A claim to land by the river: a household in Senegal, 1720-1994

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Oxford University Press, 1996 - History - 300 pages
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In the early part of the eighteenth century, Jaabe So's ancestors founded a farm on the left bank of the Senegal river. Twenty years ago, Jaabe So set up an independent farmers' association based among a group of towns along that river. Since then, he and Adrian Adams have spent much of their lives struggling to defend the existence of that association against a state development corporation lavishly funded by development aid. This is a narrative of that struggle, placed in the context of three centuries of Senegalese history. This extraordinary book will be an invaluable reference for those who believe that Africans may yet redeem a future free from the false promises of development, by drawing upon an inherited past.

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By the River c 17201933
Abroad and Home 19371968
Paris 19681973

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About the author (1996)

Adrian Adams won the Orwell Memorial Prize for her book La Terre et les Gens du Fleuve (of which the present book is a major reworking) in 1985, and for her work in the field of African literacy. Both Adams and her husband, Jaabe So, a subsistance farmer, are activists trying to defend a peasant organisation against encroachments made by a state development corporation.

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