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African History


The Finger of God

Robert R. Edgar

On the morning of May 24, 1921, a force of eight hundred white policemen and soldiers confronted an African prophet, Enoch Mgijima, and some three thousand of his followers. Called the Israelites, they refused to leave their holy village of Ntabelanga, where they had been gathering since early 1919... More


The Cowboy Capitalist

Charles Van Onselen

The Jameson Raid was a pivotal moment in the history of South Africa, linking events from the Anglo-Boer War to the declaration of the Union of South Africa in 1910. For more than a century, the failed revolution has been interpreted through the lens of British imperialism, with responsibility laid... More


Historian

Hermann Giliomee

In this eloquent memoir, already widely read and praised in the author’s native South Africa, Hermann Giliomee weaves together the story of his own life with that of his country--a nation that continues to absorb and inspire him, both despite and because of its tortuous history.An internationally... More


Cradock

Jeffrey Butler. Edited by Richard Elphick and Jeannette Hopkins

Cradock, the product of more than twenty years of research by Jeffrey Butler, is a vivid history of a middle-sized South African town in the years when segregation gradually emerged, preceding the rapid and rigorous implementation of apartheid. Although Butler was born and raised in Cradock, he... More


The Civilizations of Africa

Christopher Ehret

Since its initial publication, The Civilizationsof Africa has established itself as the most authoritative text available on early African history. Addressing the glaring lack of works concentrating on earlier African eras, Christopher Ehret’s trailblazing book has been paired with histories of... More


A World of Their Own

Meghan Healy-Clancy

The politics of black education has long been a key issue in southern African studies, but despite rich debates on the racial and class dimensions of schooling, historians have neglected their distinctive gendered dynamics. A World of Their Own is the first book to explore the meanings of black... More


The Last Afrikaner Leaders

Hermann Giliomee

Finalist for the Alan Paton AwardIn his latest book, renowned historian Hermann Giliomee challenges the conventional wisdom on the downfall of white rule and the end of apartheid. Instead of impersonal forces, or the resourcefulness of an indomitable resistance movement, he emphasizes the role of... More


Postelection Conflict Management in Nigeria

John N. Paden

This volume is an invitation to deploy high-level scholarship in a strategic policy-making process that will strengthen the unity of Nigeria. Many in the international community and within Nigeria itself assert that the country is destined for unmanageable collapse, but John Paden proposes how... More


Chiefs, Priests, and Praise-Singers

Wyatt MacGaffey

In his new book, the eminent anthropologist Wyatt MacGaffey provides an ethnographically enriched history of Dagbon from the fifteenth century to the present, setting that history in the context of the regional resources and political culture of northern Ghana. Chiefs, Priests, and Praise-Singers... More


How Societies Are Born

Jan Vansina

Like stars, societies are born, and this story deals with such a birth. It asks a fundamental and compelling question: How did societies first coalesce from the small foraging communities that had roamed in West Central Africa for many thousands of years?Jan Vansina continues a career-long effort... More


The Equality of Believers

Richard Elphick

From the beginning of the nineteenth century through to 1960, Protestant missionaries were the most important intermediaries between South Africa’s ruling white minority and its black majority. The Equality of Believers reconfigures the narrative of race in South Africa by exploring the pivotal... More


After Apartheid

Edited by Ian Shapiro and Kahreen Tebeau

Democracy came to South Africa in April 1994, when the African National Congress won a landslide victory in the first free national election in the country’s history. That definitive and peaceful transition from apartheid is often cited as a model for others to follow. The new order has since... More


Wives of the Leopard

Edna G. Bay

Wives of the Leopard explores power and culture in a pre-colonial West African state whose army of women and practice of human sacrifice earned it notoriety in the racist imagination of late nineteenth-century Europe and America. Tracing two hundred years of the history of Dahomey up to the French... More


Slavery by Any Other Name

Eric Allina

Based on documents from a long-lost and unexplored colonial archive, Slavery by Any Other Name tells the story of how Portugal privatized part of its empire to the Mozambique Company. In the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the company governed central Mozambique under a royal charter and... More


One Love, Ghoema Beat

John Edwin Mason

One Love, Ghoema Beat: Inside the Cape Town Carnival takes readers behind the scenes of one of the world’s least known and most colorful carnivals. Similar in many ways to Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, the Cape Town Carnival is unique in its history, which is rooted in... More


The Rise and Fall of Apartheid

David Welsh

On his way into Parliament on February 2, 1990, F. W. de Klerk turned to his wife Marike and said, referring to his forthcoming speech: "South Africa will never be the same again after this." Did white South Africa crack, or did its leadership yield sufficiently and just in time to avert a... More


Beyond the Royal Gaze

Neil Kodesh

Winner of the 2011 African Studies Association Herskovits Award Beyond the Royal Gaze shifts the perspective from which we view early African politics by asking what Buganda, a kingdom located on the northwest shores of Lake Victoria in present-day Uganda, looked like to people who were not of the... More


The Afrikaners

Hermann Giliomee

This book is a biography of the Afrikaner people. A historian and journalist who was one of the earliest and staunchest Afrikaner opponents of apartheid, Hermann Giliomee weaves together life stories and historical interpretation to create a narrative history of the Afrikaners from their beginnings... More


Friends for Life, Friends for Death

James A. Pritchett

Breaking away from traditional ethnographic accounts often limited by theoretical frameworks and rhetorical styles, Friends for Life, Friends for Death offers an insider’s view into the day-to-day lives of a self-selected group of male friends within the Lunda-Ndembu society in northwestern Zambia... More


Social Death and Resurrection

John Edwin Mason

What was it like to be a slave in colonial South Africa? What difference did freedom make? The questions themselves are simply put, but John Edwin Mason has found complex answers after delving deeply into the slaves’ experience within the slaveholding patriarchal household, the work that slaves... More


Cutting the Vines of the Past

Tamara Giles-Vernick

Cutting the Vines of the Past offers a novel argument: African ways of seeing and interpreting their environments and past are not only critical to how historians write environmental history; they also have important lessons for policymakers and conservationists. Tamara Giles-Vernick demonstrates... More


The View across the River

Jeff Guy

This narrative aims to show how after its conquest, the Zulu kingdom was destroyed by the imperial policies of divide and rule, and how the Colenso family, especially the Bishop's eldest daughter, Harriette, took the lead in resisting colonial exploitation and imperial domination.This powerful and... More


Starving on a Full Stomach

Diana Wylie

An ideology of African ignorance that justified white supremacy grew up in South Africa during the first half of the twentieth century: if Africans were hungry, it was because they didn't know how to feed themselves properly; they were ignorant of "how to live." As a result, growing scientistic... More


An African Classical Age

Christopher Ehret

In An African Classical Age, Christopher Ehret brings to light 1,400 years of social and economic transformation across Africa from Uganda and Kenya in the north to Natal and the Cape in the south. The book offers a much-needed portrait of this region during a crucial period in which basic features... More


"Beyond Our Wildest Dreams"

Ineke van Kessel

As anyone who lived through that decade knows, the 1980s in South Africa were marked by protest, violent confrontation, and international sanctions. Internally, the country saw a bewildering growth of grassroots organizations--including trade unions, civic associations in the black townships,... More


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