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Western Africa

Western Africa Book List

Cover of 'Broken Lives and Other Stories'

Broken Lives and Other Stories
By Anthonia C. Kalu
· Foreword by Emmanuel N. Obiechina

In her startling collection of short stories, Broken Lives and Other Stories, Anthonia C. Kalu creates a series of memorable characters who struggle to hold displaced but dynamic communities together in a country that is at war with itself. Broken Lives and Other Stories presents a portrait of the ordinary women, children, and men whose lives have been battered by war in their homeland.

Cover of 'Smugglers, Secessionists, and Loyal Citizens on the Ghana-Togo Frontier'

Smugglers, Secessionists, and Loyal Citizens on the Ghana-Togo Frontier
The Life of the Borderlands since 1914
By Paul Nugent

The first integrated history of the Ghana-Togo borderlands, Smugglers, Secessionists, and Loyal Citizens on the Ghana-Togo Frontier challenges the conventional wisdom that the current border is an arbitrary European construct, resisted by Ewe irredentism. Paul Nugent contends that whatever the origins of partition, border peoples quickly became knowing and active participants in the shaping of this international boundary.

Cover of 'Soldiers, Airmen, Spies, and Whisperers'

Soldiers, Airmen, Spies, and Whisperers
The Gold Coast in World War II
By Nancy Ellen Lawler

The Gold Coast became important to the Allied war effort in WWII, necessitating the creation of elaborate propaganda and espionage networks, the activities of which ranged from rumor-mongering to smuggling and sabotage.

Cover of 'Between the Sea and the Lagoon'

Between the Sea and the Lagoon
An Eco-social History of the Anlo of Southeastern Ghana c. 1850 to Recent Times
By Emmanuel Kwaku Akyeampong

This study offers a “social interpretation of environmental process” for the coastal lowlands of southeastern Ghana. The Anlo-Ewe, sometimes hailed as the quintessential sea fishermen of the West African coast, are a previously non-maritime people who developed a maritime tradition. As a fishing community the Anlo have a strong attachment to their land. In the twentieth century coastal erosion has brought about a collapse of the balance between nature and culture.

Cover of 'Ghanaian Popular Fiction'

Ghanaian Popular Fiction
'Thrilling Discoveries in Conjugal Life' and Other Tales
By Stephanie Newell

This is a study of the ‘unofficial’ side of African fiction—the largely undocumented writing, publishing, and reading of pamphlets and paperbacks—which exists outside the grid of mass production. Stephanie Newell examines the popular fiction of Ghana produced since the 1930s, analyzing the distinctive ways in which narrative forms are borrowed and regenerated by authors and readers.

Cover of 'Nigerian Video Films'

Nigerian Video Films
Edited by Jonathan Haynes

Nigerian video films—dramatic features shot on video and sold as cassettes—are being produced at the rate of nearly one a day, making them the major contemporary art form in Nigeria. The history of African film offers no precedent for such a huge, popularly based industry. The contributors to this volume, who include film and television directors, an anthropologist, and scholars of film studies and literature, take a variety of approaches to this flourishing popular art.

Cover of 'Nkrumah & the Chiefs'

Nkrumah & the Chiefs
The Politics of Chieftaincy in Ghana, 1951–1960
By Richard Rathbone

Kwame Nkrumah, who won independence for Ghana in 1957, was the first African statesman to achieve world recognition. Nkrumah and his movement also brought about the end of independent chieftaincy—one of the most fundamental changes in the history of Ghana. Kwame Nkrumah's Convention Peoples' Party was committed not only to the rapid termination of British colonial rule but also to the elimination of chiefly power.

Cover of 'Religious Pluralism and the Nigerian State'

Religious Pluralism and the Nigerian State
By Simeon O. Ilesanmi

In the case of Nigeria, scholarship on religious politics has not adequately taken into account the pluralistic context and the idealistic pretensions of the state that inhibit the possibility of forging an enduring civic amity among Nigeria’s diverse groups. Ilesanmi proposes a new philosophy or model of religio-political interaction, which he calls dialogic politics.

Cover of 'The Krobo People of Ghana to 1892'

The Krobo People of Ghana to 1892
A Political and Social History
By Louis E. Wilson

This book presents a broad analytical framework for the history of southeastern Ghana within the context of a representative study of one of the country’s most important political and economic forces. The 150,000 Krobo are the most numerous of the Adangme-speaking peoples. They are located in the mountains just inland from the coast and are the fourth largest ethnic group in the country.

Cover of 'In the Heart of the Hausa States'

In the Heart of the Hausa States
By Paul Staudinger
· Edited by Johanna E. Moody
· Foreword by Paul E. Lovejoy

Consequent upon the Berlin West Africa Conference (1884–1885), the Africanische Gesellschaft in Deutschland launched the Niger-Benue expedition to investigate possible riverine communications throughout the Niger-Benue river system. Responsibility for the expedition ultimately fell to Paul Staudinger, a young entomologist with no experience of inner Africa.