Sunday, April 17, 2011

African History: A Very Short Introduction by John Parker and Richard Rathbone

This was a decent overview of African history but it is just as much as a brief examination of the validity of doing history about Africa. In fact, the process of history and how histories are compiled was a large chunk of the work. Useful to be reminded of the diversity of Africa, its peoples, languages and geography, while considering if "Africa" even makes sense as a descriptor beyond a continent.
The book discusses complications of primary sources, the slave trade and colonialism. It was useful to be reminded how those in power often have more in common with each other than other lines of demarcation.
A good start for those interested in the topic.


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