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See below for a selection of the latest books from African history category. Presented with a red border are the African history books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great African history books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
The Somali people are fiercely nationalistic. Colonialism split them into five segments divided between four different powers. Thus decolonisation and pan-Somalism became synonymous. In 1960 a partial reunification took place between British Somaliland and Somalia Italiana. 'Africa Confidential' wrote at the time that the new Somali state would never be beset by tribal division but this discounted the existence of powerful clans within Somali society and the persistence of colonial administrative cultures. The collapse of parliamentary democracy in 1969 and the resulting army-and clanic- dictatorship that followed led to a civil war in the 'perfect' national state. It lasted fourteen years in the 'British' North and is still raging today in the 'Italian' South. Somaliland 're-birthed' itself through an enormous solo effort but the viable nation so recreated within its former colonial borders was never internationally recognised and still struggles to exist economically and diplomatically. This book recounts an African success story where the peace so widely acclaimed by the international community has had no reward but its own lonely achievement.
The Soweto crisis of 1976 marked a watershed in South African political and social history. It focused the attention of the world on the injustice of South African society and started the long and tortuous process that has led to the dismantling of Apartheid. This book examines the role and increasing impotence of English-speaking intellectuals and liberals in South African politics from the 19th century until the Soweto crisis.
Making a fresh contribution to our understanding of the history of Angola, this book explores the impact of social, political and economic change upon the largest ethnic group of the country, the Ovimbundu. Based on extensive fieldwork conducted in Angola, including oral testimonies and life stories, participant-observation, and archival materials, this book shifts the viewpoint from the colonial enterprise, international politics and ideological alignments to focus on African experiences and responses. The author analyses the transformations introduced by Christianity and colonialisation and how they contributed to politicised modern notions of ethnic identity, creating communal imaginaries that began manifesting during Angolan's anti-colonial war. He then explains how the weaving of this ethno-political landscape assisted UNITA's mobilisation of significant parts of the Ovimbundu during the civil-war, essentially deepening popular belief in the axiom Ovimbundu-UNITA, and how the latter created a national imaginary that echoed social anxieties and moral discourses. The book then explores the links between ethnicity, politics and war on the quality of post-war citizenship in Angola, particularly on people's integration in the citizenry or marginalisation from it. Articulating a reading of ethnicity that connects high politics and elite based explanations with how ordinary people feel and discuss ethnicity, politics and citizenship, this book will be of interest to scholars of African history and politics, as well as ethnicity and nationalism.
While there have been studies of women's roles in African societies and of Atlantic history, the role of women in West and West Central Africa during the period of the Atlantic slave trade and its abolition remains relatively unexamined. This book brings together scholars from Africa, North and South America and Europe to show, for the first time, the ways in which African women participated in economic, social and political spaces in Atlantic coast societies. Focusing on diversity and change, and going beyond the study of wealthy merchant women, the contributors examine the role of petty traders and enslaved women in communities from Sierra Leone to Benguela. They analyse how women in Africa used the opportunities offered by relationships with European men, Christianity and Atlantic commerce to negotiate their social and economic positions; consider the limitations which early colonialism sought to impose on women and the strategies they employed to overcome them; the factors which fostered or restricted women's mobility, both spatially and socially; and women's economic power and its curtailment. Mariana P. Candido is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame; Adam Jones recently retired as Professor of African History and Culture History at the University of Leipzig. In association with The Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, College of Arts and Letters, University of Notre Dame
Nation-building imperatives compel citizens to focus on what makes them similar and what binds them together, forgetting what makes them different. Democratic institution building, on the other hand, requires fostering opposition through conducting multiparty elections and encouraging debate. Leaders of democratic factions, like parties or interest groups, can consolidate their power by emphasizing difference. But when held in tension, these two impulses-toward remembering difference and forgetting it, between focusing on unity and encouraging division-are mutually constitutive of sustainable democracy. Based on ethnographic and interview-based fieldwork conducted in 2012-2013, The Black and White Rainbow: Reconciliation, Opposition, and Nation-Building in Democratic South Africa explores various themes of nation- and democracy-building, including the emotional and banal content of symbols of the post-apartheid state, the ways that gender and race condition nascent nationalism, the public performance of nationalism and other group-based identities, integration and sharing of space, language diversity, and the role of democratic functioning including party politics and modes of opposition. Each of these thematic chapters aims to explicate a feature of the multifaceted nature of identity-building, and link the South African case to broader literatures on both nationalism and democracy.
When Stephen Ellis died in July 2015, African Studies lost one of its most prolific, provocative and celebrated scholars. Given the scale and uniqueness of his contribution, it is perhaps surprising that a collection of his writings did not appear during his lifetime. It is now possible to bring such a volume to the public. With an introduction by Tim Kelsall and an afterword by Jean-Francois Bayart, this collection aims to provide scholars and students with an introduction to the main themes in Ellis' work. These revolved around the roles of religion, criminality and violence in African society and politics -- preoccupations that also informed his interpretation of African rebellions and resistance movements. The volume spans more than three decades of scholarship; case studies from six countries; highly-cited and lesser-known articles; and a sampling of works intended for public engagement as well as an academic audience. It will serve as a reader for African Politics and History, and as an invitation to students to delve deeper into Stephen Ellis' oeuvre.
This book is a philosopher's view into the chaotic postcolony of Zimbabwe, delving into Robert Mugabe's Will to Power. The Will to Power refers to a spirited desire for power and overwhelming fear of powerlessness that Mugabe artfully concealed behind performances of invincibility. Nietzsche's philosophical concept of the Will to Power is interpreted and expanded in this book to explain how a tyrant is produced and enabled, and how he performs his tyranny. Achille Mbembe's novel concept of the African postcolony is mobilised to locate Zimbabwe under Mugabe as a domain of the madness of power. The book describes Mugabe's development from a vulnerable youth who was intoxicated with delusions of divine commission to a monstrous tyrant of the postcolony who mistook himself for a political messiah. This account exposes how post-political euphoria about independence from colonialism and the heroism of one leader can easily lead to the degeneration of leadership. However, this book is as much about bad leadership as it is about bad followership. Away from Eurocentric stereotypes where tyranny is isolated to African despots, this book shows how Mugabe is part of an extended family of tyrants of the world. He fought settler colonialism but failed to avoid being infected by it, and eventually became a native coloniser to his own people. The book concludes that Zimbabwe faces not only a simple struggle for democracy and human rights, but a Himalayan struggle for liberation from genocidal native colonialism that endures even after Robert Mugabe's dethronement and death.