The Power of African Cultures

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 35%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $5.09
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 87%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (9) from $5.09   
  • New (4) from $33.85   
  • Used (5) from $5.09   


This book focuses on the modern cultures of Africa, from the consequences of the imposition of Western rule to the current struggles to define national identities in the context of neo-liberal economic policies and globalization. The book argues that it is against the backdrop of foreign influences that Africa has defined for itself notions of identity and development. African cultures have been evolving in response to change, and in other ways solidly rooted in a shared past. The book successfully deconstructs the last one hundred and fifty years of cultures that have been disrupted, replaced, and resurrected. The Power of African Cultures challenges many preconceived notions, such as male dominance and female submission, the supposed unity of ethnic groups, and contemporary Western stereotypes of Africans. It also shows the dynamism of African cultures to adapt to foreign imposition: even as colonial rule forced the adoption of foreign institutions and cultures, African cultures appropriated these elements. Traditions were reworked, symbols redefined, and the past situated in contemporary problems in order to accommodate the modern era. Toyin Falola is a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters and Fellow of the Historical Society of Nigeria. He is the recipient of the 2006 Cheikh Anta Diop Award for Exemplary Scholarship in African Studies, and the 2008 Quintessence Award by the Africa Writers Endowment. He holds an honorary doctorate from Monmouth University and he is University Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin where he is also the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities. His books include Nationalism and African Intellectuals and Violence in Nigeria, both from the University of Rochester Press.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Falola . . . approaches the subject of African history and cultural transformation with enthusiasm and conviction. . . . (F)amiliar themes (are) presented here with a twist that touches the nerve of Africanist scholarship in a manner that conveys the intellectual ferment arising from African universities and transferred through scholarly migration to universities in North America. . . . Professor Falola is truly a most distinguished Africanist historian, with a reflective and critical voice that builds on the fine tradition of Nigerian scholarship of Ajayi, Afigbo, Alagoa and others. AFRICAN HISTORY, 2006 Without question, Professor Falola is the most prolific African historian writing today, and one of the most influential scholars in African studies. . . . One of Falola's achievements as a scholar is his recognition of the scholarship of colleagues at African universities, whose research has been important in the evolution of the discipline, at the same time that most of these scholars suffer from inadequate library resources, erratic publication venues and limited access to the Internet. He privileges the voices and analysis of Africans, which serves as an important correction to the substantial contributions of scholars from Europe and North America. JOURNAL OF AFRICAN HISTORY, 2006
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580462976
  • Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/15/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 Making Sense of the Western Encounter 20
3 Cultural Identity and Development 50
4 Political Economy and the Culture of Underdevelopment 71
5 The Culture of Politics 97
6 Ethnic Nationalism 128
7 Islam, Religious Identity, and Politics 166
8 Traditional Religions in Modern Africa 202
9 English or Englishes? The Politics of Language and the Language of Politics 224
10 Gender and Culture in Old and New Africa 250
11 Africa, the Homeland: Diasporic Cultures 274
Bibliography 306
Index 341
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)