No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
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!
After more than fifty years of development, why have interventions and aid failed to yield greater poverty alleviation in Sub-Saharan Africa? Why did the agricultural development projects that were transpiring in places like Kenya during the development era of the 1950s and 1960s not take-off? Cultivating Their Own: Agriculture in Western Kenya during the Development Era explores these questions and others that continue to drive the research agendas of international aid agencies and development scholars in the twenty-first century. The book centers on four agricultural development projects unfolding in a densely populated rural area of western Kenya during the country's transition to independence and its first few years under de facto one-party rule. Drawing on an array of primary sources and oral interviews, Saeteurn argues that the project of agrarianism failed to germinate in places like western Kenya because of competing interests, conflicting agendas, and structural problems inherent in the process of development at the international, national, and local level. Cultivating Their Own is a timely reminder of the importance of paying attention not only to local people's aspirations but also to the realities of rural life when creating projects that mobilize agriculture for poverty reduction. MUEY C. SAETEURN is assistant professor of history at the University of California, Merced.
The negative legacy of the British empire is often thought of in terms of war and economic exploitation, while the positive contribution is associated with the establishment of good governance and effective, modern institutions. In this new analysis of the end of empire in Uganda, Spencer Mawby challenges these preconceptions by explaining the many difficulties which arose when the British attempted to impose western institutional models on Ugandan society. Ranging from international institutions, including the Commonwealth, to state organisations, like the parliament and army, and to civic institutions such as trade unions, the press and the Anglican church, Mawby uncovers a wealth of new material about the way in which the British sought to consolidate their influence in the years prior to independence. The book also investigates how Ugandans responded to institutional reform and innovation both before and after independence, and in doing so sheds new light on the emergence of the notorious military dictatorship of Idi Amin. By unpicking historical orthodoxies about 20th-century imperial history, this institutional history of the end of empire and the early years of independence offers an opportunity to think afresh about the nature of the colonial impact on Africa and the development of authoritarian rule on the continent.
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.
The Sahel, where the southern edge of the Sahara meets the land in between it and the savannah, is alternatively ignored and misunderstood. In the 1970s it was synonymous with drought and famine, yet crops and herds flourish along its riverbanks and fears of 'desertification' have been debunked. After a century of colonialism and military rule the Sahelian nations of Mali and Niger built democracies fortified by long political traditions and Islam, though challenged by recurring violence, especially in Niger, which also witnessed a return of famine. Yet it was Mali that nearly collapsed, in 2012, and there was talk of it becoming an Al Qaeda safe haven, which precipitated French military intervention. Once again the Sahel is a political and environmental faultline, invoked as an 'arc of instability', yet while the portents seem gloomy, Niger has uranium, Mali is Africa's third largest gold producer and new partners, like China, are rushing in. In his entwined history of Mali and Niger, Thomas Miles contends that today's crises are neither inevitable nor permanent. The Sahel has long exchanged goods and ideas with the wider world and the presence there of French soldiers and American drones is only one moment in a long and distinguished trajectory.
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.
In this unapologetically African-centered monograph, Nwando Achebe considers the diverse forms and systems of female leadership in both the physical and spiritual worlds, as well as the complexities of female power in a multiplicity of distinct African societies. From Amma to the goddess inkosazana, Sobekneferu to Nzingha, Nehanda to Ahebi Ugbabe, Omu Okwei, and the daughters or umuada of Igboland, Female Monarchs and Merchant Queens in Africa documents the worlds and life histories of elite African females, female principles, and (wo)men of privilege. Chronologically and by theme, Achebe pieces together the worlds and experiences of African females from African-derived sources, especially language. Achebe explores the meaning and significance of names, metaphors, symbolism, cosmology, chronicles, songs, folktales, proverbs, oral traditions, traditions of creation, and more. From centralized to small-scale egalitarian societies, patrilineal to matrilineal systems, North Africa to sub-Saharan lands, Female Monarchs and Merchant Queens in Africa offers an unparalleled history of the remarkable African women who occupied positions of power, authority, and influence.
Following tirailleurs senegalais' deployments in West Africa, Congo, Madagascar, North Africa, Syria-Lebanon, Vietnam, and Algeria from the 1880s to 1962, Militarizing Marriage historicizes how African servicemen advanced conjugal strategies with women at home and abroad. Sarah J. Zimmerman examines the evolution of women's conjugal relationships with West African colonial soldiers to show how the sexuality, gender, and exploitation of women were fundamental to the violent colonial expansion and the everyday operation of colonial rule in modern French Empire. These conjugal behaviors became military marital traditions that normalized the intimate manifestation of colonial power in social reproduction across the empire. Soldiers' cross-colonial and interracial households formed at the intersection of race and sexuality outside the colonizer/colonized binary. Militarizing Marriage uses contemporary feminist scholarship on militarism and violence to portray how the subjugation of women was indispensable to military conquest and colonial rule.
Niger is a crossroad, the gate to the outside for West Africans, and the port of entry into West Africa for cross-Saharan tidings and travelers. It remained for centuries the largely uncontrolled periphery of the large empires of the western Sudan and the market cities of the central Sudan. In these two ways, the land forged a very distinctive identity, a fluid blend of diverse communities which make up a nation of marginal cosmopolitans - a paradox illuminated in this book. This fifth edition of Historical Dictionary of Niger contains a chronology, an introduction, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 700 cross-referenced entries on important personalities, politics, economy, foreign relations, religion, and culture. This book is an excellent resource for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about Niger.
Originally published in 1958 this book presents a straight-forward and vivid picture of Adamawa Province in Nigeria. It discusses the varying fortunes of the territory, the life of its people, the efforts of its explorers and the achievements of the early administrators. It discusses the geography of the area as well as the political and economic conditions in the first half of the twentieth century, as well as the character and occupations of the Adamawa people.
Since publication in 1957 the importance of Bohannan's study of judicial institutions and procedures among the Tiv has been widely recognized. It has contributed widely to the continuing discussion concerning the objectives and methods to be followed in the anthropological study of law and the contribution this makes to comparative jurisprudence. the work describes and defines Tiv ideas of 'law' as expressed in the operations of their courts known as Jir. The analysis is based on and illustrated by numerous cases which the author attended and discussed with leaders in the Jir.
Originally published in 1945, this book was written at a time when an increasing European influence was affecting customary law in what was Tanganyika and this volume records different aspects of customary law such as inheritance, matrimony, divorce, property and the courts. Tribal structure in Uhaya is also discussed and a list of clans provided.
Safari Nation opens new lines of inquiry in the study of national parks in Africa and the rest of the world. The Kruger National Park is South Africa's most iconic nature reserve, renowned for its rich flora and fauna. According to author Jacob Dlamini, there is another side to the park, a social history neglected by scholars and popular writers alike in which blacks (meaning Africans, Coloureds, and Indians) occupy center stage. Safari Nation details the ways in which black people devoted energies to conservation and to the park over the course of the twentieth century-engagement that transcends the stock (black) figure of the laborer and the poacher. By exploring the complex and dynamic ways in which blacks of varying class, racial, religious, and social backgrounds related to the Kruger National Park, and with the help of previously unseen archival photographs, Dlamini's narrative also sheds new light on how and why Africa's national parks-often derided by scholars as colonial impositions-survived the end of white rule on the continent. Relying on oral histories, photographs, and archival research, Safari Nation engages both with African historiography and with ongoing debates about the land question, democracy, and citizenship in South Africa.