Africa in History

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Prior to the original publication of Africa in History, the history and development of Africa had been measured by the European concept of "civilization," applying a Eurocentric approach to African art and literature. Basil Davidson's landmark work presents the inner growth of Africa and its worldwide significance, the internal dynamic of its old civilizations and their links with Asia, Europe and America, as well as the development of specific areas, tribes and cultures. From accounts of the days of the green Sahara and the great iron age, the earliest Portuguese colonization, the coming of slavery and the subsequent legacy of violence and mistrust, the growth of Islam in the north and the cults of the Congo, the sophistication of art and architecture, and the pattern behind social and tribal mores, the entire picture of the continent emerges. This revised edition reflects the recent astonishing changes in South Africa, including the release of Nelson Mandela.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Book Week Today the history of Africa is undergoing a revolution. No one has done more for that much-needed revolution than Basil Davidson.

Africa, the journal of the International African Institute The best work now available to the general public on the main outlines of the prestigious past of the African continent.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684826677
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 12/1/1995
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 1,369,496
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Basil Davidson is the author of more than ten books on African history and has devoted over thirty years to the intensive study of the African peoples. His books include The African Past, The Atlantic Slave Trade, Lost Cities of Africa, African Kingdoms and The History of West Africa to 1800.
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2003

    Interesting, but high level

    This book emphasized the social and historical effects that trade and commerce have had on changing the landscape of African society. I was fascinated to learn about the many kingdoms and empires that existed in ancient Africa. The details of the great trading cities of the West coast, and the great trading kingdoms of the East Sudan areas were new information for me. Also, the effect of the slave trade on disrupting political and socio-economic situations was disheartening. Finally, the current political situation was explained, and I got a picture of how things got to the mess they are today. Now I see how the family unit was disrupted by colonization economics, and how the breakdown of society has affected all levels. Unfortunately, this book was written before the plague of AIDS, the recent Afro-unification efforts, and the South African Peace and Reconciliation commissions were set up. So I look forward to reading more about those situations. Additionally, I think the author was soft on many of the corrupt and failed leaders that have squandered so many efforts for democracy and justice that have been attempted in the past fifty years. But taken in light of the long and troubled history of this land, I am not left without hope. The main failure of this book in my opinion, was the lack of the heart of the African, with its inner sense of joy and ability to survive even the harshest situations that I have so learned to admire in my African friends I have made over the years. The personal face of the diverse and warm-hearted peoples of this content was not shown by this more academic and political history. So that inspires me to read more about this amazing continent.

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