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African Perspectives on Colonialism (The Johns Hopkins Symposia in Comparative History) [Paperback]

A. Adu Boahen
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 1, 1989 0801839319 978-0801839313

This history deals with the twenty-year period between 1880 and 1900, when virtually all of Africa was seized and occupied by the Imperial Powers of Europe. Eurocentric points of view have dominated the study of this era, but in this book, one of Africa’s leading historians reinterprets the colonial experiences from the perspective of the colonized.

Frequently Bought Together

African Perspectives on Colonialism (The Johns Hopkins Symposia in Comparative History) + Africa since 1940: The Past of the Present (New Approaches to African History) + King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa
Price for all three: $49.25

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Editorial Reviews


Here is the story from the other side; it serves as a needed corrective to the ubiquitous Eurocentric point of view.


Contradict[s] the extraordinary myth that Africa 'has no history..'Boahen is one of the pioneers in the school of African historiography.

(Times Literary Supplement)

Product Details

  • Series: The Johns Hopkins Symposia in Comparative History (Book 15)
  • Paperback: 133 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press (September 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801839319
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801839313
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The title of the book "African Perspectives" reflects exactly the content. The author, A. Adu Boahen further presents these perspectives in a balanced manner absent overbearing bitterness or spite common to colonial era studies. The author begins with the status of Africa in the last quarter of the 19th century and follows through to the first years of African independence.

I can recap a few of the author's main points by posing a historical counterfactual. What would Africa have looked like without the shackles of colonialism? As Boahen explains there were many independent and growing kingdoms, at least two of them with large armies prior to the colonial era. Swahili (written with the Arabic script at the time) was expanding through its trade influence and so were Hausa and Arabic. Many African communities could depend on their own indigenously produced products to include cloths and other necessities. Seeing the end of the slave trade, many African communities were again growing rapidly in number and potential capital.

But this space of progress was modified greatly as the colonial powers drew political borders irrespective of African kingdom, ethnicity or language. The "rules" placed on the Conference of Berlin, the series of meetings by strictly westerners as to the division of Africa's land, were as follows: 1. All claims to territory had to be announced 2. Claims had to be proven by occupation if even minimal presence 3. A treaty with African leaders was sufficient proof of "occupation" 4. Coastal claims were sufficient to claim inland parts to an extent 5. Freedom of movement for all on the Congo and Niger rivers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A true African point of view...! October 8, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of the rare books on colonial history from the African point of view. This point of view is not given the place it needs to have in the writing of history.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great book September 13, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
great book on African history, as the book is titled African perspectives, this book is great because it is written from the viewpoint and opinion of an African prof. Great fro any one wanting to learn modern African history.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book January 28, 2012
By lvamzn
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you want to learn about a brief unbiased history of Africa, this is the book to read. Great book!
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