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Eastern Africa

Eastern Africa Book List

Cover of 'Children of Hope'

Children of Hope
The Odyssey of the Oromo Slaves from Ethiopia to South Africa
By Sandra Rowoldt Shell

In Children of Hope, Sandra Rowoldt Shell details the life histories of sixty-four Oromo children who were enslaved in Ethiopia in the late nineteenth century, liberated by the British navy, and ultimately sent to a Free Church of Scotland mission in South Africa, where their stories were recorded through a series of interviews.

A Quartz Africa book of the year, 2017
Cover of 'We Do Not Have Borders'

We Do Not Have Borders
Greater Somalia and the Predicaments of Belonging in Kenya
By Keren Weitzberg

Though often associated with foreigners and refugees, many Somalis have lived in Kenya for generations, in many cases since long before the founding of the country. Despite their long residency, foreign and state officials and Kenyan citizens often perceive the Somali population to be a dangerous and alien presence in the country, and charges of civil and human rights abuses have mounted against them in recent years.

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.

Cover of 'An Uncertain Age'

An Uncertain Age
The Politics of Manhood in Kenya
By Paul Ocobock

In twentieth-century Kenya, age and gender were powerful cultural and political forces that animated household and generational relationships. They also shaped East Africans’ contact with and influence on emergent colonial and global ideas about age and masculinity. Kenyan men and boys came of age achieving their manhood through changing rites of passage and access to new outlets such as town life, crime, anticolonial violence, and nationalism.

Finalist for the 2017 Bethwell A. Ogot Prize from the African Studies Association · Finalist for the Joel Gregory Prize from the Canadian Association of African Studies
Cover of 'Cartography and the Political Imagination'

Cartography and the Political Imagination
Mapping Community in Colonial Kenya
By Julie MacArthur

Encompassing history, geography, and political science, MacArthur’s study evaluates the role of geographic imagination and the impact of cartography not only as means of expressing imperial power and constraining colonized populations, but as tools for the articulation of new political communities and resistance.

Cover of 'In Step with the Times'

In Step with the Times
Mapiko Masquerades of Mozambique
By Paolo Israel

The helmet-shaped mapiko masks of Mozam­bique have garnered admiration from African art scholars and collectors alike, due to their striking aesthetics and their grotesque allure. This book restores to mapiko its historic and artistic context, charting in detail the transformations of this masquerading tradition throughout the twentieth century.

Winner of the 2013 Bethwell A. Ogot Book Prize for best book on East African Studies (sponsored by the African Studies Association)
Cover of 'Taifa'

Taifa
Making Nation and Race in Urban Tanzania
By James R. Brennan

Taifa is a story of African intellectual agency, but it is also an account of how nation and race emerged out of the legal, social, and economic histories in one major city, Dar es Salaam. Nation and race—both translatable as taifa in Swahili—were not simply universal ideas brought to Africa by European colonizers, as previous studies assume.

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 '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 'Imagining Serengeti'

Imagining Serengeti
A History of Landscape Memory in Tanzania from Earliest Times to the Present
By Jan Bender Shetler

Many students come to African history with a host of stereotypes that are not always easy to dislodge. One of the most common is that of Africa as safari grounds—as the land of expansive, unpopulated game reserves untouched by civilization and preserved in their original pristine state by the tireless efforts of contemporary conservationists.

Cover of 'African Gifts of the Spirit'

African Gifts of the Spirit
Pentecostalism and the Rise of a Zimbabwean Transnational Religious Movement
By David Maxwell

This book considers the rise of born-again Christianity in Africa through a study of one of the most dynamic Pentecostal movements. David Maxwell traces the transformation of the prophet Ezekiel Guti and his prayer band from small beginnings in the townships of the 1950s into the present-day transnational business enterprise, which is now the Zimbabwe Assemblies of God.

Cover of 'Emancipation without Abolition in German East Africa, c. 1884–1914'

Emancipation without Abolition in German East Africa, c. 1884–1914
By Jan-Georg Deutsch

This study examines the complex history of slavery in East Africa, focusing on the area that came under German colonial rule. In contrast to the policy pursued at the time by other colonial powers in Africa, the German authorities did not legally abolish slavery in their colonial territories. However, despite government efforts to keep the institution of slavery alive, it significantly declined in Tanganyika in the period concerned.

Cover of 'Black Poachers, White Hunters'

Black Poachers, White Hunters
A Social History of Hunting in Colonial Kenya
By Edward I. Steinhart

Black Poachers, White Hunters traces the history of hunting in Kenya in the colonial era, describing the British attempt to impose the practices and values of nineteenth-century European aristocratic hunts followed, ultimately, by claims over African wildlife by conservationists.