African History: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short by John Parker, Richard Rathbone

By John Parker, Richard Rathbone

This Very brief creation appears to be like at Africa's prior and displays at the altering methods it's been imagined and represented, either in Africa and past. the writer illustrates very important facets of Africa's background with more than a few interesting old examples, drawn from over five millennia throughout this giant continent. The multitude of subject matters that the reader will know about during this succinct paintings comprise the cohesion and variety of African cultures, slavery, faith, colonial conquest, the diaspora, and the significance of heritage in realizing modern Africa. The publication examines questions corresponding to: Who invented the assumption of "Africa"? How is African heritage pieced jointly, given this sort of loss of documentary proof? How did Africa engage with the realm 1,000 years ago?

Africa has been referred to as 'the cradle of mankind', and its recoverable heritage stretches again to the Pharaohs. however the thought of learning African background is itself new, and the authors convey why it's nonetheless contested and debatable. This VSI, the 1st concise paintings of its type, will end up crucial examining for somebody drawn to the African continent and the variety of human history.


A rather well expert and sharply acknowledged historiography... can be in each historiography student's kitbag. A travel de force... it made me imagine very much. Terence Ranger, The Bulletin of the varsity of Oriental and African reviews you are going to end this ebook higher educated, with a greater figuring out of Africa and a clearer thought of the questions. Robert Giddings, Tribune This small e-book is a brilliant and stimulating essay exploring problems with background, resources and techniques, Africa on the planet, colonialism and postcolonialism, and the previous within the current as a way of introducing scholars and others to educational considering African background. Tom Spear, magazine of African background

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Extra info for African History: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

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Matters were not to rest there. In time, colonial rule in many parts of Africa was to co-opt the services of the precolonial polities whose sovereignty had been usurped by conquest. It sought to use the rulers of older African states as auxiliaries in the tasks of keeping the peace, taxing the population, building roads, and mobilizing labour. Such devolved systems of local government were based on what were sanctified as tribal areas. Sometimes such areas corresponded to the scope of precolonial jurisdictions.

As we have seen with the Middle Niger, independent communities and cultures often persevered as predatory states rose and fell. All of this should suggest that most, if not all, generalizations about Africans past and present are doomed to fail. Similarly, claims about whether this or that is ‘authentic’ or ‘inauthentic’, or whether individuals are ‘full-blooded’ or not, need to be understood for the ideological statements that they are. It makes no sense to be picky about those whom we should or should not consider to be the protagonists of African history.

While the meanings of ‘Hutu’ and ‘Tutsi’ have changed dramatically over time, such meanings were almost certainly derived from 44 dynamic, shifting distinctions between groups with access to royal power. And the volatility of those identities was one of the consequences of change as well as being one of the authors of change. Matters were not to rest there. In time, colonial rule in many parts of Africa was to co-opt the services of the precolonial polities whose sovereignty had been usurped by conquest.

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