A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution

A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution

by Toby Green

Hardcover(First Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226644578
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 03/21/2019
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 640
Sales rank: 1,261,300
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

Toby Green is a senior lecturer in Lusophone African history and culture at King’s College London and is author of The Rise of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in Western Africa, 1300-1589.

Table of Contents

List of Maps
Note on Spellings/Names
Part One
Causes: Economic Divergence in West and West- Central Africa
Timelines for Part One
1 ‘Three Measures of Gold’: The Rise and Fall of the Great Empires of the Sahel
2 Causeways across the Savannah: From Senegambia to Sierra Leone
3 Ready Money: The Gold Coast and the Gold Trade
4 Rivers of Cloth, Masks of Bronze: The Bights of Benin and Biafra
5 The Kingdom of Kongo: From Majesty to Revolt
Coda to Part One
Part Two
Consequences: Politics, Belief and Revolutions from Below
Timeline for Part Two: West African Political History, c. 1680–1850
Prologue to Part Two
6 ‘With Boots Worth 3 Slaves’: Slavery and Value in the Eighteenth Century
7 On a War Footing: The ‘Fiscal- Military State’ in West African Politics
8 Feeding Power: New Societies, New Worldviews
9 Transnational Africas, Struggle and the Rising of Modernity
10 Warrior Aristocracies and Pushback from Below
11 Let them Drink Rum! Islam, Revolution and the Aristocracy
List of Illustrations

What People are Saying About This

Nwando Achebe

“Very seldom do I pick up a history book and wish I had written it myself. Toby Green’s Fistful of Shells is one such book. Brilliantly conceptualized, beautifully written, Fistful of Shells breaks with colonially configured regional boundaries—which work to re-create unintended silos of knowledge—to imagine a West and West Central African Atlantic era history of money, power, religion, and inequality that is as rich as it is sound.”

Roquinaldo Ferreira

“The range and depth of this book is simply stunning. By masterfully drawing on primary research and secondary sources in multiple languages, Green delivers a provocative book that is also a landmark of historical imagination and craftsmanship.”

author of Black Tudors Miranda Kaufmann

"A magisterial, extensive and fresh account of the history of West Africa that rewrites the region and its peoples back into World History, where they belong." 

Paul Reid

"Toby Green's transformative book repositions West African history in an entirely new light. It brings into focus the region's fundamental place in shaping the modern world as well as the powerful and also difficult legacy of this today."

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