- Paperback: 816 pages
- Publisher: Vintage (September 7, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 067973869X
- ISBN-13: 978-0679738695
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 92 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Africa: A Biography of the Continent
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"The ancestors of all humanity evolved in Africa," notes photojournalist John Reader at the beginning of this epic, panoramic overview of African history. From the formation of the continent to the present, Reader's informative narrative tells the story of the earliest dwellers and the natural obstacles of desert, jungle, and animals they faced, expertly entwining the development of humanity with the ecological and geographical evolution of the continent. He demonstrates how the physical makeup of Africa is like nowhere else on earth, both supporting and crippling human progress over time. Reader, who has lived and traveled in Africa for many years, explores the migration of humanity as early as 100,000 years ago out of Africa into Europe and South America, forming the earliest indigenous populations in these areas. At the same time he traces the effects of European settlers, slavery, and tribal warfare to the present day's independent states that have suffered through chronic disease, famine, and brutal conflict. Reader's passion for this continent is evident throughout the text, bringing to life his scrupulous research which explores in fascinating detail, the intricate and complex history of Africa. --Jeremy Storey --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Africa's collision with the Eurasian landmass 30 million years ago; the emergence of upright, bipedal human ancestors four million years ago; the migration of anatomically modern nomads out of Africa a mere 100,000 years ago; the rise of Africa's first literate indigenous civilization, Aksum (ancient Ethiopia) in the first century A.D.?these are signposts in a continent's evolution in Reader's unusual, enthralling survey. A British photojournalist who has spent most of his adult life in Africa, he writes with sweeping historical perspective and an engaging familiarity with the continent and its people. Ranging from the earliest known evidence of life on earth?6.6-billion-year-old fossilized bacteria?to recent upheavals in Rwanda and South Africa, this immensely rewarding synthesis is amplified by the author's deeply lyrical, quietly stunning photographs that evoke Africa's beauty and ancient roots. Reader refutes the notion of the Egyptian Nile region as a fulcrum that conveyed civilization to sub-Saharan Africa; instead, he argues, the relationship was one of pillager and pillaged. Blaming European colonizers' near-genocidal slaughter, exploitation and imposition of artificial nation-states for much of contemporary Africa's malaise, he maintains that the "dark continent" has been woefully misunderstood and misused throughout history. His eye-opening chronicle will change the way many think about Africa. Photos.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
It shows a significant amount of research and understanding of many areas. One of the themes is that Africa should be of interest to all of mankind. It is where man evolved and human characteristics were first developed. It has had significant interaction with most of Earth's other Continents. It can provide lessons on many aspects of the World and mankind.
My only complaints are mostly functional. It is long (700 pages), small print, and entirely inadequate visual elements (maps, pictures, etc.). I would love to have a kindle version.
This is an excellent history book, textbook and general reader, and never either boring or over contentious without good reasaon.