“Where would the field of African history be without Basil Davidson?…Davidson’s book is an excellent overview of the many strands and themes of African history.”
H-NET Book Review
The African Genius presents the ideas, social systems, religions, moral values, arts, and metaphysics of a range of African peoples. Basil Davidson points toward the Africa that might emerge from an ancient civilization that was overlaid and battered by colonialism, then torn apart by the upheaval of colonialism’s dismantlement. Davidson disputes the notion that Africa gained under colonialism by entering the modern world. He sees, instead, an ancient order replaced by modern dysfunction. Davidson’s depiction of the sophisticated “native genius” that has carried Africans through centuries of change is vital to an understanding of modern Africa as well.
Basil Davidson is an honorary fellow of the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. He is the author or editor of some twenty-seven books on Africa.
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