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The Berbers: The Peoples of Africa 1st Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0631207672
ISBN-10: 0631207678
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Brett and Fentress have produced a remarkable study of the Berber-speaking peoples of North Africa that is both scholarly and highly readable." American Journal of Archaeology.

"Fentress and Brett combine their efforts to produce a well-rounded history of the Berbers ... a solid introduction for English-speaking students at all levels." CHOICE.

'Here at long last is a decent and thoroughly worthwhile general book on Berbers.' Journal of North African Studies

From the Back Cover

The Berbers is the first attempt by English scholars to provide a comprehensive overview of the history of the Berber-speaking peoples. From the first appearance of humans in the Maghreb, through the rise of the formidable Berber kingdoms of Numidia and Mauretania, the book traces the origins of the distinct characteristics of these disparate peoples, regarded as the indigenous inhabitants of North Africa. In examining, too, the responses to external overlords, whether Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Turks, or, most recently, European imperial powers, the authors indicate the importance for the various Berber communities of such factors as language, tradition, social organization and geographical location. The book also covers the role of religion and trade as forces of social change in North Africa.

The authors draw on a wide range of sources, from archaeology and history, to anthropology and literature. In showing the Berber-speaking peoples in their immediate social environments, the book explains how they retained a range of traditional systems of organization alongside those of the dominant cultures. The Berbers will thus help the reader to appreciate the Berber past and to understand their present.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (December 8, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631207678
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631207672
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #501,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Very good information in this book, with comprehensive detail for the earliest times of the Berbers down to contemporary issues. Coverage of early Berber history is outstanding, showing that the Berbers are linked to indigenous Africans. For example as to the original Saharans in the BErber speaking zone, the authors note:

""the original Saharans were 'negroid' and left behind their distinctive art and iconography in rock carvings and art."

Intriguing links are noted with the tropical peoples of Upper Egypt. For example rather than simply accept older writings that allege sweeping invasions by "bearded men" from outside into Africa, or from elsewhere in the Maghreb, the authors reference hard anthropological data of actual specimens on the ground and find, Quote:

".. the skeletons seem to show closer resemblance to groups from the upper Nile Valley than to contemporary material from the Maghreb."

Blood type analyses show linkages between the Black Northern Haratin of Algeria and ancient Egyptians as detailed by the studies of Paoli 1972.

All in all a good roundup of information on the Berbers ancient and contemporary.
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After reading another book on the same subject,I realized that the berbers played a large part of European history but did not know much about them. The book is excellent in telling the history of the berbers from ancient times up to the present
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By Yushua on December 5, 2014
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An interesting and great read.
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very informative
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