West Africa

West Africa

by Daniel E. Harmon, Dan Harmon

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-These books do readers a monumental disservice. Each one begins with an identical essay by Richard E. Leakey, whose credentials are impressive, but whose words lend little to the scope of the titles. The same could be said for the majority of the black-and-white archival photographs from the Picture Library of the Royal Geographic Society. In Egypt, most of them are dated 1870, which predates the scope of the volume and are especially out of place in the chapter "Egypt Today." It is questionable why several of the photos, such as one dated 1890 of a Bambara dwarf in West Africa, were included at all. The section for "Further Reading" in the same book lists a 1902 National Geographic article as well as several other outdated suggestions. The focus in both volumes is primarily on the early 1900s; this is evident even in the time lines, where the last notation for West Africa is one sentence that covers "Circa 1960-present" and for Egypt it is 1997. The Eurocentric bias is so pronounced that it is, at times, unfathomable. The section outlining "West Africa Since Independence" begins the portion on Senegal with: "European explorers and traders had an early impact on Senegal, where they found brown-skinned, thick-lipped, flat-nosed peoples descended from ancient tribes-. Through intermarriage with the Berbers to the north, Senegalese gradually developed into a taller, more fine-featured group, fondly regarded for their tradition of hospitality." The books are heavily peppered with accounts by European explorers that further enforces this bias.-Genevieve Gallagher, New York Public Library Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Chelsea House Publishers
Publication date:
Exploration of Africa: The Emerging Nations Series
Product dimensions:
5.82(w) x 7.79(h) x 0.41(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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