A History of African Societies to 1870

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Cambridge University Press, Apr 13, 1997 - History - 578 pages
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This comprehensive and detailed exploration of the African past, from prehistory to approximately 1870, is intended to provide a fully up-to-date complement to the Cambridge History of Africa. Reflecting several emphases in recent scholarship, it focusses on the changing modes of production, on gender relations and on ecology, laying particular stress on viewing 'history from below'. A distinctive theme is to be found in its analyses of cognitive history. The work falls into three sections. The first comprises a historiographic analysis, and covers the period from the dawn of prehistory to the end of the Early Iron Age. The second and third sections are, for the most part, organised on regional lines; the second section ends in the sixteenth century; the third carries the story on to 1870. A second volume, now in preparation, will cover the period from 1870 to 1995. This book attempts a more rounded view of African history than most of the other textbooks on the subject addressed to a (largely) undergraduate level student. Earlier histories have tended to ignore some of the current foci in the scholarly literature on Africa, generally not reflected in the textbooks: these include discussions of topical issues like ecology and gender. Isichei's book is also more radical.
  

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Contents

Perimeters
3
Africa and the historians
7
the precursors
25
Environment language and art c 10000 c 500 BCE
40
Producing more food c 10000 c 500 BCE
56
Copper and iron c 600 BCE to c 1000 CE
69
production power and gender
78
Regional histories to the sixteenth century
101
from the savanna to the sea
239
Regional histories toe 1870
261
Northern Africa
263
The Western Sudan in a time of jihad
291
The Eastern and Central Sudan
313
The Atlantic slave trade
323
West Africa to 1800
341
West Africa 1800 to 1870
360

Central Africa
103
Eastern Africa
120
Africa south of the Limpopo
141
Northern Africa to the seventh century CE
151
Northern Africa from the seventh century CE
172
The NorthEast
196
The Western Sudan
213
Central Africa
389
Southern Africa
409
East and East Central Africa
431
Notes
456
Some suggestions for further reading
559
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

ELIZABETH ISICHEI taught at African Universities for 16 years, nine of which were spent as Professor of History at the University of Jos, Nigeria. She is currently Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Otago, New Zealand. She has written many titles on African history and religion, including The Ibo People and the Europeans (Faber, 1973), A History of Christianity in Africa (SPCK/Eerdman, 1995) and Voices of the Poor in Africa (Univ. of Rochester Press, 2002).

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