From Slaves to Squatters: Plantation Labor & Agriculture in Zanzibar & Coastal Kenya, 1890-1925

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Overview

Cooper's subtle and seminal work examines the critical decades of transition from a slave-based plantation system in East Africa to a colonial economy based on wage labor. While British officials hoped to create an efficient and productive class of agrarian workers, the original Arab and Swahili landlords and slaveowners tried to redefine their old mechanisms of domination in order to maintain them. Yet the ex-slaves themselves had a quite different agenda: to acquire access to land on their own terms, and to shape their own working conditions.

The processes of interaction and struggle among these three groups shaped the outlines of social and economic development along the Swahili coast through the remainder of the twentieth century. Cooper's comparative analysis is penetrating, and his book retains a central position in historical scholarship.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Cooper's first book was noteworthy for its combination of meticulous scholarship and insightful analysis. This one is even better, the analysis deeper and more mature....”–American Historical Review
Booknews
Examines the critical decades of transition from a slave-based plantation system in East Africa to a colonial economy based on wage labor. Cooper (history, U. of Michigan) describes how the processes of interaction and struggle among British administrators, Muslim slaveowners, and the former slaves themselves shaped the outlines of social and economic development along the Swahili coast throughout the remainder of the 20th century. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780435074203
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 5/5/1997
  • Series: Classics of African Studies Series
  • Pages: 346
  • Age range: 18 years
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Frederick Cooper is professor of history at the University of Michigan. He is widely acknowledged as one of the most distinguished scholars in African history.
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