The Land beyond the Mists · Essays on Identity and Authority in Precolonial Congo and Rwanda · By David Newbury · Foreword by Jan Vansina

The horrific tragedies of Central Africa in the 1990s riveted the attention of the world. But these crises did not occur in a historical vacuum. By peering through the mists of the past, the case studies presented in The Land Beyond the Mists illustrate the significant advances to have taken place since decolonization in our understanding of the pre-colonial histories of Rwanda, Burundi, and eastern Congo.

Cover of 'The Land beyond the Mists'


Children in Slavery through the Ages · Edited by Gwyn Campbell, Suzanne Miers, and Joseph C. Miller

Significant numbers of the people enslaved throughout world history have been children. The vast literature on slavery has grown to include most of the history of this ubiquitous practice, but nearly all of it concentrates on the adult males whose strong bodies and laboring capacities preoccupied the masters of the modern Americas.

Cover of 'Children in Slavery through the Ages'


Wielding the Ax · State Forestry and Social Conflict in Tanzania, 1820–2000 · By Thaddeus Sunseri

Forests have been at the fault lines of contact between African peasant communities in the Tanzanian coastal hinterland and outsiders for almost two centuries. In recent decades, a global call for biodiversity preservation has been the main challenge to Tanzanians and their forests. Thaddeus Sunseri uses the lens of forest history to explore some of the most profound transformations in Tanzania from the nineteenth century to the present.

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Race, Revolution, and the Struggle for Human Rights in Zanzibar · The Memoirs of Ali Sultan Issa and Seif Sharif Hamad · By G. Thomas Burgess

Zanzibar has had the most turbulent postcolonial history of any part of the United Republic of Tanzania, yet few sources explain the reasons why. From a series of personal interviews conducted over several years, Thomas Burgess has produced two highly readable first-person narratives in which two nationalists in Africa describe their conflicts, achievements, failures, and tragedies.

Cover of 'Race, Revolution, and the Struggle for Human Rights in Zanzibar'


Human Rights in African Prisons · Edited by Jeremy Sarkin

Prisons are always a key focus of those interested in human rights and the rule of law. Human Rights in African Prisons looks at the challenges African governments face in dealing with these issues. Written by some of the most eminent researchers from and on Africa, including the former chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

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Heterosexual Africa? · The History of an Idea from the Age of Exploration to the Age of AIDS · By Marc Epprecht

Heterosexual Africa? The History of an Idea from the Age of Exploration to the Age of AIDS builds from Marc Epprecht’s previous book, Hungochani (which focuses explicitly on same-sex desire in southern Africa), to explore the historical processes by which a singular, heterosexual identity for Africa was constructed—by anthropologists, ethnopsychologists, colonial officials, African elites, and most recently, health care workers seeking to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Cover of 'Heterosexual Africa?'


Unconquerable Spirit · George Stow’s History Painting of the San · By Pippa Skotnes

George Stow was a Victorian man of many parts—poet, historian, ethnographer, artist, cartographer, and prolific writer. A geologist by profession, he became acquainted, through his work in the field, with the extraordinary wealth of rock paintings in the caves and shelters of the South African interior. Enchanted and absorbed by them, Stow set out to create a record of this creative work of the people who had tracked and marked the South African landscape decades and centuries before him.

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Myth of Iron · Shaka in History · By Dan Wylie

Myth of Iron is the first book-length scholarly study of the famous Zulu leader Shaka to be published. It lays out, as far as possible, all the available evidence — mainly hitherto underutilized Zulu oral testimonies, supported by other documentary sources — and decides, item by item, legend by legend, what exactly we can know about Shaka’s reign.

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Intonations · A Social History of Music and Nation in Luanda, Angola, from 1945 to Recent Times · By Marissa J. Moorman

Intonations tells the story of how Angola’s urban residents in the late colonial period (roughly 1945–74) used music to talk back to their colonial oppressors and, more importantly, to define what it meant to be Angolan and what they hoped to gain from independence. A compilation of Angolan music is included in CD format. Marissa J. Moorman presents a social and cultural history of the relationship between Angolan culture and politics.

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Healing Traditions · African Medicine, Cultural Exchange, and Competition in South Africa, 1820–1948 · By Karen E. Flint

Healing Traditions offers a historical perspective to the interactions between South Africa’s traditional healers and biomedical practitioners. It provides an understanding that is vital for the development of medical strategies to effectively deal with South Africa’s healthcare challenges.

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Slavery, Emancipation and Colonial Rule in South Africa · By Wayne Dooling

Slavery, Emancipation and Colonial Rule in South Africa examines the rural Cape Colony from the earliest days of Dutch colonial rule in the mid-seventeenth century to the outbreak of the South African War in 1899. For slaves and slave owners alike, incorporation into the British Empire at the beginning of the nineteenth century brought fruits that were bittersweet.

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Claim to the Country · The Archive of Wilhelm Bleek and Lucy Lloyd · By Pippa Skotnes

In the 1870s, facing cultural extinction and the death of their language, several San men and women told their stories to two pioneering colonial scholars in Cape Town, Wilhelm Bleek and Lucy Lloyd. The narratives of these San—or Bushmen—were of the land, the rain, the history of the first people, and the origin of the moon and stars.

Cover of 'Claim to the Country'


Imagining Serengeti · A History of Landscape Memory in Tanzania from Earliest Times to the Present · By Jan Bender Shetler

Many students come to African history with a host of stereotypes that are not always easy to dislodge. One of the most common is that of Africa as safari grounds—as the land of expansive, unpopulated game reserves untouched by civilization and preserved in their original pristine state by the tireless efforts of contemporary conservationists.

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War in Pre-Colonial Eastern Africa · The Patterns and Meanings of State-Level Conflict in the 19th Century · By Richard Reid

War in Pre-Colonial Eastern Africa examines the nature and objectives of violence in the region in the nineteenth century. It is particularly concerned with highland Ethiopia and the Great Lakes. It will be of use to those interested in military history and to anyone involved in modern development and conflict resolution seeking to understand the deeper historical roots of African warfare.

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Slavery in the Great Lakes Region of East Africa · Edited by Henri Médard and Shane Doyle

Slavery in the Great Lakes Region of East Africa is a collection of ten studies by the most prominent historians of the region. Slavery was more important in the Great Lakes region of Eastern Africa than often has been assumed, and Africans from the interior played a more complex role than was previously recognized. The essays in this collection reveal the connections between the peoples of the region as well as their encounters with the conquering Europeans.

Cover of 'Slavery in the Great Lakes Region of East Africa'