Africa's Armies: From Honor To Infamy

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Basic Books, Mar 25, 2009 - Social Science - 336 pages
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Africa’s Armies traces the military history of sub-Saharan Africa from the pre-colonial era to the present. Robert Edgerton begins this sweeping chronicle by describing the role of African armies in pre-colonial times, when armed forces or militias were essential to the maintenance and prosperity of their societies. During the colonial era, African soldiers fought with death-defying courage, earning such respect as warriors that they were often recruited into the colonial armies not simply to enforce colonial rule in Africa, but to fight for the European homelands as well. After independence swept through Africa, African military men seized political power in country after country, ruling dictatorially for their own benefit and for that of their kinsmen and cronies. The author describes the post-colonial civil wars that have devastated much of sub-Saharan Africa – catastrophes marked by genocide, famine, disease, economic collapse, and steadily declining life expectancy. He closes by describing the role that Africa’s military forces can and must play if the future is to bring better times to the continent’s many peoples.
 

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Africa's armies: from honor to infamy: a history from 1791 to the present

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Prior to the Berlin Conference of 1885, in which the continent of Africa was divided among the European imperialist powers, the native tribes had armies. Although little was known about them owing ... Read full review

Contents

III
2
IV
22
V
64
VI
100
VII
142
VIII
184
IX
222
X
260
XI
290
XII
312
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Page 14 - I ever insist on being paid for them ? Some heads I order to be placed at my door ; others to be strewed about the market-place, that people may stumble on them when they little expect such a sight.

About the author (2009)

Robert B. Edgerton is the author of more than twenty other books on a variety of sociological, anthropological, and historical topics, most recently Hidden Heroism (Westview 2001). He also teaches anthropology at the UCLA School of Medicine.

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