Constructive Engagement?
Chester Crocker & American Policy in South Africa, Namibia & Angola, 1981–1988
By J. E. Davies

The notion of engagement represents an indispensable tool in a foreign policy practitioner’s armory. The idea of constructive engagement is forwarded by governments as a method whereby pressure can be brought to bear on countries to improve their record on human rights, while diplomatic and economic contracts can be maintained. But does this approach succeed?

Cover of 'Women and Slavery, Volume Two'

Women and Slavery, Volume Two
The Modern Atlantic
Edited by Gwyn Campbell, Suzanne Miers, and Joseph C. Miller

The literature on women enslaved around the world has grown rapidly in the last ten years, evidencing strong interest in the subject across a range of academic disciplines.

Cover of 'Women and Slavery, Volume One'

Women and Slavery, Volume One
Africa, the Indian Ocean World, and the Medieval North Atlantic
Edited by Gwyn Campbell, Suzanne Miers, and Joseph C. Miller

The literature on women enslaved around the world has grown rapidly in the last ten years, evidencing strong interest in the subject across a range of academic disciplines.

Winner of the African Politics Conference Group’s Best Book Award
Cover of 'Cold War and Decolonization in Guinea, 1946–1958'

Cold War and Decolonization in Guinea, 1946–1958
By Elizabeth Schmidt

In September 1958, Guinea claimed its independence, rejecting a constitution that would have relegated it to junior partnership in the French Community. In all the French empire, Guinea was the only territory to vote “No.” Orchestrating the “No” vote was the Guinean branch of the Rassemblement Démocratique Africain (RDA), an alliance of political parties with affiliates in French West and Equatorial Africa and the United Nations trusts of Togo and Cameroon.

Cover of 'Fighting the Greater Jihad'

Fighting the Greater Jihad
Amadu Bamba and the Founding of the Muridiyya of Senegal, 1853–1913
By Cheikh Anta Babou

In Senegal, the Muridiyya, a large Islamic Sufi order, is the single most influential religious organization, including among its numbers the nation’s president. Yet little is known of this sect in the West. Drawn from a wide variety of archival, oral, and iconographic sources in Arabic, French, and Wolof, Fighting the Greater Jihad offers an astute analysis of the founding and development of the order and a biographical study of its founder, Cheikh Amadu Bamba Mbacke.