Sources of the African Past

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iUniverse, Jun 21, 1999 - Political Science - 220 pages

Sources of the African Past combines a case-study approach with an emphasis on primary and orally transmitted sources to accomplish three objectives; to tell a story in some depth, to portray major themes and to raise basic questions of analysis and interpretation. The case studies are set in the nineteenth century and deal with critical periods in the fortunes of five societies in different parts of the continent (South, East, and West Africa). The authors wish students to work with the "raw" materials of history and to that end have provided a workbook for a "laboratory" experience.

Sources of the African Past is designed for use in a wide variety of courses and in conjuction with other texts. The authors have kept their own interpretations to a minimum and invited scrutiny of their decision of selection and arrangement. They chose the cases on the basis of several criteria: geographical coverage, abundance and diversity of primary sources, importance in the secondary literature, and relevance to important historical problems. All the studies emphasize political change. All witness some growth in European intervention.

In selecting the documents, the authors sought a balance of perspective without sacrificing accuracy and relevance. This means a conscious effort to present a variety of views: African and European, internal and external, partipant and observer, those of the victims as well as those of the victors, those of the "people" as well as those of the elite. Within the limitations of space, they have made the excerpts sufficiently long to allow the reader to examine the author's style, purpose and other characteristics. Keeping in mind the limitations of libraries, they have attemted to make each chapter self-contained.

 

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Contents

Chapter One Shaka Dingane and the Forging of the Zulu State
1
The Story of Moshweshwe
41
Chapter Three From Autocracy to Oligarchy in Buganda
80
Chapter Four The Jihad of Uthman and the Sokoto Caliphate
122
Chapter Five Osei Bonsu and the Political Economy of the Asante Empire
161
Index
199
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About the author (1999)

David Robinson is a University Distinguished Professor of History and African Studies at Michigan State University. He has worked primarily on the recent history of francophone and Islamic West Africa, and published The Holy War of Umar Tal(oxford, 1985);with John Hanson,After the Jihad: The Reign of Ahmad al-Kabir in the Western Sudan (MSU Press, 1991), and with Jean-Louis Triaud, Le Temps de Marabouts,/i>(Paris:Karthala,1997). He was editor of the Journal of African History from 1990 through 1994, President of the African Studies Association of the United States in 1992-3, ans serves as Vice-President of the West African Research Association, based in Madison,Wisconsin and Dakar, Senegal, West Africa.

David Robinson is a University Distinguished Professor of History and African Studies at Michigan State University. He has worked primarily on the recent history of francophone and Islamic West Africa, and published The Holy War of Umar Tal(oxford, 1985);with John Hanson,After the Jihad: The Reign of Ahmad al-Kabir in the Western Sudan (MSU Press, 1991), and with Jean-Louis Triaud, Le Temps de Marabouts,/i>(Paris:Karthala,1997). He was editor of the Journal of African History from 1990 through 1994, President of the African Studies Association of the United States in 1992-3, ans serves as Vice-President of the West African Research Association, based in Madison,Wisconsin and Dakar, Senegal, West Africa.

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