African History: A Very Short Introduction

Front Cover
OUP Oxford, Mar 22, 2007 - History - 165 pages
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.

 

What people are saying - Write a 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

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - allthesedarnbooks - LibraryThing

This was an interesting little book. It was definitely interesting, but it was more of a historiography, or history of the study of African history, than an introduction to African history itself. I ... Read full review

Contents

1 The idea of Africa
1
diversity and unity
25
historical sources
48
4 Africa in the world
70
5 Colonialism in Africa
91
6 Imagining the future rebuilding the past
114
7 Memory and forgetting past and present
135
References
151
Further reading
155
Index
161
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

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 iMaking the Town: Ga State and Society in Early Colonial Accra/i (2000) and (with Jean Allman) iTongnaab: The History of a WestAfrican God/i (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 iGhana/i (1992), iMurder and politics in colonial Ghana/i (1993)and iNkrumah and the chiefs/i (2000). He is currently working on 19th century west African intellectuals.

Bibliographic information