Peasant Intellectuals / Edition 1

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Scholars who study peasant society now realize that peasants are not passive, but quite capable of acting in their own interests.  But, do coherent political ideas emerge within peasant society or do peasants act in a world where elites define political issues?  Peasant Intellectuals is based on ethnographic research begun in 1966 and includes interviews with hundreds of people from all levels of Tanzanian society.  Steven Feierman provides the history of the struggles to define the most basic issues of public political discourse in the Shambaa-speaking region of Tanzania.  Feierman also shows that peasant society contains a rich body of alternative sources of political language from which future debates will be shaped.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This brilliant book shatters our intellectual complacency.  By transforming the notion of ‘peasant intellectual’ from an oxymoron into a powerful organizing principle, Feierman renders obsolete the usual ways we approach peasant, politics, and culture.”—Steve J. Stern, University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299125240
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 2/19/1991
  • Series: Badger Reprint Edition Series
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 356
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven Feierman is Professor of History at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He is the author of The Shambaa Kingdom and has written extensively on African medicine and healing practices.

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Table of Contents

Maps ix
Acknowledgments xi
1 Introduction 3
2 Tribute and Dependency in Late Nineteenth-Century Shambaai 46
3 Healing the Land and Harming the Land 69
4 Alternative Paths to Social Health in the Precolonial Kingdom 94
5 Colonial Rule and the Fate of the Intellectuals 120
6 Royal Domination and Peasant Resistance, 1947-1957 154
7 The Struggle over Erosion Control: Women's Farming and the Polities of Subsistence 181
8 Gender, Slavery, and Chiefship: Peasant Attempts to Create an Alternative Discourse 204
9 Chiefs and Bureaucrats: Independence and the Fate of the Intellectuals 223
10 Rain in Independent Tanzania: A Drama Remembered but Not Performed 245
Notes 267
List of Interviews 301
Bibliography 311
Index 331
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