“The Eroding Commons helps to fill a gap in Kalenjin history, especially that of the Tugen in the twentieth century, which has received little scholarly attention to date. It is an invaluable resource for graduate students and specialists with an interst in land tenure, development, pastoralism, or East African ethnic groups.”
African Studies Review
“This book is a most important addition to the field of African history and related thematic fields of environmental history, political history, and (but to a lesser degree) the history of science. [It] is a brilliantly researched and written book … an ample demonstration of the value of local stories to illuminate global trends.”
James C. McCann, author of Green Land, Brown Land, Black Land
Colonial Baringo was largely unnoticed until drought and localized famine in the mid-1920s led to claims that its crisis was brought on by overcrowding and livestock mismanagement. In response to the alarm over erosion, the state embarked on a program for rehabilitation, conservation, and development.
Eroding the Commons examines Baringo’s efforts to contend with the problems of erosion and describes how they became a point of reference for similar programs in British Africa, especially as rural development began to encompass goals beyond economic growth and toward an accelerated transformation of African society. It provides an excellent focus for the investigation of the broader evolution of colonial ideologies and practices of development.
David M. Anderson is a historian at St. Anthony's College, University of Oxford. He is the author of Eroding the Commons, co-editor of Revealing Prophets, and The Poor Are Not Us. More info →
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The conflict in Darfur had a precursor in Sudan’s famines of the 1980s and 1990s. The Benefits of Famine presents a new and chilling interpretation of the causes of war-induced famine.
One of the first studies of the political ecology of a major African kingdom, Crisis and Decline in Bunyoro focuses on the interplay between levels of environmental activity within a highly stratified society.
Ecology Control and Economic Development in East African History
The Case of Tanganyika, 1850–1950
By Helge Kjekshus
This pioneering book was one of the first to place the history of East Africa within the context of the environment. It has been used continuously for student teaching. It is now reissued with an introduction placing it within the debate that has developed on the subject; there is also an updated bibliography.The book puts people at the centre of events. It thus serves as a modification to nationalist history with its emphasis on leaders.
This long-awaited book is a considerable revision in the understanding of the history of colonial Kenya and, more widely, colonialism in Africa. There is a substantial amount of new work and this is interlocked with shared areas of concern that the authors have been exploring since 1976.The authors investigate major themes.
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