Distinguished scholar and Africanist Falola surveys the complicated history of the African continent by focusing on 36 pivotal events that either caused or led to significant changes and developments in African social, political, and cultural life from around 40,000 B.C.E. to the collapse of apartheid in the 1990s. Included are such diverse topics as the growth of the ironworks, the spread of Islam and Christianity, the founding of Liberia, military coups, and refugee problems in the 1980s and 1990s. As the author indicates in his preface, this volume is meant to be used together with a text on African history and is intended for high-school and college students.
Following a detailed time line of historical events, each topic is highlighted in an individual chapter including cross-references, historical and political maps, illustrations, a notes section, and a suggested list for further reading that provides many recent references by international scholars. The chapters are in chronological sequence and divided into ancient and precolonial, nineteenth-century, and twentieth-century periods, and the index is well arranged. Only a cursory mention is made of the AIDS epidemic, which now accounts for more than 70 percent of the number of worldwide cases. Perhaps the impact of this disease can be the subject of a chapter in an updated edition.
In his overview, the author comments about the paucity of interest in African history that existed as recently as 100 years ago, with the resulting lack of historiography. Much research is now being published by both non-African and indigenous scholars; one advantage of this volume for the student is that it spans such a broad time frame, where other references, such as Vogel's Encyclopedia of Precolonial Africa (AltaMira, 1997) or Oliver and Atmore's Medieval Africa, 1250-1800 (Cambridge, 2001), address a specific time period or a single subject area, although in greater detail. High-school and college libraries will find this book a valuable addition to their collections. RBB
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--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
.,."contains information about 36 important events in African history....This book draws upon the many changes in the African continent from governments to the environment and describes the connections between past and present African history. This is a valuable resource for updating the school library's Africa resources. Recommended."-Library Media Connection
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