“…Kimambo’s account of the Pare district is well researched, coherent and readable.”
Thomas Deve, Journal of Social Development in Africa
“Kimambo’s account makes fascinating reading and should be required for anyone seeking to understand the colonial development of east Africa and the ways that this region is still a prisoner of its colonial past.”
T.O. Beidelman, Anthropos
“[Penetration and Protest in Tanzania] is a conscientiously written and highly readable book about the Pare mountains, which have received far less attention than other highland areas in Tanzania such as Kilimanjaro or the Usambaras.”
Jan Kees Van Donge, The Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics
The originality of this study of rural transformation stems from the way in which Professor Kimambo has used the oral tradition to reveal the history of the impact of the world economy in northeastern Tanzania. First under the pressures of commodity trade, and later under German and British imperialism, the peasant producers of this region were forced into participation in capitalist production.
These partial changes destroyed the Pare’s balanced subsistence structure. But throughout the colonial period they were frustrated in their efforts to transform themselves fully into capitalist producers. These struggles finally led to open revolt in 1947 and it was three years before the protest ended. Between 1947 and 1960 the colonial government tried to reverse the effects of the revolt without providing the kind of transformation desired by the peasants.
This study illustrates vividly the difference between the intentions of capital and those of the colonized peasantry. The intentions of the two sides seemed to be incompatible. While imperialism would allow for the limited participation that would maximize profits for metropolitan capital, the peasants were struggling for freedom to transform themselves into capitalist producers.
Isaria N. Kimambo is Professor of History at the University of Dar es Salaam.
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