African History: A Very Short Introduction

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This Very Short Introduction looks at Africa's past and reflects on the changing ways it has been imagined and represented, both in Africa and beyond. The author illustrates important aspects of Africa's history with a range of fascinating historical examples, drawn from over 5 millennia
across this vast continent. The multitude of topics that the reader will learn about in this succinct work include the unity and diversity of African cultures, slavery, religion, colonial conquest, the diaspora, and the importance of history in understanding contemporary Africa. The book examines
questions such as: Who invented the idea of Africa? How is African history pieced together, given such a lack of documentary evidence? How did Africa interact with the world 1,000 years ago?

Africa has been known as 'the cradle of mankind', and its recoverable history stretches back to the Pharaohs. But the idea of studying African history is itself new, and the authors show why it is still contested and controversial. This VSI, the first concise work of its kind, will prove essential
reading for anyone interested in the African continent and the diversity of human history.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - magonistarevolt - LibraryThing

It should be known by all potential readers that this is a book *about* African History, not an *African History Book.* It is an introduction to how African History is created and the way that the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LamSon - LibraryThing

This book was not about African history, but one about the difficulties in studying the continent's history. As such, it was interesting, but I was hoping something more true to the title. Read full review


1 The idea of Africa
diversity and unity
historical sources
4 Africa in the world
5 Colonialism in Africa
6 Imagining the future rebuilding the past
7 Memory and forgetting past and present
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About the author (2007)

John Parker teaches African history at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He specializes in the history of Ghana and is the author of Making the Town: Ga State and Society in Early Colonial Accra (2000) and (with Jean Allman) Tongnaab: The History of a West African God (2005). He is currently researching a book on the history of death and burial in Ghana.Richard Rathbone is Honorary Professor of History in the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and Emeritus Professor in History at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He has written on south and west Africa and his books include Ghana (1992), Murder and politics in colonial Ghana (1993) and Nkrumah and the chiefs (2000). He is currently working on 19th century west African intellectuals.