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A History of Sub-Saharan Africa



Pub. Date:
Cambridge University Press
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  • A History of Sub-Saharan Africa
    A History of Sub-Saharan Africa


In a trawl through the entire sweep of sub-Saharan history, the authors have written an accessible introduction for students and general readers. The opening chapter on geography and climate frames the discussion, demonstrating how the environment has shaped the societies and cultures of those living in the region. Thereafter they describe the rise of states and empires in the classical period, the slave trade within Africa and beyond to the Americas, and the European conquest. The concluding section focuses on Africa in the twentieth century as it gains independence and searches for a new identity beyond colonialism. While the authors mull over the debates which have shaped the study of African history, at the centre of this story are the tragedies, triumphs and the resilience of the African people. The book is illustrated with photographs, maps, and sidebars which feature the salient points on either side of the debates.

Author Biography

Robert O. Collins is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara James M. Burns is Associate Professor of History at Clemson University

Table of Contents

1. The historical geography of Africa
2. Kingdoms on the Nile
3. The peoples of sub-Saharan Africa: society, culture and language
4. Crops, cows and iron
5. North-East Africa in the age of Aksum
6. Empires of the plains
7. East Africa and the Indian Ocean world
8. The lake plateau of East Africa
9. Societies and states of the West African forest
10. Kingdoms and trade in Central Africa
11.The peoples and states of Southern Africa
12. The arrival of the Europeans in sub-Saharan Africa
13. Diseases and crops: old and new
14. Slavery in Africa
15. The Atlantic slave trade
16. The Asian slave trade
17. Prelude to the European conquest of Africa
18. The European conquest of Africa
19. Africans, Dutch and the British in South Africa, 1480 1910
20. European colonial rule in Africa
21. The colonial legacy
22. Nationalism and the independence of colonial Africa
23. The union of South Africa and the apartheid state
24. A decade of hope
25. Cold War Africa
26. Africa at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

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