New PDF release: African History: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short

By John Parker, Richard Rathbone

ISBN-10: 0192802488

ISBN-13: 9780192802484

This Very brief creation seems to be at Africa's prior and displays at the altering methods it's been imagined and represented, either in Africa and past. the writer illustrates vital facets of Africa's background with a number of attention-grabbing ancient examples, drawn from over five millennia throughout this monstrous continent. The multitude of issues that the reader will find out about during this succinct paintings comprise the harmony and variety of African cultures, slavery, faith, colonial conquest, the diaspora, and the significance of background in realizing modern Africa. The ebook examines questions equivalent to: Who invented the assumption of "Africa"? How is African historical past pieced jointly, given this sort of loss of documentary facts? How did Africa engage with the area 1,000 years ago?

Africa has been often called 'the cradle of mankind', and its recoverable heritage stretches again to the Pharaohs. however the proposal of learning African background is itself new, and the authors convey why it really is nonetheless contested and debatable. This VSI, the 1st concise paintings of its style, will turn out crucial interpreting for an individual drawn to the African continent and the variety of human history.


A rather well knowledgeable and sharply said historiography... may be in each historiography student's kitbag. A journey de force... it made me imagine greatly. Terence Ranger, The Bulletin of the college of Oriental and African reviews you'll end this booklet greater educated, with a greater figuring out of Africa and a clearer proposal of the questions. Robert Giddings, Tribune This small ebook is a brilliant and stimulating essay exploring problems with background, resources and strategies, Africa on this planet, colonialism and postcolonialism, and the earlier within the current as a method of introducing scholars and others to educational pondering African historical past. Tom Spear, magazine of African heritage

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Extra resources for African History: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

Sample text

If people are asked who the most famous living African is, the usual answer is ‘Nelson Mandela’. But as we write this in the aftermath of the 2006 World Cup, there is a good case for saying that the most famous living African is Zinédene Zidane. Let’s consider this one individual. Who, or what, is Zidane? He’s a Frenchman, born and raised in Marseilles. But he’s also a North African, whose parents emigrated from Algeria; and a Berber, with family roots in the Kabyle mountains and reportedly fiercely proud of his ancestral village.

It is ironic that we know more about cultural changes in the New Kingdom of the Pharao[h]s than we do about eighteenth-century Kuba cultural change, three thousand years and more later’, Jan Vansina, the leading historian of the Kuba (a Central African kingdom), has lamented. Written language has also provided unusually rich sources for the history of Ethiopia. From the 5th century ad, the Ethiopian Coptic Church, one of the earliest Christian churches, used a written language called Ge’ez (whose script originated in ancient south Arabia) to translate the Bible and to record its landholdings, its prayers and healing formulae, and the lives of its saints.

Travellers and other outsiders had little difficulty in coming to what they believed to be an understanding of Africa’s kingdoms, as most of them had grown up 27 Africans: diversity and unity Africans also believe in and – as they have been as questioning and contrary as anyone on the planet – have also harboured doubts about, a large number of religions. These range from innumerable examples of indigenous belief systems to those like Islam and Christianity, so-called world religions. The latter also come in a variety of forms, some of which constitute distinctive African contributions to the history of those beliefs.

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African History: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by John Parker, Richard Rathbone

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