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Tanzania

Tanzania Book List

Cover of 'Water Brings No Harm'

Water Brings No Harm
Management Knowledge and the Struggle for the Waters of Kilimanjaro
By Matthew V. Bender

Water Brings No Harm explores the history of community water management on Mount Kilimanjaro. Using the concept of waterscapes—describing how people “see” water and how physical resources intersect with beliefs, needs, and expectations—Bender argues that water conflicts should be understood as struggles between competing forms of knowledge.

Cover of 'Reel Pleasures'

Reel Pleasures
Cinema Audiences and Entrepreneurs in Twentieth-Century Urban Tanzania
By Laura Fair

Reel Pleasures brings the world of African moviehouses and the publics they engendered to life, revealing how local fans creatively reworked global media—from Indian melodrama to Italian westerns, kung fu, and blaxploitation films—to speak to local dreams and desires.

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.

Winner of the 2013 Bethwell A. Ogot Book Prize for best book on East African Studies from 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 '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 'A History of the Excluded'

A History of the Excluded
Making Family a Refuge from State in Twentieth-Century Tanzania
By James L. Giblin

The twentieth-century history of Njombe, the Southern Highlands district of Tanzania, can aptly be summed up as exclusion within incorporation. Njombe was marginalized even as it was incorporated into the colonial economy. Njombe’s people came to see themselves as excluded from agricultural markets, access to medical services, schooling—in short, from all opportunity to escape the impoverishing trap of migrant labor.

Cover of 'In Search of a Nation'

In Search of a Nation
Histories of Authority and Dissidence in Tanzania
Edited by Gregory H. Maddox and James L. Giblin

The double-sided nature of African nationalism—its capacity to inspire expressions of unity, and its tendency to narrow political debate—are explored by sixteen historians, focusing on the experience of Tanzania.

Cover of 'Dhows and the Colonial Economy of Zanzibar, 1860-1970'

Dhows and the Colonial Economy of Zanzibar, 1860-1970
By Erik Gilbert

Conventional history assumes that the rise of the steamship trade killed off the Indian Ocean dhow trade in the twentieth century. Erik Gilbert argues that the dhow economy played a major role in shaping the economic and social life of colonial Zanzibar. Dhows, and the regional trade they fostered, allowed a class of indigenous entrepreneurs to thrive in Zanzibar.

Cover of 'African Underclass'

African Underclass
Urbanisation, Crime, and Colonial Order in Dar es Salaam
By Andrew Burton

African Underclass examines the social, political, and administrative repercussions of rapid urban growth in Dar es Salaam. The origins of an often coercive response to urbanization in postcolonial Tanzania are traced back to the colonial period. The British reacted to unanticipated urban growth by attempting to limit the process, though this failed to prevent a substantial increase in rates of urbanization.

CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title
Cover of 'Highland Sanctuary'

Highland Sanctuary
Environmental History in Tanzania’s Usambara Mountains
By Christopher A. Conte

Highland Sanctuary unravels the complex interactions among agriculture, herding, forestry, the colonial state, and the landscape itself. Conte’s study illuminates the debate over conservation, arguing that contingency and chance, the stuff of human history, have shaped forests in ways that rival the power of nature.

Cover of 'Pastimes and Politics'

Pastimes and Politics
Culture, Community, and Identity in Post-Abolition Urban Zanzibar, 1890–1945
By Laura Fair

The first decades of the twentieth century were years of dramatic change in Zanzibar, a time when the social, economic, and political lives of island residents were in incredible flux, framed by the abolition of slavery, the introduction of colonialism, and a tide of urban migration.

Cover of 'Custodians of the Land'

Custodians of the Land
Ecology and Culture in the History of Tanzania
Edited by Gregory H. Maddox, James L. Giblin, and Isaria N. Kimambo

Farming and pastoral societies inhabit ever-changing environments. This relationship between environment and rural culture, politics and economy in Tanzania is the subject of this volume which will be valuable in reopening debates on Tanzanian history.

Cover of 'The History and Conservation of Zanzibar Stone Town'

The History and Conservation of Zanzibar Stone Town
By Abdul Sheriff

Zanzibar Stone Town presents the problems of conservation in its most acute forms. Should it be fossilized for the tourists? Or should it grow for the benefit of the inhabitants? Can ways be found to accommodate conflicting social and economic pressures? For its size, Zanzibar, like Venice, occupies a remarkably large romantic space in world imagination. Swahili civilization on these spice islands goes back to the earliest centuries of the Islamic era.