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

By John Parker, Richard Rathbone

ISBN-10: 0192802488

ISBN-13: 9780192802484

This Very brief advent appears at Africa's previous and displays at the altering methods it's been imagined and represented, either in Africa and past. the writer illustrates vital points of Africa's heritage with various attention-grabbing ancient examples, drawn from over five millennia throughout this titanic continent. The multitude of themes that the reader will know about during this succinct paintings comprise the solidarity and variety of African cultures, slavery, faith, colonial conquest, the diaspora, and the significance of heritage in knowing modern Africa. The publication examines questions comparable to: Who invented the assumption of "Africa"? How is African heritage pieced jointly, given this type of loss of documentary facts? How did Africa have interaction with the area 1,000 years ago?

Africa has been referred to as 'the cradle of mankind', and its recoverable historical past stretches again to the Pharaohs. however the inspiration of learning African historical past is itself new, and the authors exhibit why it truly is nonetheless contested and debatable. This VSI, the 1st concise paintings of its variety, will turn out crucial studying for a person attracted to the African continent and the variety of human history.


A rather well trained and sharply said historiography... might 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 e-book higher educated, with a greater realizing of Africa and a clearer proposal of the questions. Robert Giddings, Tribune This small publication is a great and stimulating essay exploring problems with background, resources and strategies, Africa on this planet, colonialism and postcolonialism, and the previous within the current as a method of introducing scholars and others to educational brooding about African heritage. Tom Spear, magazine of African background

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Additional resources for African History: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

Example text

While there were states in which a relatively high proportion of the population were linked by blood, culture, and religious inclination, recent historiography has emphasized the physical mobility of Africans and the dynamism of material, intellectual, and social experimentation. We are also continually confronted with assertions about the divisive, unbridgeable quality of ‘tribal’ membership. Returning to the example of the Hutu and the Tutsi in Rwanda and neighbouring Burundi might be instructive.

This found a curious, inverted echo in the writings of the German ethnologist Leo Frobenius, whose extensive travels through Europe’s newly conquered African colonies led to a theory of a residual ancient civilization, remembered in European myth as the lost ‘Atlantis’. The first serious attempt at a continent-wide history, however, was by the African American scholar and pan-African leader W. E. B. Du Bois, whose The Negro (1915) provided a sweeping account focused on racial unity and the glories of Africa’s ancient kingdoms.

The reasons are unclear, although the period was one of climatic instability and environmental stress – factors which also contributed to the unleashing of new forces and conflicts culminating in the rise of Mali. By the 15th century, Mali too was in decline, weakened by succession disputes, the infiltration of pastoralist nomads, and the rising power of its rival to the east, Songhay. As imperial overrule fragmented, local autonomies were reasserted. Society persevered, in other words, as states came and went.

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