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African History

African History Book List

Cover of 'Age of Concrete'

Age of Concrete
Housing and the Shape of Aspiration in the Capital of Mozambique
By David Morton

Age of Concrete is about people building homes on tenuous ground in the outer neighborhoods of Maputo, Mozambique, places thought of simply as slums. But up close, they are an archive: houses of reeds, wood, zinc, and concrete embodying the ambitions of people who built their own largest investment and greatest bequest to the future.

Cover of 'Finding Dr. Livingstone'

Finding Dr. Livingstone
A History in Documents from the Henry Morton Stanley Archive
Edited by Mathilde Leduc-Grimaldi and James L. Newman
· Foreword by Guido Gryseels and Dominique Allard

In 1870, journalist Henry M. Stanley embarked on a search for the famous explorer Dr. David Livingstone. In 1872, Stanley returned with the story of how he had found Livingstone near Lake Tanganyika, restored his health, and resupplied his expedition. This collection of unpublished documents reveals how Stanley shaped the account of his journey.

Cover of 'Powerful Frequencies'

Powerful Frequencies
Radio, State Power, and the Cold War in Angola, 1931–2002
By Marissa J. Moorman

Radio technology and broadcasting played a central role in the formation of colonial Portuguese Southern Africa and the postcolonial nation-state, Angola. Moorman details how settlers, the colonial state, African nationalists, and the postcolonial state all used radio to project power, while the latter employed it to challenge empire.

Cover of 'Amilcar Cabral'

Amilcar Cabral
Nationalist and Pan-Africanist Revolutionary
By Peter Karibe Mendy

Amilcar Cabral’s charismatic and visionary leadership, his pan-Africanist solidarity and internationalist commitment to “every just cause in the world,” remain relevant to contemporary struggles for emancipation and self-determination. This concise biography is an ideal introduction to his life and legacy.

Cover of 'Converging on Cannibals'

Converging on Cannibals
Terrors of Slaving in Atlantic Africa, 1509–1670
By Jared Staller

In Converging on Cannibals, Jared Staller demonstrates that one of the most terrifying discourses used during the era of transatlantic slaving—cannibalism—was coproduced by Europeans and Africans. When these people from vastly different cultures first came into contact, they shared a fear of potential cannibals. Some Africans and European slavers allowed these rumors of themselves as man-eaters to stand unchallenged.

Cover of 'Water Brings No Harm'

Water Brings No Harm
Management Knowledge and the Struggle for the Waters of Kilimanjaro
By Matthew V. Bender

Water Brings No Harm explores the history of community water management on Mount Kilimanjaro. Using the concept of waterscapes—describing how people “see” water and how physical resources intersect with beliefs, needs, and expectations—Bender argues that water conflicts should be understood as struggles between competing forms of knowledge.

Cover of 'A Short History of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart'

A Short History of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart
By Terri Ochiagha

In the accessible and concise A Short History of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Terri Ochiagha asks new questions and brings wider attention to unfamiliar but crucial elements of the story, including new insights into questions of canonicity, and into literary, historiographical, and precolonial aesthetic influences.

Cover of 'Foreign Intervention in Africa after the Cold War'

Foreign Intervention in Africa after the Cold War
Sovereignty, Responsibility, and the War on Terror
By Elizabeth Schmidt

Many challenges facing the African continent today are rooted in colonial practices, Cold War alliances, and outsiders’ attempts to influence its political and economic systems. Interdisciplinary and intended for nonspecialists, this book provides a new framework for thinking about foreign political and military intervention in Africa.

Cover of 'Boko Haram'

Boko Haram
By Brandon Kendhammer and Carmen McCain

Going beyond the headlines, including the group’s 2014 abduction of 276 girls in Chibok and the ensuing international outrage, Boko Haram provides readers new to the conflict with a clearly written and comprehensive history of how the group came to be, the Nigerian government’s failed efforts to end it, and its impact on ordinary citizens.

Cover of 'Children of Hope'

Children of Hope
The Odyssey of the Oromo Slaves from Ethiopia to South Africa
By Sandra Rowoldt Shell

In Children of Hope, Sandra Rowoldt Shell details the life histories of sixty-four Oromo children who were enslaved in Ethiopia in the late nineteenth century, liberated by the British navy, and ultimately sent to a Free Church of Scotland mission in South Africa, where their stories were recorded through a series of interviews.

Cover of 'Albert Luthuli'

Albert Luthuli
By Robert Trent Vinson

In an excellent addition to the Ohio Short Histories of Africa series, Robert Trent Vinson recovers the forgotten story of Albert Luthuli, Africa’s first Nobel Peace Prize winner, who linked South African antiapartheid politics with international human rights campaigns and was a leading advocate of nonviolent civil disobedience techniques.

Cover of 'Amy Biehl’s Last Home'

Amy Biehl’s Last Home
A Bright Life, a Tragic Death, and a Journey of Reconciliation in South Africa
By Steven D. Gish

Granted unrestricted access to the Biehl family’s papers, Steven Gish brings Amy and the Foundation to life in ways that have eluded previous authors. He is the first to place Biehl’s story in its full historical context, while also presenting a gripping portrait of this remarkable young woman and the aftermath of her death across two continents.

Cover of 'Buying Time'

Buying Time
Debt and Mobility in the Western Indian Ocean
By Thomas F. McDow

Thomas F. McDow synthesizes Indian Ocean, Middle Eastern, and East African studies to explain how in the nineteenth century, credit, mobility, and kinship knit together a vast interconnected Indian Ocean region. McDow's new historical analysis of the Indian Ocean reveals roles of previously invisible people.