Social History

Social History Book List

Cover of 'We Are Fighting the World'

We Are Fighting the World
A History of the Marashea Gangs in South Africa, 1947–1999
By Gary Kynoch

Since the late 1940s, a violent African criminal society known as the Marashea has operated in and around South Africa’s gold mining areas. With thousands of members involved in drug smuggling, extortion, and kidnapping, the Marashea was more influential in the day-to-day lives of many black South Africans under apartheid than were agents of the state. These gangs remain active in South Africa.

Frederick Douglass Book Prize Finalist
Cover of 'Ouidah'

Ouidah
The Social History of a West African Slaving Port, 1727–1892
By Robin Law

Ouidah, an African town in the Republic of Benin, was the principal precolonial commercial center of its region and the second-most-important town of the Dahomey kingdom. It served as a major outlet for the transatlantic slave trade. Between the seventeenth and the nineteenth centuries, Ouidah was the most important embarkation point for slaves in the region of West Africa known to outsiders as the Slave Coast.

Cover of 'Eurafricans in Western Africa'

Eurafricans in Western Africa
Commerce, Social Status, Gender, and Religious Observance from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century
By George E. Brooks

Eurafricans in Western Africa traces the rich social and commercial history of western Africa. The most comprehensive study to date, it begins prior to the sixteenth century when huge profits made by middlemen on trade in North African slaves, salt, gold, pepper, and numerous other commodities prompted Portuguese reconnaissance voyages along the coast of western Africa.

Cover of 'Women, Work, and Representation'

Women, Work, and Representation
Needlewomen in Victorian Art and Literature
By Lynn M. Alexander

In Victorian England, virtually all women were taught to sew; needlework was allied with images of domestic economy and with traditional female roles of wife and mother- with home rather than factory. The professional seamstress, however, labored long hours for very small wages creating gowns for the upper and middle classes.